Yahoo Livetext - Video Messenger

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Yahoo Livetext - Video Messenger App Poster Image
Soundless video and texting awkwardly connect for live chat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Texting interface is quite easy to use, though users may need reminders that their voices can't be heard.

Violence

User-generated content could contain violence.

Sex

User-generated content could contain sexual content.

Language

User-generated content could contain profanity.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the terms of service for Yahoo Livetext - Video Messenger require users to be 13 or older. They need a Yahoo account or a phone number to register. They then can add contacts, but both parties must agree to connect before a contact is added. Contacts who don't have the app installed on their devices will receive a text message asking them to download it to connect. Messages aren't saved on the server or on the device, so once they're read, they can't be reviewed, which means parents who monitor teens' texts won't be able to keep tabs.

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What's it about?

To start using YAHOO LIVETEXT - VIDEO MESSENGER, teens mutually agree to be "friends," adding one another via Yahoo ID or from their address books. They then can message friends by tapping that contact and entering a text message while a video selfie broadcasts to the recipient. The conversation happens live and is not saved on the device. The recipient gets a notification on her device, but if she misses the call, she'll see a still image and the text message. Once it's read, it disappears, and the user will have to initiate a new call.

Is it any good?

Video messaging without sound with your live image on-screen while you're texting is more awkward than convenient. It's simply not intuitive for those accustomed to FaceTime and Skype. Some will appreciate the ability to see and communicate with a friend without audio, especially in crowded places or on private settings; however, for most people, this particular combination of features doesn't fill a social-networking void. Texts accumulate on the screen, too, so texters aren't really seeing a clear image of their texting partners. For protective parents, having no record on their devices of conversations (which could still have been captured in a screenshot by the recipient) is a bit disconcerting. With so many choices flooding the market, it's unclear whether Yahoo's addition really works for the average user.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why having a record of text messages is helpful. Is not having a record better or worse?

  • If teens seem to be obsessive texters, check out our Q&A My kid texts constantly! What can I do?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: July 30, 2015
  • Category: Photo & Video
  • Size: 26.00 MB
  • Publisher: Yahoo
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up

For kids who love social networking

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