Officially launched and revealed at an event in Manhattan yesterday afternoon, Livetext is Yahoo’s attempt to ride on the coattails of the success of platforms such as Periscope and Snapchat by seemingly contriving to mash the two together.
Livetext has been described as “live video texting” by its creators and quite frankly, its very existence is questionable. Each session is one-to-one and begins much like any Periscope stream; video being available to you prior to and during publication. The difference is that while Periscope allows for audio, visual and textual interaction – as viewers of our weekly Weird Sex News broadcast will know – Livetext simply sets up a person-to-person stream – in silence – and lets users communicate via text only.
The Verge described it as falling “somewhere between Snapchat and a GIF”, which says everything you need to know really.
The bare facts are that Yahoo has fallen well down the pecking order in the messaging world since they effectively abandoned Yahoo Messenger. The rise of WhatsApp, all forms of social media, Snapchat, Periscope and countless others have trounced the once popular communication system and stripped its carcass clean.
… and Yahoo’s response? Cherry pick two random elements from popular apps and force them together like some kind of shifty, tech-based arranged marriage. It’s like realizing you’ve missed out on the transport boom so glued handlebars to the front of a truck in some desperate attempt to seem like you know what you’re doing.
Just WHO will be using Livetext? Rowdy teens? Not likely. Yahoo is to them what AOL is to us now; an historical fact.
So Yahoo crow about the removal of audio being an innovation? Can’t be just us who think this is crazy, right?
While they are right to state that the app can be used anywhere, it doesn’t consider the simple human factors such as the awkwardness of having to stare at somebody while they type for what could be a very long time.
Perhaps it has its uses for people trying to learn how to lip read. Or maybe for couples trying to conduct a relationship in utter secrecy where even talking to each other is perilous. Hey, Romeo and Juliet could have had some use for this!
While we have explored the sexual potential for apps like Snapcash, Facebook messenger and Periscope previously, Livetext doesn’t even offer that. Sure, you might be able to get online with a cam model or performer but again you are stifled by the app’s limitations. And why would a cam model revert to Livetext when the cam sites and systems are already well established and actually… you know… work?
Long story short: Yahoo’s effort is well-intended but entirely useless. If you somehow can’t use or access WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, Google Hangouts, Twitter, Facebook itself, Periscope, Snapchat or any of the rest then sure, give Livetext a try.