Video chats in today’s information era have become integral to daily life, be it to build social communities, sell products, connect with family, or establish a virtual connection in healthcare, they have upped their game in every sector.
And honestly speaking, to include this real-time video calling feature in any chat system, a video API does wonders. As by doing so, lightens the hardship in building an application from the start.
Regardless of the industry, video APIs are in great demand.
What is a video API?
A video API is an application programming interface that allows you to embed video calling functionalities into your app.
It consists of pre-built video calling features like one-to-one or group video calls, in-call messages, video conferencing, streaming, broadcasting, scheduling a call, file sharing, push notifications, and more by enabling computer codes.
Further in this blog, we are going to discuss what video APIs can do, their uses, and more.
What are the Different Types of Video APIs?
A video API can be classified primarily into three types:
- Video streaming API
- Video platform API
- Video player/client-side API
Video streaming API: The video streaming API allows you to integrate video streaming functionalities with your new or existing apps. This API comes with pre-built features that help with video streaming, such as screen sharing, admin control, conferencing, etc.
Video platform API: The video platform API allows you to integrate video streaming functionalities into your app. It comes with specific features like video-on-demand, monetization, customization, etc.
Video player/client side API: The client side API allows for user-interactive features such as play/pause, seek to different types of video, volume control, switching to full screen mode, brightness adjustments, etc.
Why should you use Video API for your Business?
Video APIs are extremely faster to implement with your app than building it from scratch. Using a video API is the easiest way to add video-calling functionalities to your app.
An API in hand is as simple as ABC! True, because using a readymade video API is free to start, an individual developer is sufficient, can be integrated in minutes, easy to scale, and the list goes on.
Whereas, building a video chat app from the very beginning is practically difficult though some businesses might find it appealing.
But, get awe-struck with the benefits of a video API:
- Implementation happens in minutes or could stretch to 2 to 3 days.
- APIs have the ability to scale as per the business traffic.
- Reduced infrastructure costs, hosting costs, maintenance costs, and salaries of personnel.
- Comes with full security and GDPR compliance. Some come with HIPAA compliances too.
- API providers give added benefits along with codes, well-written documentation, and tech support.
- Video APIs can be used to develop any use case.
- They are completely flexible, reliable, and secure.
- Supports cross-platform integration that lets developers add video functionalities to any website, desktop app, mobile device, or any other platform.
- Include advanced features like virtual backgrounds, theme, fonts, noise cancellations, and moderations to your video chat app.
Well, the list above explains a few of the benefits of video chat APIs that help in boosting app engagement.
Features of a Video API
Here are a few features that video API offers to create a deeper and more personalized connection, starting from:
- 1-to-1 Direct and Group Video Calls – Dial a number to indulge in a one-to-one or many-to-many private chat.
- Video Conferencing – Lets multiple users connect with others in a single video call.
- Video Frame Capture – All the images captured via front and back cameras are displayed at a specific frame rate frequency for better video experiences. This frame rate frequency is expressed in FPS (frames per second)
- Secure File Sharing – Share files and other media securely during a video chat.
- Call Recording – Allows users in any channels or groups to record conversations for future use.
- Switch to Video Calls – Participants can switch back and forth from HD voice call to high resolution video calls during an ongoing session.
- Call Reconnecting – Call gets reconnected automatically when disconnected due to network issues.
- Low Latency – Streams data with maximum quality and without any delay.
- Call History – Users can keep a track of all the video calls made to-date using the search feature.
- Call Muting – Gives the privilege to the host to mute other users during a live video session.
- Incoming Call Notification – Users will be notified when a video call is received or missed.
- Metrics and Analytics – Learn how the app performs by measuring the number of active online users, offline participants, clicks, downloads, files transferred, session length, and more.
Now, that we have learnt the different use cases a video API caters to. It’s time to see which API best suits your business.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Video API
It’s a key requirement that you be clear about the pros and cons of using a video chat API, what important parameters to consider when opting for one, and their pricing levels. Below, we have discussed a few criteria leaving the other two for your homework.
We know that each web browser and mobile platform is different and so, it is required that the API you choose should be compatible to operate on the web, Android, and iOS platforms.
Usually, video APIs are built on top of the standard WebRTC technology that allows streaming of real-time video across different browsers without a need for plugins..
It is a major factor to consider when choosing a video API. At the onset, they must provide security standards like E2E encryption, AES encryption, and SSO credibility. And, there could be cases where APIs can be hacked. To avoid such a case, APIs should come in full compliance with GDPR and HIPAA to prevent any type of data breach.
From the outset, it is clear that businesses that offer live streaming look out for a way to manage their call bandwidth. And integrating a flexible video call SDK to a video chat can handle the bandwidth of a call and provide quality calls too.
UI and Design Layouts
Traditional or older APIs require developers to create a video-calling user interface. At the best, some offer kits that have not necessarily gone through testing and feedback cycles. Whereas, a full-featured video API gives you a drag-drop widget option taking care of the entire app’s UI. Along with this, they also let you do customizations.
Multi-tenancy mode helps prevent security-breach of data. When this mode is configured, users assigned to a team can connect and converse with users of the same team in their respective channels. They will not be able to connect with teams that they are not aligned with.
Well, here we are, at the end of the article. Hoping that this piece of information will help you kick-start your journey toward finding the best video API and SDK in the market. If you are still clueless about where to start, maybe this article would help you.
Before you wave, remember that an API should help your team hit their goals collaboratively. And, do not forget to check about the pricing options, because pennies are hard-earned!
Like our blog post? Write to us about what you felt was best or what could have been included.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is there any limit to how many participants can use the MirrorFly video?
There is no limit to the number of participants in MirrorFly self-hosted video SDKs. But there might be certain restrictions when you go with a monthly subscription plan. Talk with the salesperson to choose your best plan with a high number of participants.
When would a video API be necessary?
A video API is necessary in terms of building a faster and more responsive video call or chat app. The video API functionalities can be integrated in minutes with feature-rich APIs and SDKs. For any business looking to add video calling functionalities for promoting team collaboration, increased customer support, or conferencing, the video API is the best source.
What are the benefits of using video API?
The three major benefits of video APIs are
1. Increased productivity
2. Faster time to market
3. Cost and time-effectiveness in development
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