Yahoo thinks you want to send videos to friends in silence. The company released a new messaging app that allows for video and texting to friends, but unlike competitor messaging apps -- Periscope, Meerkat, FaceTime, Skype and Snapchat -- Yahoo has removed all audio. The company unveiled its new app, which goes live Thursday, at the Tumblr headquarters in New York City Wednesday afternoon.
The app, called Livetext, does not include audio, at all. Instead, users can see a real-time messages on top of a video stream and can include text and emoji. Messages will disappear, and not save on your phone, after the conversation is over. Livetext is purely for one-to-one messaging and does not have access to group communication or public broadcasts as is seen on Periscope and Meerkat.
To explain the reason behind the lack of audio, Yahoo's senior vice president of mobile and emerging product Adam Cahan elaborated on his own experiences, where he said he barely talks on the phone or listens to his voicemail.
"Mobile addiction is pretty much where we are in our consumer adoption program right now," senior vice president of mobile and emerging product Adam Cahan said. "People are texting a ton, but what's not happening is calling and video chat."
Wednesday marked the first day Yahoo was no longer on the Snapchat Discover channel — a network of media partners that produce daily content for the popular disappearing messaging app. The spot is now home to viral news, quiz and list-making site BuzzFeed and joins the ranks of CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN and iHeartMedia.
For now, Livetext is focused on one-to-one messaging and not a whole network of content. That's indeed the origins of Snapchat, but Livetext also meshes the live video streaming and text commentary of Twitter-owned Periscope.
In May, Yahoo had taken down its previous messaging app called Yahoo Messenger from the app store. Since July, Yahoo has been testing Livetext in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Ireland.
As clear from its second-quarter earnings report, Yahoo has been making a greater push toward its own mobile products and away from its search and desktop display advertsing. The company had reported a 54.6 percent year-to-year increase for its mobile revenue.
Last time Yahoo held a major product announcement in New York, the company revealed a redesigned Flickr app -- the photo and video sharing and uploading site the company had purchased in 2005 -- in May 2013. That event was on the same day Yahoo announced the acquisition of blogging site Tumblr, VentureBeat notes. Earlier this month, Yahoo released a new fantasy sports site called Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy at an event in San Francisco.
Livetext will be available for Android and iOS in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and France on Thursday, and users must have a phone number or Yahoo ID to sign-up for Livetext.