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Yahoo’s Livetext app is an odd combination of live video and texting

by Brandon Russell | July 29, 2015July 29, 2015 4:00 pm EST

What do you get when you combine Periscope and WhatsApp? Something weird. Something that doesn’t make sense. But it exists, and it’s called LiveText.

Built by Yahoo, the app will let you see the person you’re talking to, but you can only communicate through text. In that regard, it’s essentially like muted FaceTime. Skype without talking. Google Hangouts on silent. You simply stare at the person in front of you and carry on a text conversation, the same as you would using iMessage or Viber or WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

You can see the app in action at the bottom of this post.

At an event held earlier on Wednesday, Yahoo explained that Livetext creates a deeper emotional connection between users. Maybe so, I haven’t used it. But I don’t see it besting the intimacy of a video chat. There’s something special about seeing a traveling parent FaceTime with their young child. Livetext is this strange middle ground.

Similar to Snapchat, texts and video will disappear once a chat ends, adding ephemerality to the equation. Livetext should be available for iOS and Android devices beginning Thursday.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.