Some good years ago, Yahoo! Messenger was the god of chat applications. At one point, however, it passed into obscurity, and its place was taken by others who came with something extra as features.
Recently, Yahoo! Messenger disappeared from the App Store and this is a sign of major change. For Hong Kong App Store, Yahoo! launched early this month Livetext – Video Messenger. Although you might think it an alternative to Snapchat, the replacement Messenger does not try to copy other messaging services, but to be the solution for future communication.
When you open Livetext, you see a list of friends who have the service. When you press the name of a friend, a window opens with live video stream on your face. At the other end, the person you contacted receives a notice that you start writing. As soon as your first key press, the other person will be invited to the discussion. If he accepts, you’ll be able to see his face. So you can send messages, emoji and all the usual things that can be sent through messages, but the difference is in the fact that you can see the other’s real expression while communicating.
Although it could also be seen as a disadvantage, Adam Cahan from Yahoo! believes that the lack of sound is important for the application. “The beauty of silence in Livetext is that you can open it anywhere, in concert, in class, at a meeting, without a problem. Much of the application development focused on the fact that I wanted everything to be fast and simple enough, and that you do not worry for what you look like, or where you are” he told Wired.
Livetext doesn’t pose as a service like Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, Whatsapp, Kik or Line and does not try to dominate your entire time, or distract you from other applications. It can’t even be considered a true messaging service, but if it will catch with people, will be because it is very easy to check if someone sees your message and even check on what they do at that time. It’s a different application, and, it might be a good thing or not.