unveiled a live video texting app Wednesday that could
boost the company’s mobile presence and help it
compete against Apple and Facebook.
Livetext allows users to connect by streaming video
one-on-one like Apple’s FaceTime or Facebook’s Video
Chat. But instead of using audio, the app has a text
feature that appears on top of the live video.
company said the new service targets hardcore users of
mobile devices by lifting barriers to faster
texting is quick and easy, you often miss the meaning of
a message, have to explain your reaction (‘LOL’), or
wait hours before getting a response," Arjun Sethi,
Yahoo’s senior director for product management, wrote
in a blog post Wednesday. "And to actually talk on
the phone, you not only have to be available, but you
also have to be in a place where you can chat."
said Livetext addresses those drawbacks while increasing
the immediacy and intimacy of communicating.
see video as a way to make your conversations more
authentic, and we see text as a way to connect that’s
quick and non-intrusive," Sethi wrote.
comes at a time when the Silicon Valley giant is
desperate for more mobile products. Analysts say the
company’s lackluster financial performance in recent
times is largely blamed on a dearth of mobile
this month, the company introduced Yahoo Sports Daily
Fantasy, a betting service available on mobile devices
that signaled Yahoo’s entrance into the $2.6 billion
online sports gambling business. The company earns 10
percent of all wagers.
Livetext is available for both iOS and Android phones.
Only devices with cell numbers will be able to use the
Snapchat, there is no record of the videos or texts
after they appear. Yahoo has no plans to add sound to
about its similarity to video streaming apps, Periscope
and Meerkat, Adam Cahan, Yahoo’s senior vice president
for video, design and emerging products, said Livetext
was different because it was built for one-to-one
interaction rather than one-to-many.
has been testing Livetext the past few weeks in Hong
Kong, Taiwan and Ireland.