Yahoo Aims To Redefine Instant Messaging
To compete with SnapChat and WhatsApp, Yahoo has launched Livetext, an app that lets the user send video and text, but not audio. The company hopes to create a new paradigm that centers around real reactions.
The app has already been available in some international markets, but now Yahoo will be making it available in the US, the UK, Canada, and more. The goal of Livetext is “blending the simplicity of texting with the emotion and immediacy of live video, to make your experience spontaneous and real,” according to Adam Cahan, a Yahoo senior vice president.
The instant messaging market is certainly not lacking for contenders. WhatsApp and SnapChat have long dominated the space, making WhatsApp at one point worth $19 billion for Facebook. For Livetext to succeed, the novelty of the video texting feature, with no sound, will have to resonate with enough users.
In a previous iteration of the Internet, Yahoo’s Messenger was among the top ways that people communicated with each other. People also used services like ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, and MSN Instant Messenger. Later on with the advent of social media sites such as Facebook, these services fell away in popularity as people took to using the new services. Mobile devices created a new opportunity for instant messaging, and Yahoo is apparently looking to capitalize on it.
The smartphone market is expected to grow to more than 2 billion new phones shipped over the next year, so it is entirely conceivable that there is yet room for new contenders in messaging applications. Applications like Telegram, which go across platforms and focus on encrypted messaging, have also begun to take up part of the mobile space.
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