Yahoo has been rumored to be working on a revamped messenger app for a while now, and it looks like that new app may be taking its first step into the wild. Yahoo has quietly released the next version of its Yahoo Messenger mobile application, which is available under the name “Yahoo Livetext – Video Messenger” in the Hong Kong iTunes App Store.
The app went live earlier this month, and to bring something a little different to the table, it introduces a unique form of video texting that combines traditional text messages with video that doesn’t include an audio feed. The idea is to offer a more natural form of communication where users can see each other’s reactions in real-time as they participate in conversations.
Contacted for a comment about the app, Yahoo provided this response: “We’re always experimenting with new product experiences that delight our users. We have nothing further to share at this time,” a spokesperson told us, adding his own piece of silent video as punctuation:
Yahoo has been working on a replacement for its mobile messaging application for many years. It scrapped half a dozen versions or so that never emerged from internal testing. But it has also been making some interesting acquisitions to add talent and tech to develop what could become a new messaging product.
Last year’s M&A spree included MessageMe, a team which was set to work on internal Yahoo messaging products. And from what we understand Yahoo has also been working to try to poach people from other messaging and video app businesses to work on this product. Kicksend co-founder Pradeep Elankumaran joined Yahoo six months ago, for instance.
That there’s now a version live on iTunes indicates that what we’re seeing today is likely close to a final product. And the fact that it’s being tucked away on the Hong Kong App Store means that Yahoo was probably hoping to run a public-facing test of the app ahead of a more formal announcement and wider launch.