Yahoo Announces Livetext, a Silent Video Chatting App

The app will launch Thursday in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and France for iOS and Android.

Yahoo is getting back into the messaging app game, announcing a new video chat app — Livetext — that stays silent. The app will launch Thursday in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and France for iOS and Android.

The app connects friends in a video live chat session, allowing them to type out responses, but doesn’t use audio. Livetext connects Yahoo users, so you’d need to know your friend’s Yahoo ID. If the user chooses so, it can match up Yahoo IDs with contact info in the phone.

Arjun Sethi, Yahoo’s senior director of product management, described Livetext in a blog post:

Connecting with your friends should be spontaneous, convenient and memorable – but also fleeting, just like a real-life conversation. So today, we’re introducing Yahoo Livetext – a new way to communicate that blends the immediacy, simplicity and ease of texting with the expressiveness of video, without the audio. We 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. We think you’re really going to love it.

If you try to chat with someone who doesn’t have Livetext, you can send them a text message with a link to download the app.

Yahoo has been testing Livetext in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Ireland, and will release the app Thursday in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and France.

Adam Cahan, Yahoo’s senior vice president of video, design and emerging products, talked about Livetext in a press release:

Every platform shift leads to new forms of communication, driven by our desire to connect and interact in richer ways. We wanted to create a new way to communicate, blending the simplicity of texting with the emotion and immediacy of live video, to make your experience spontaneous and real.

Here’s a look at how it works:

Readers: What do you think of Livetext?