Yahoo! recently announced the launch of the app Livetext for Thursday, July 30th, 2015. To sum it up in one sentence, this app allows you to one on one video conference from your smartphone but there is no sound allowed. Yes, you read that correctly. It is a video conferencing app that allows you to see the facial expressions of friends and/or family but the only communication is through text. You can find a video here.
Many wonder why Yahoo! is jumping into a very crowded space. Facebook has Messenger, Google has Hangouts, Microsoft has Skype and Snapchat provides is own “facetime” options. Many iPhone users simply use the Facetime option without having to download 3rd party applications. With some shaking their heads, Yahoo! is ready to attack their competitors head on.
One advantage Yahoo! has over most of the aforementioned companies is they have access to the younger generation with a website that is deemed “hip”. Tumblr is one of the most popular blogging platforms on the web for those below the age of 21. While adults are using Facebook to communicate, students are publishing their thoughts on Tumblr.
If Yahoo! can successfully reach the entire Tumblr audience with the launch of this app they are going to have a chance to hit the ground running. That said, are students willing to give up Snapchat for Livetext? Almost every technology company in the world is competing with Snapchat when it comes to the attention of students; especially teenagers. While Livetext doesn’t exactly compare to Snapchat it is still very similar. Both apps offer a way for friends and family to communicate through video and pictures.
Yahoo! has attempted to gain in popularity with the younger online audience with the purchase of Tumblr and now the release of Livetext. It should come as no surprise that Yahoo! and Snapchat severed their advertising relationship on the Discover tab just three days ago. To replace Yahoo! Snapchat started a business relationship with both BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio which are well known amongst teens.
Over the next 30 days it will be interesting to watch the ranking of the Livetext app in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. If Yahoo! reaches out to its hundreds of millions of Tumblr users it has the potential to take off quickly. That said, it is a very saturated market and we know what happens when people are asked to leave a specific social network – it doesn’t happen.