Yahoo targets youth with new Livetext app

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Yahoo has launched a new Livetext app for Apple and Android, combining text and video together in a push to rival youth oriented messaging services such as Snapchat.

The internet company said the app was a way of bringing new meaning to traditional text messages. The videos are silent but Yahoo said they help provide context to messages sent between friends.

It has been testing the service in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Ireland, and has now brought it to the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and France.

Arjun Sethi, Senior Director, Product Management, said: "Yahoo Livetext puts your words and your friend’s real-time reactions at the centre of your conversation. Whether you’re watching Avicii DJ at the Creamfields Festival, at Venice Beach or taking in the view from the Eiffel Tower, you can spontaneously connect with the people you care about and invite them to experience moments with you.

"Your friend’s goofy look or giant smile, even her eye roll or silent sigh, suddenly become a part of your conversation. Simple conversations are transformed into vivid, authentic and memorable experiences that you can share any time."

The move gives an alternative to rivals Google and Facebook’s own messaging services. Google’s Hangouts app combines SMS and chatting. Facebook Messenger allows users to send text, images, video and voice messages, as well as HD calling functionality.

Yahoo has been focusing on mobile after failing to keep up with developments in its traditional web browser search market.