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2020 has become a year of video conferencing. Apps like Zoom and MS Teams had dominated the market. Google Hangouts introduced free-of-charge features, and Discord had seen an increase in daily active users. The reason is the Covid-19 pandemic that put the world into lockdowns and social distancing. People needed to keep socializing and working, and the abovementioned solutions have become an alternative to real-life communication.
2021 has inherited the last year's demand for web video conferencing software. The companies like Microsoft, Apple, Dropbox, and Google introduce either remote or hybrid work modes. People adopted new ways of communication. Companies, at the same time, reshaped their strategies with heavy use of digital technologies.
Numerous research stated that online communication affects lots of small businesses as well. They need to adapt to new norms and invest more in digital communication as a core way of interacting with clients.
The question that may spring into your mind is, "Do I need to start digital disruption in my company too and switch to online communication?". Our answer is yes. Business communication software can benefit your business in employee efficiency, client engagement, and appeal to larger audiences.
Let us guide you through the emerging trends in video communication, vital features, and success stories. Let's take a closer look.
Why Video Conferencing Software has become so crucial
The recent Gartner report forecasts the worldwide social software and collaboration market growth to total $4.5 billion in 2021, an increase of 17.1% from 2020. Moreover, Gartner predicts that by 2025, nearly 65% of application software providers will have included different renditions of social software and collaboration functionality in their portfolios.
This data clearly shows how online communication undergoes massive change. People discover new ways of socializing, companies seeking ways to provide an offline-like experience using digital technologies and introduce new tech opportunities to their clients.
For example, the workplaces today hardly resemble the same ones during pre-pandemic times. The recent crowdsourcing session by Deloitte on workplace strategy, virtual collaboration, and workforce reskilling found that:
- Organizations were not as ready as they thought for the virtual workplace;
- Companies should redefine their use of collaboration tools to pioneer a new way of working;
- Managers were unprepared to support the culture of the team and the overall system.
These problems dramatically reflected on such activities as organic collaboration, innovation, strategy sessions, and relationship building. But now, things start changing: companies deploy security infrastructure for remote workers, conduct workshops online, and organize virtual team buildings via Zoom.
Business executives also say they are planning to stick to a hybrid model of work. This model considers employees spending three days in the office and the remaining two days working from home. According to Buffer Remote Work Report, 99% of respondents prefer to keep working remotely.
As for business, the same applies to new strategies of operating and improving customer engagement. Those will require cloud technologies, including video meetings. CEO's plan to increase investments in their long-term digital transformation by more than 10%. Clients value new opportunities for remote interaction that saves time and helps to keep the safety measures.
The benefits of developing custom video conferencing software
The adoption of video meeting software has become crucial for multiple companies. To keep the efficiency of the business, you should consider developing custom communication tools. The solution will keep you connected with your employees, clients and help you stay relevant in a current business environment. Here's the list of key benefits you get:
Seamless remote work environment
As 63% of high-growth companies introduced hybrid work mode, the remote communication issues stand up first. Usually, employees need video calls, messaging, document exchange, and external tools integration for efficient work. Most modern solutions include these essential features.
Remote client interaction
The pandemic ensured that including digital communication helps build better relationships in terms of client interaction. Even before the pandemic, 96% of customers Forbes surveyed claimed excellent service as a determining factor in loyalty to a brand.
Remote interaction saves time, allows finding out more aspects of the service clients get, and even provides closing deals. These points can potentially make your customers more loyal to your brand.
White label software
Some companies cannot use software like Slack or Zoom due to privacy and security concerns. They also prefer not to advertise any external services they use. White label solutions don't have any logos, watermarks, and advertisements while you have a call or streaming. Security concerns are also covered.
It is vital to have your data stored and transferred securely. Due to lots of data leaks, legislation, and regulations, your software must comply with the local security requirements. To achieve that, you have to pay attention to implementing P2P protocols, using reliable cloud/server providers, and researching local regulations. By implementing all the steps mentioned above, your app is unlikely to face any data breach.
In-app in integration
However secure your video conference solution is, you have to keep in mind that you need external integrations. For example, your app may require payment and messenger integration. With custom software, you can build a video conferencing app into your existing software.
Multiple features for social interaction
Remote work revealed multiple problems people face while working at home. For example, they lack socializing with colleagues, coffee breaks, and small talks during the day. Empower your video conferencing app with 24/7 available rooms, where your employees can play simple games or have discussions with an office kitchen background.
Types of video conferencing applications
Before kicking off a development process, define the type of your application. You can interview business analysts to find out what business activities require a video collaboration app.
As an experienced team of developers, we highlighted the key types of video calling applications our clients need:
Most clients seek an app that provides video conferencing, messaging features, and screen recordings. Additionally, some of them have external integrations for appointment management.
These apps don't require many resources as they adjust to users' device and internet capabilities. They usually support up to 50 conference members simultaneously.
The well-known examples of video conferencing apps are Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. The latter has become extremely popular due to its simplicity and no requirement to be a part of the Microsoft or Google ecosystem.
Messengers like Facebook, Telegram, WhatsApp, and Apple's Facetime/iMessage have a video chat feature. Except for quick message exchange, they provide opportunities for video chats. Some of the messengers allow holding calls typically for 2-30 people. Some messengers apply AR/VR technologies to enable users to use custom masks and animations.
Online collaboration software
Video conferencing is not the only option companies seeking for remote collaboration. They require proper connectivity covering all the corporate needs. For example, an app like Slack allows messaging, video and audio calls, sharing documents, external tools integration like Jira & Google Calendar, and group channels.
There are plenty of solutions on the market that provide the same functionality as Microsoft Teams and G-Suite. Still, they are built differently.
Build custom video conferencing solutions
Unfortunately, companies seeking privacy avoid using these tools. They may be affected by hacker attacks, use wrong security protocols, and are not suitable for internal work ecosystem integration.
Video chats are not only applicable for work but leisure as well. Having fun with friends or playing video games together has become standard with apps like Discord. Those apps allow playing games like Pictionary or Apples to Apples, arrange video conferences, stream favorite games, and have a group & private chats.
How to Create a Video Chat App?
All apps, as mentioned above, might work for the IT or creative industries. However, telemedicine, real estate, banking, insurance, events & exhibitions industries require deeper integration with local IT infrastructure.
Hiring a team of software developers would be an option for creating a custom app. The main advantage is that you can design your application with compulsory features, built-in integrations, and levels of accessibility. Moreover, hiring a team means they could adapt to your security requirements as well.
So, how to build your own video conference system with a team of professionals? Here are the critical steps for creating your video-based software:
Define the requirements
Firstly, you need to understand the target audience. Secondly, consider all the possible use cases of your application. Make a list of them so the team gets a better understanding of your requirements.
Select the team
This point includes searching and hiring either an in-house team or finding an outsourcing company. Usually, outsourcing teams are easier to hire and do onboarding. They already have expertise in particular industries, a team of developers, hiring managers, and customizable engines. All those means you'll get a faster delivery compared to hiring a whole in-house team.
You should also consider that you need to hire about 10-12 specialists for an in-house team. When the development process is complete, you'll need to leave only 5-6 specialists for QA and additional features development.
Get a proof of concept (POC) or MVP
This point is crucial when you have no clear vision of what your product or service should have. Companies tend to use PoC and MVP for collecting feedback, checking hypotheses, and testing the business model.
PoC and MVP include developing a prototype by a team of UI/UX specialists to provide the design for your app. It also allows you to evaluate potential use cases and the usability of the app. A team of business analysts would help you uncover more opportunities you could use.
When you find a perfect match with design, a team of video conferencing software developers and engineers will develop technical requirements and an application with basic features to get it tested.
Usually, PoC and MVP stages take about 4-10 weeks and cost from $10,000.
Get to know your team
The team of video conferencing app developers comprises various specialists. Each of them is responsible for different aspects of the application:
Backend developers are responsible for building server logic, implementing video and security protocols, and connecting all the required APIs. The latter is used for external software integrations like payment gateways or cloud services.
Frontend developers are responsible for building the final look of your video meeting application. They get all the design and mockups and implement them as separate working elements in your app.
As we previously mentioned, designers are responsible for how your app will look like. The design mockups and transfer them to a team of frontend developers.
The quality assurance team provides manual testing of your application. In case QA specialists find any bugs, they'll notify developers to fix them instantly. QA allows you to avoid critical issues before the release and quickly resolve any if they appear after the launch.
Project managers are the key people you will communicate with. They are responsible for meeting deadlines and managing developers. They can also provide you with updates and offers that could make your project better.
DevOps engineers put together all the pieces that make up a project. They know the specifics of programmers, testers, system administrators and help to simplify their work.
Solution architects provide all the team with the technical documentation, standards, and workflows for creating a unified product.
Choose the tech stack
Here is the list of standard technologies our team uses for video calling app development:
- React Native
- Node JS
Choose the list of technologies
The technology stack for video collaboration app can vary based on your needs and requirements. However, in general, you should consider:
Data Protection and Encryption
Make sure your information is protected from breaches, and your app uses end-to-end encryption.
The use of AES-256 and HMAC-SHA256 protocols will split the transferred data into 256 bits long blocks. These blocks undergo encryption and are sent to the second point, where they become decrypted.
Our team also is familiar with HIPAA protocol for telehealth solutions and provides the implementation of a GDPR requirement.
You will need to have high-quality audio and video streaming. To have real-time communication, WebRTC will ensure seamless end-to-end connections. Additionally, WebRTC protocol allows adding streaming and peering between users into your app. The server exchanges data between the hosts by using an end-to-end connection.
WebRTC is HIPAA and GDPR compliant; this is why businesses around the world heavily use it.
VidRTC is our custom engine based on WebRTC technology. It transfers and streams audio, video, and content between browsers in real-time. It works both for web and mobile devices. The technology supports an unlimited number of viewers.
VidRTC has built-in features like video calls, streaming, group calls, and private rooms. It saves up to two months of development time. All you will need is to come up with a UI/UX and add desirable features.
Twilio is a service for web developers that provides communication systems integration capabilities. The system allows you to make multiple video calls from one account, hold conferences and create scripts for individual settings.
Additional tools and protocols that may be required as well:
Mediasoup is a WebRTC SFU (Selective Forwarding Unit) for Node.js. that allows applications to run multiparty video conferencing. Mediasoup provides a low-level API that enables different use cases up to your application.
AWS offers specialized cloud-based media services, software, and applications. It makes it easy to create, transform, and deliver digital content. Amazon is known for its reliable cloud servers and data transmission security protocols.
GraphQL is a query language for APIs and the environment in which they run. Using GraphQL, you get data from the API and transmit it to the application (from server to client).
Essential features for Video Conferencing App
The core application or MVP usually comprises basic features for using the app's capabilities.
It allows users to sign up into an internal system and get an ID. The registration process should have an easy UI. You can also connect third parties API like Facebook Login and Google Sign-In to provide quick access to the app.
Usually, user profiles are compulsory in video conferencing applications. They include basic information like name, phone number, email address, position, and birth dates.
Users have to be able to find other people. It means your app must include a search by phone, name, or email. You can also implement additional APIs from Microsoft, Google, or any internal system for automated contacts synchronization.
Private calls are the key feature of your application. It should have a simple interface with audio and video calls. Users must have access to switching off microphones or cameras and see the names of each other.
This one is similar to the previous one with a few new features. Firstly, there should be a host who can control the room. He can mute members or allow sharing screens. There should also be a list of contacts in the room to invite other members as well.
Messaging allows people to connect without video calls. Allow your users to exchange text messages while having a call or even without having it.
It is the block that can be seen on the starter screen, which indicates upcoming calls. There is also an option of integrating with external calendars to make appointments.
This feature is used to notify users regarding upcoming events or incoming calls and messages. Make sure you implemented Firebase Cloud Messaging or Apple Push Notification for integration with web and mobile devices.
The cost of an essential video conferencing app
The essential video conferencing app development and implementation cost ranges from $15,000 to $150,000. It depends on multiple factors like the size of your team, number of integrations, and security protocols integration.
Advanced features for a video conferencing application
The more departments your business has, the more additional features you need. You might be struggling with providing seamless collaboration with having only basic features on boards. Make sure to include some of the advanced features to get the most out of online collaboration.
It is utilized to demonstrate the contents of your screen. Screen sharing comes in handy for workshops, webinars, and reviews. Additionally, users can choose the applications they want to share.
Create online events that will help several booths simultaneously. For example, you can stream three different speakers, and at the same time, let users communicate privately in separate rooms.
Let your users replace their backgrounds with custom images. This feature may be helpful not only for privacy but also for marketing goals if you plan to communicate with clients.
Include some animations, emojis, or stickers to provide a better experience for users. Implement them using AI technology to capture users' facial expressions.
Speech to text translation
Another AI technology that recognizes speech and translates it to any language users set.
The cost of a typical video conferencing app
We've included all the must-have features for a video conferencing app. The final cost of developing such an application depends on the number of features you need to implement, platform requirements, and server capabilities.
Here's the list of typical features our clients usually have. Please note, the cost is approximate, and the final price may vary depending on your requirements. The price does not include design, third-party integrations, security standards integration, and other. Contact our sales department to find out more.
The average cost per hour is $45.
|Feature||Average hours for either mobile or web app||Average cost|
Video and audio calls
Group Calls (if private calls included)
Final cost and hours
Video conferencing is one of the core niches we work with. Currently, we’ve implemented video conferencing into social networks, property management, telemedicine, and online events applications.
For example, we provided development services HIPAA Video. It's a video conferencing app for accessible healthcare and medical advice. This app is used both by doctors and patients for remote health consultations.
We've built this app with the use of WebRTC technology. The app underwent lots of customization as we've implemented video and audio calls, messaging, and appointment management. The application uses HIPAA, a US medical security protocol.
Another outstanding experience is our collaboration with Scoby, a social networking application with video calls as the main feature. The client wanted to create an app for building communities.
Our development team implemented broadcasting, private and group calls, newsfeeds & donations to provide users with an unforgettable user experience.
We developed a video chat app, MVP, with the use of Mediasoup as a core technology. The development required testing numerous hypotheses, building logic, or external integrations as the technology itself is relatively new.
We're also proud of our collaboration with Events10x, a custom hybrid and virtual events platform. The client needed software for organizing conferences & exhibitions online. The app had to include private and group networking, broadcasting & messaging. The most challenging part was to provide all these features to 15,000 users simultaneously.
Our team had a tight deadline because the virtual expo software was dedicated to launching a huge online event in the UAE. Thanks to our VidRTC engine, we could save two months of development time and meet the deadline. The client was satisfied with the result and held the event successfully.
Video Conferencing is a worthy investment
The video conferencing market's tremendous growth demonstrated that businesses could switch online. Digital disruption allows you to adapt to modern security measures and change the way you manage the business.
The market offers all-purpose software that doesn't serve any particular trend or industry. Businesses have to use several solutions and struggle with external integrations.
The global video conferencing market is projected to grow from $6.28 billion in 2021 to $12.99 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 10.9% during the forecast period. These statistics clearly show that online collaboration is here to stay even after a pandemic. The numbers should make you think this kind of software seems to be a worthy investment.
People need more than just video calls. They need a solution that could kill two birds with one stone: cover in-house and external needs. If you're interested in building a custom video calling application, please reach out to us.
Frequently Asked Questions
The video conferencing app makes it great to have important features such as high-quality video and audio, schedule, collaboration features, video recording, and others. Also, the video collaboration app should be as simple and intuitive as possible.
The estimated budget for developing the best video conferencing app like Zoom is between $37,000 and $40,000.
Before you create a video calling app, you need to define your business goals, set minimum version features (MVP), build design mockups, and connect with experienced video conferencing software developers who can handle the rest.
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