The live video call facility is an essential tool in today's hybrid remote work environment. Even before the pandemic, live video calls were an important asset to communicate with clients, vendors, and other stakeholders. Today, it's a critical part of business communication that no company can do without. Let's look at how to integrate this feature into your mobile and web applications so they become part of your normal business workflows.
What is a Video Chat API/SDK?
In simple terms, APIs and SDKs are interface tools that will allow you to embed a third-party video chat or live video call online service into your products, whether those are mobile applications or browser-based web applications.
What that means is that your developers don't need to build such applications from scratch, which would involve a great deal of resources - monetary, human, and technological. Instead, the SDK or API piggybacks on third-party infrastructure that's purpose-built for high performance, low latency, and an overall superior user experience.
To break this down further, an API or Application Programming Interface lets you access the server and applications at the back end and bring the front end into your own application, whereas an SDK is more elaborate, allowing you to build extra capabilities into your own existing web and mobile apps.
In this case, the extra capability is a live video call or video chat service that's seamlessly integrated in a way that allows you to leverage the capabilities of the service provider platform that you're using.
So, what are the essentials of such a platform and its API/SDK offerings that you need to look for when reviewing possible service providers? In the next section, we'll discuss the must-haves of video API and SDK offerings.
6 Must-have Voice/Video Calling Features for Businesses
1. Video Conference and Recording
Businesses that use API/SDK platforms for live video call and chat will obviously need the ability to conference a large number of people from different locations using different modes and devices - iOS, Android, and Web. The video should be of HD quality and should accommodate hundreds of simultaneous users. In addition, the platform must give you the ability to record these sessions for various purposes - recording the minutes of a meeting, preserving the video for training purposes, etc.
2. Low Latency
This is one of the crucial considerations is latency. The fact that not all users will have robust connectivity makes this even more important. You want all participants to have a low-latency experience so conversations are seamless and uninterrupted because of poor Internet connections or resource-intensive activity. Remember that you're building this for the web as well as mobile, so this is definitely a key factor to take into consideration when building a video interface.
3. Live Broadcasting
When organizing webinars and such events for a large number of participants, the ability to live-stream your video broadcast to a vast network of users is vital. The platform that you choose for your live video chat application should, therefore, provide you with this key feature. Of course, it goes without saying that you should be able to stream in HD and without any latency worries that are typical of video live streams.
4. Screen Sharing
In any presentation or webinar scenario, the presenter or host should have the ability to share their screen with others in order to use their visual material as a complement to the presentation. You're probably familiar with screen sharing on platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet, so why not build this feature into your own mobile app or website?
5. Cross-device Support
Since video chats are remote by definition, it stands to reason that participants will be using a variety of different devices running on different platforms or operating systems. For instance, iPhones running iOS, Samsung Galaxy Tabs running the latest Android, or even modern browsers on Windows and Mac computers should be able to access your video API setup. Therefore, using a platform that is compatible with these different configurations is a must-have.
6. Group Video Conferencing Vs. One-to-One Video Chat
Companies that follow a remote workforce model aren't the only ones that need a robust live video call solution. What about situations where managers need to have performance review meetings with their direct reports? In such cases, it's important to have the ability to both group-conference as well as get on one-to-one video chats. In short, no matter the number of people on the call, the platform should support the requirement.
4 Reasons Why You Need ZEGOCLOUD for An Enhanced Video Call App
Put simply, ZEGOCLOUD ticks all the right boxes when it comes to quickly integrating video chat into or creating a custom video chat app within your own code. Once you've built it and it becomes a part of your mobile or web app, you retain full control over the customizations but also have the benefit of keeping all the core hardware assets off-prem. In short, you get the slick and performant front-end while the heavy lifting and hard coding work is done at the back end. Your developer will be able to implement live video chat in minutes and hours rather than in days and weeks. What's that worth to your business? And that's not all. Here are just a few of the features that users can enjoy with ZEGOCLOUD:
1. Virtually Unlimited Scalability
What would you say if you had the ability to connect 20 people from around the globe on a single video chat, but you're able to extend that to 1+ billion users? You'd say "That's amazing!", right? That's the sort of scalability offered by ZEGOCLOUD - the right size for your current business and your future business so you don't have to worry about your video chat platform growing alongside your sales and your reach.
2. Flexibility with Data Residency and Infrastructure
Where would you prefer all your customer conversations and user data to reside - on-prem, off-prem, your own cloud versus a third-party solution? ZEGOCLOUD flexibly allows you to choose where you hold your data, and you can do so in a secure manner the way large enterprise companies do. There's no need to worry about having to invest in expensive infrastructure when your video chat platform supports any on-prem or off-prem solution.
3. Easy Integration with Any Third-party Application
You can only achieve the next level when your video chat API platform can be quickly integrated into any web or mobile application no matter what platform it is built on. With support for all the most popular architectures and operating systems, ZEGOCLOUD allows you to focus your developer resources where they're needed - for your own applications. The video chat API/SDK makes it easy to be up and running within hours, and the UIKits can help you achieve the same thing literally in minutes.
4. Flexibility with Pricing
ZEGOCLOUD offers fair and transparent pricing for video calls and audio calls. The nominal charges will cost you less in the long run so your returns are earned faster than with other platforms. The best part is that you're charged separately for video and for audio. For instance, if two users have their webcams and microphones on and a third user only has audio, you won't be charged anything for video usage for the third user. Similarly, if there's a fourth user who's only using their camera with no audio, you won't be paying for audio minutes for that user. This granular billing can save you thousands of dollars a year when video and audio are decoupled.
ZEGOCLOUD Voice/Video Calling APIs In A Variety Of Industries
To give you a clearer picture about who can benefit from ZEGOCLOUD and how, we're put together a list of different solutions the platform caters to. From social interactions that promote brand awareness and engagement to niche-specific needs like online shopping or fitness platforms, ZEGOCLOUD covers it all. Let's look at just a few of the use cases for this versatile video chat API/SDK platform:
1. Social Interactions
Remember when students struggled with their online classes because of latency issues, user limits, bad video, and other problems? Those are all things of the past. ZEGOCLOUD provides educators with not only the power to host one-on-one tutoring sessions and smaller classes but also large classes and livestreaming to hundreds or thousands of users. Classroom tools are available to make the experience seamless, a few examples of which are whiteboard collaboration, screen sharing, text messaging, video/audio stream recording, and support for over 15,000 makes and models of devices. "No student left behind" can finally become a reality with the support of ZEGOCLOUD live video call online capabilities.
3. Telehealth and Telemedicine
Integrate your online medical platform with high-quality audio and video call capabilities to connect doctors, patients, family members, consultants, and other stakeholders. Secure document storage (patient records, e-prescription, etc.), encrypted one-to-one video calls, screenshots, and IoT device support help round out the seamless experience between medical service providers and their patients.
The online retail landscape is very different from just a few years ago. Today, live experiences are sought by more and more consumers. ZEGOCLOUD can help you grow your eCommerce business with capabilities such as retail streaming, guided purchasing, influencer co-hosting, and a fully interactive shopping experience on your existing online retail platform.
5. Health and Fitness
Virtual fitness training has caught on like wildfire even since the pandemic hit. Take advantage of the massive momentum in this space by building your app with high-quality video and audio calling capabilities. Whether it's a live training session for tens of thousands of viewers from all over the world or a simple one-to-one personal training session, ZEGOCLOUD allows you to deploy what you need on your app or website in just minutes.
With attributes such as affordability, flexibility, quality, and a rich feature-set for various types of live video chat and live audio solutions, ZEGOCLOUD is your platform of choice for taking your business to the next level of audience engagement and growth.