Many things have changed since we have to face, everyone in our own way, the pandemic and its consequences. Some consequences were extremely serious; others had to do with our habits: our habits have changed, and a lot of this change has to do with technology: technology keeps us all connected while keeping social distance. Our way of shopping, our way of working, and our way of communicating have changed: video chat calls have become increasingly common, and, with time, they have become more and more advanced, allowing video conferencing without forcing people to travel.
What does it mean for developers or entrepreneurs? That video chat app can be a great business opportunity. In this article, we'll discuss how to make a video chat app, but we're also analyzing the market to understand why and how you can launch this new business.
Why invest in video chat apps?
Simply put, now it's time to invest in video chat apps because the demand for this kind of video calling app is growing. In the first months of the pandemic, the search for video conferencing apps was already increased by 500%, and the global mobile video chat traffic numbers have been growing since 2020. They are expected to grow even further up to 2028! This means that it's not too late to enter this business! Competition is, of course, already high, but if you narrow down your niche and understand what your audience needs for the video conferencing and video calls, there is space to enter the market successfully!
Adding a video conferencing chat feature in an existing app
The demand for video chat apps is also a growing demand for video chat features. The use of existing apps could be improved by adding video chat features to them. Investing in a video chat app, that is, doesn't only mean that you need to create a new conferencing app, for example; it could also mean that you could create a video chat feature for your existing app or a video chat feature that other developers can easily integrate into their apps.
Video chat apps and video conferencing apps
The technology of video calling isn't only important because it allows users to speak to their family and friends from a distance. On the contrary, video calling is even more essential in a business environment.
Video conferencing apps are becoming exceptionally important: people don't seem ready to return to the old habits when we used to travel to a conference or go physically in class to attend a course. Video conferencing apps allow people from around the world to share a virtual environment and video conferencing in a virtual office. This is one more reason to invest in chat video conferencing apps these days: the technology you develop can have so many applications.
Applications of a video chat feature
- Video calling: the first thing we all think of when we think of a video chat app is common video calling. We all used video calling apps during the pandemic to get in touch with our family and friends, and we are all still using them.
- Education: video calling technology became very important during the pandemic to allow students to keep attending classes. Of course, these kinds of video calling apps are more complex than simple video calling ones: they need to manage more users within the same call. Still, as we're about to discuss, they are easier to manage than a video conferencing app.
- Conferencing: as mentioned, video calling has become very important in the working and business environment, allowing colleagues and collaborators to keep in touch most efficiently. Video conferencing apps are even more complex than those used for education because they not only need to allow many users in the same call, but they also need to allow all of them to participate efficiently in the conversation.
How to create video chat apps and features
Now that we've discussed how profitable it could be to create video and video conferencing apps as a business idea, we can move on to discuss how to do it. There are two main ways of creating video conferencing and video chat apps: doing it from scratch or using a video chat app development tool. Video conferencing app development can be very challenging, and we are about to discover why; for this reason, using a video calling app development tool can ease the process, making it more efficient and optimizing the cost.
Video app development from scratch: the challenges
If you create a video chat app from scratch, you will need tons of resources in terms of infrastructure and budget. The resource requirements will be even higher if your application is a video conferencing app. In particular, you'll need a big and powerful server located somewhere in the world, with bandwidth and capacity capable of managing all the traffic coming and going through your video-conferencing application. Infrastructure like this has a very high price!
Long development process
Creating a video chat app from scratch would require more time than using a video calling app development tool. When the development process starts from scratch, after all, it always requires more time, energy, and skills than when you use a video chat app development tool. Furthermore, a longer development time also means higher costs.
Video app development with an app development tool: the advantages
Using a video chat app development tool has lower costs than facing a development process from scratch. The reasons are several:
- Time is optimized, and less time means lower costs
- You'll need fewer developers: it also means lower costs.
- You'll need fewer collaborators (different from developers): top-quality video chat app development tools have integrated features that allow you to plan, market, and monetize the video chat app you create with them. It means that you can take anything under control, needing to hire fewer experts in the different fields.
As we've mentioned, it's not only important to create audio-video conferencing apps but also to implement video conferencing tools in existing applications: this is all easier with a video chat app development tool.
Because video chat app development tools have many integrated features, you manage aspects other than development: marketing is one of these.
A video chat app development process never happens for the sake of it: it's a business idea, which means that monetization is one of your challenges. How do you actually earn money out of your video conferencing application or video conferencing tool? It would help if you monetized it: you can provide a subscription plan, or you could display ads to users while they use your application. In both cases, you need to implement monetization models, and it's easier to do so with a video chat app development tool.
We don't speak of upgradeability so far. This is a topic that has a lot to do with competition: because the competition in the video conferencing chat application is so high, your development work is never done. You need to keep upgrading features to maintain the app efficiently and to provide users with new features they may find useful. Of course, if you use a video chat app development tool, upgrading features and code would be easier than if you don't have a support platform.
Bonus: most recommended app development tool
The video chat app development software tool that allows you to exploit all the advantages that we've mentioned above is AppMaster.io. Besides having all the mentioned features, it also has a user-friendly interface that makes the development and management, planning, and marketing process easier and more efficient.
Create a video chat app: everything you need to consider
Once you have decided between developing from scratch and developing with a development tool, it's time to start planning your development journey and turn your business idea into an actual business. With video chat applications, there are two main aspects to consider: the infrastructure you need and the features to provide.
When it comes to infrastructure, there is one main decision that you need to take before starting developing. You need to pick between:
- Creating a cloud infrastructure (as-a-service)
- Self-hosted endpoint infrastructure. Self-hosted infrastructure has a higher cost and will require a dedicated team only to maintain it. Cloud infrastructure can optimize the costs and ease the process.
This is probably the core of your development process. It would be best if you started creating an application with certain available features. What kind of features would you need to implement?
Must-have features for video conferencing and video chat application
A video chat app is, first of all, an application that allows users to video call each other. This is the first thing you need to develop; then, you can start to add features to make your video conferencing app unique. And what are these features?
If a video chat call arrives or a text message, the user needs to know with a notification: you need your application to notify incoming video calls and texts.
Group video chat
This is essential for video conferencing apps. Group video chat allows many users to be in the same video call. There are two main types of group video chat calls:
- One where there is one main speaker, and the other users are mainly listeners: this is easier to obtain (it's a sort of live streaming, except it's private), and it's the one that is used in education environments, where there is a teacher speaking and student listening. Listener users, like students, however, need to have a way to interact: it could be through a video chat or the possibility of intervening in the conversation.
- A video calling where there are many users, all active speakers, and listeners. This is what you need if you are developing a video conferencing application for business workers. Video conferencing, after all, means to share a virtual common space where anyone can participate in the conversation (this would be the basic feature, but there are many other things, as we're about to see, that you can allow your users to share during their video conferencing).
The screen sharing feature is the one that allows all the participants at the video conferencing call or simple video chat call to share a screen: one (or more) screen would be displayed and seen by all participants. This feature is almost basic for video conferencing apps: users that collaborate on a project need to share content, whether it is a presentation, a document, or other. Besides video conferencing apps, screen sharing is also fundamental for educational purposes.
This is another essential feature in all video chat apps. Video conferencing apps, common video chat, or e-learning platforms would need a contact list. Contact lists aren't that complex to implement: but you need to make them efficient. When users scroll down their contact list, they need to tap on one name and be able to call them. In the same way, while a video chat call is already happening, opening the contact list and adding another user to the video chat call should be just as easy.
Virtual noise cancellation
This is particularly important for video conferencing apps: remote work can become very stressful if the conversation is not clear- Virtual noise cancellation is an algorithm that can separate users' voices from environmental noise, lowering the latter so that the conversation is clearer. If you want to bring your video conferencing app to another level, implementing virtual noise cancellation is the way to do it.
Video chats are called this because other than seeing each other and speaking to each other; users can also text each other. However, this feature becomes even more important in video conferencing apps and video chat apps used for education, where users can intervene in the conversation with a text message and interact through a chat without interrupting the person who is speaking.
Custom mask and effects
For recreational audio-video app development, that is, when the application you are creating is one user use to just talk to friends and family, the use of custom masks or effects can make the audio-video calling more fun. This is something that can make your video app stand out from the competition, and this is always important from the business point of view.
Create an audio-video app for video calls: a step-by-step guide
Research the market
We've already provided some insights about the audio-video chat market, but what you need to do in this first stage of your business app development journey is to search for your users. As we've seen, there are different types of video chat apps, each of which is used by certain categories of people (students, business workers, teenagers, and families…). You need to know who you will target with your business so that you know what direction your app development process will take.
Consider your budget
First of all, you need to evaluate the costs because otherwise, you won't be able to evaluate the profitability of your business. Then, your budget will affect the resources at your disposal: the number of developers you can hire, the infrastructure you can purchase, and so on.
Plan your app development process
This article is very useful for this purpose: once you know what kind of audience to target with your business idea, you know what features your video chat app will need.
App development phase
Now it's time to implement all your features in your chat video app or your video conferencing tools in your existing app. Do not forget that your business idea could also be to provide video conferencing tools to third parties. The demand is so high that this type of app development can be profitable.
Pick the monetization model
As we've mentioned many times in the course of this video, your app development process is business-oriented because, of course, you want to make money out of it.
Therefore, you need to understand how to monetize your chat video app or video conferencing tool. You have three main options:
- Providing the application for free and display ads during the calling (this is not ideal for video calling apps because ads interfere with the call itself)
- Asking for payment for downloading the app or tool. This is the ideal monetization model if you are providing other developers with a video conferencing tool.
- Requiring a monthly subscription: this is ideal for video calling apps. It requires users to pay a small fee every month to use the application
Market your video chat app
When your video chat app is ready, your monetization model is implemented, and it's time to let users know about your application. Marketing is the core of business: if anyone knows that your video chat app exists, no one will download it. Furthermore, suppose anyone knows how it is better, more fun, more suitable for video conferencing purposes, or - in general - what makes it unique or better than the competition. In that case, nobody is going to download it.
In this article, not only do we've shown you how to create video chat applications but also how to transform them into a profitable business. We've also provided information about optimizing the development process and the costs. In this regard, it's worth repeating that using an app development tool can be key to making your process more efficient, lower the cost, and be soon ready to start making a profit.