How to Make a Video Calling App Like Zoom and Google Meet?

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Video calls have become an integral part of modern communication. In the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic alone, search impressions for website and video conferencing software increased by 500%. The video calling app development industry continues to grow at an incredible rate for both business and personal use.

 

Global volumes of mobile video traffic are growing every year. By 2022, it is estimated to be 60,889 petabytes per month. In 2020, that number was 29,149.

By 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely. It means 87% more than before the pandemic. Moreover, 79% of employees believe videoconferencing is as productive or more productive than face-to-face meetings. Besides, 76% of startup founders reported that productivity either remained or increased as a result of working remotely during the pandemic.

If you are planning on launching a new product and are curious about finding out how to make a video calling app, this article may help you. We will provide a quick overview of the market, highlight the most popular existing solutions, list the important and main features, and guide you through the main steps in the development process.

Who dominates the video chat app market?

In most cases, video chat apps are instant messengers that use high-quality video recording capabilities. At the same time, some chats don’t have text messaging just only video. In other words, there are numerous video chatting solutions currently on the market. We will give you a quick overview of the most popular ones as we go along. Right now, let us figure out first what types of applications are there.

Types of Video Calling Apps

 

Video Conferencing Apps
Video Conferencing apps are the most widespread ones. This type of app is generally created for large meetings involving many participants. It is mainly helpful for business, in the work setting, and in school. Since the video conferencing app is used by many participants at the same time, it is important to make sure that the video and audio quality of the app are good. Aside from that, the app should automatically adjust according to the user’s internet connection speed for a better experience. Both Skype and Zoom are popular when it comes to video conferencing even though there are a few things that can be improved in the future.

Video Calling Apps
Video Calling Apps are in second place. Applications with the primary function of instant messaging such as Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber are also capable of video calls. Though it cannot be used with a large number of participants in one call, it is also helpful in certain circumstances for both work and personal use.

Entertaining Apps
Entertaining Apps are a bit less well-known than the first two types. These fight boredom and give the possibility to communicate at the same time. It’s an excellent variant for the group of friends as they can chat while playing games. A good example of this is Discord, where gamers can launch video and audio calls while streaming online games with friends.

Top Solutions in the Market

Ok, now we are familiar with types of video calling apps. Let’s move on and discuss the top solutions out there today. Most of them need no introduction. So, here we go:

  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp was launched in 2009 as an instant messaging app and became popular almost immediately. In 2020, WhatsApp users sent 100 billion messages a day. UVP WhatsApp allows businesses to create business profiles and communicate with users.

Number of DAU: 1 billion

  • Google Duo
    This has been considered as one of the best video chat applications since its recent launch. Google Duo has great features including video calls with up to 12 people, can be used by both Android and iOS devices and can be used as an instant messaging application.

Number of DAU: 1 billion installs on Google Play

  • Zoom
    Though it has been popular amongst users before, Zoom has continuously grown in March not just for professional use, but also for personal video calls since it supports all platforms and different devices. It can also be used by as many as 500 participants in one session with its premium plan.

Number of DAU: 12.9 million

  • Google (Hangouts) Meet
    Google Meet is Google’s enterprise web video conferencing solution for G Suite users. This is paid online conferencing software provided as part of G Suite. Meetings can be held via voice call or HD video call with up to 250 participants.

Number of DAU: 120,000+

  • Discord
    Discord is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) application that resembles a mixture of Slack and Reddit with text, voice, and video messaging features. The key advantage of Discord is that it is not limited by the number of users, and all other limits are high enough for comfortable use.

Number of DAU: 14 million

  • Messenger from Meta
    The app and website is an instant messaging service that connects to the Facebook database and has replaced the Facebook messaging service in the app. This allows Facebook users to connect and send instant messages, photos, videos, and other tasks.

 

Is it worth investing in video calling app development?

The size of the global video conferencing market was estimated at $4.21 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.4% between 2021 and 2028. Besides, the global web conferencing market is expected to grow by approximately $19 billion by 2025. The demand for developing video calling applications is huge. Thus, it generates an offer.

For instance, Zoom, one of the well-known video conferencing apps, generated $2.6 billion in revenue in 2020, posting a 317% year-on-year growth. Hopin, another video conferencing app, is now valued at $7.75 billion. It raised $450 million in funding in 2021. That same year, Discord raised another $500 million. Video calling applications continue to grow. The major platforms are encouraging this growth. In 2021, Zoom launched a $100 million development fund to support startups that build additional tools based on the Zoom platform.

Here are some other interesting numbers that characterize the video calling app industry:

  • 45% of teams use video calling tools daily or weekly.
  • 80% of employees use video for 1:1 meetings.
  • 67% of employees say they are more likely to participate in a meeting than via video conferencing.

According to studies, remote work and learning will continue to thrive and be used even after the pandemic. This means that video calling app development is a great opportunity as early as now to generate more profit in a rapidly growing market.

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What Industries Use Video Conferencing?

You are unlikely to deny that today there is at least one industry in which this technology will be irrelevant. Thus, before you start video chat app development, you need to understand who your target audience is. The following are the main industries using video conferencing software.

✔ Education
The e-learning model helps universities, schools, and individuals create learning opportunities for students around the world. Online learning is not just for high school, college, and university students. Many organizations have adopted e-learning in the workplace during 2020 and plan to increase spending on video conferencing solutions in the future. Even though e-learning has become popular not so long ago, it is already an integral part of corporate training. Through e-learning, companies hire new employees, train employees, educate clients, and instruct franchisees.

✔ Healthcare & wellness
Video conferencing solutions in healthcare have never been so popular. Not surprising. They fill gaps in health care, such as poor access to health services for the elderly and the disabled, as well as people living in remote areas. In addition, with telemedicine, patients do not have to wait in the doctor’s office or travel long distances to access medical services. Telemedicine technologies connect patients immediately with doctors or allow patients to make appointments at the right time.

✔ Gaming
With social distancing intensifying, gaming streaming platforms like Discord and Twitch are booming and their popularity is expected to remain high. Statista says that the number of people using gaming networks worldwide will reach 112.4 million by 2024. Streaming apps allow users to watch anything from musical performances to cooking videos and Q&A sessions, as well as communicate directly via text, voice, and video calls. However, gaming is a key priority for these services.

What are the main features of a video calling application?

Before starting the development process of a new product, we always recommend analyzing the existing solutions and see what we can improve on and do better. It is always best to brainstorm and come up with the widest possible list of features that can potentially be needed for your future application. With this list, you will already have a basis for your future backlog.

We have analyzed the most popular solutions in the market and have collected the list of main functions. For your convenience in our mind, we have divided it into those that need to be developed first and those functions that you can do after receiving the investment.

 Must-Have Features (For MVP Development)

It is best to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) video chat app in order to understand and oversee what the product lacks and how to improve it. Let’s overview the basic features of video chat application development.

Registration
The user’s behavior towards the registration process has changed over time. Therefore, it is important to make sure that registration is optional or at least easy and quick. The best variant is to allow users to choose between three methods of registration: via social media accounts, via the phone number, or using an email address.

Registration feature
 

User Profiles
A basic feature for users is being able to manage their personal data and the sharing options they have. Some options include a short bio, geolocation, image display, and phone number. It is also good to have integration of the in-app purchase tools that enable users to pay via their credit card.

User Profiles in video calling app
 

Contact List
This feature needs to have two functions: searching contacts for easy navigation and importing contacts from the user’s phonebook or social media accounts.

Contact List feature for video chat application
 

Text Chat
Even with video call apps, having a chat or instant messaging option is important. It can be utilized for scheduling the video conference, confirming participants, and other communication needs that do not always require calling in the first place.

Text Chat for video calling app
 

Video and Voice Calls
Having the option to make a call with or without a video is a great feature to have. This can particularly be helpful especially to those who just need audio or voice calling options. Aside from the fact that it is essential in the workplace, it can also be best utilized for personal use especially for families in different parts of the world.

Group Calls
Having the one-to-one call feature is great but having the option to have group calls and conferences is even better. It can be easier to use for business and corporate setting needs so having at least 50 participants per call is enough and can make a huge difference in your app compared to others. Add some key features like the possibility to mute/unmute, invite or ban users. People need these functions to make their conversations more comfortable.

Video Group Calls in the application
 

✔ Schedule meetings
Scheduling tools usually let you plug in your own calendar, automatically detect when you’re busy and when you’re free, and let other people choose the time in your schedule that works best for them.

User Status
User status is a must-have feature. It helps identify if a person’s companion is busy, available, away, or idle. People need to see the status of each other to find the best time for conversation.

Security
Make sure that the communication app is supported by encryption. The encryption process begins at the sender’s point and the decryption starts with the recipient’s address. When you have encryption, this assures the security of users’ contents and prevents data theft.
Behind Zoom’s popularity, it is often criticized because of security problems that include users’ data leaks. Therefore, database security, passwords, and users’ information protection and encryption are crucial.

Сall Recording
This feature allows its users to record their outgoing and incoming calls. There are several good reasons why you might want to record their calls. How many times have we recorded an important call only to wish it was recorded later? After all, you never know when such records may come in handy.

Advanced Features:

Here are some features that are necessary for creating a full-fledged video chat application. Some of them related to outstanding products. Study this list! Probably you would like to include to your app some of the following functions:

Data Backup
It is essential to have a data backup or automatic backup feature in your app in case the user accidentally deleted important information. You may have the option to let users choose the automatic backup function, or they can manually back it up on their own.

Push Notifications
Having push notifications improve user engagement in the application. This is helpful for users as they receive the latest updates, chat invitations, and new messages.

Screen and Desktop Sharing
Having the screen sharing option is vital especially these days as it makes a presentation in meetings and learning amongst students easier and more feasible to do. This also helps increase the efficiency of communication and enhances the user experience.

Screen Sharing option in video calling app
 

Background Changing
More on the entertainment and virtual socializing side, but having this option clearly widens the reason why users would keep using your app. It does not just stop using it for work or school but also paves the way in using it for personal matters. Aside from that, it is a clever idea especially when users do not have good backgrounds at home.

Background Noise Suppression
Background noise is inevitable, and it can be distracting whenever users have virtual meeting setups. Having the option to integrate noise cancellation in your app is a great help and relief for users. This may be a little challenging in the development process, but there are AIs such as Krisp that can be integrated into your app as a turn-key solution.

Emojis and Stickers
Sometimes, even in a formal setting, emojis and stickers are useful. However, having an option to create custom emojis and stickers is also an advantage of your app as it can also increase the number of users in the future.

Emojies in video chatting app

Mega Features for 2022

🔝 AR-Powered Meetings
One of the main pitches that Meta offered with its rebranding was the use of ‘metaverse’ technology to improve the way that we work through teleconferencing and hybrid meetings. The ultimate goal of this is to break down the barriers of traditional Zoom video conferencing and bring the third dimension back into the conversation, as well as human expression and inclusiveness. Thus, AR is going to be a key feature of the video conferencing app.

🔝 Blockchain
Since data breaches are occurring all over the world on a massive scale, people are trying to stay away from apps for fear of privacy being invaded. When applications are developed with Blockchain, it can increase data privacy, making applications more secure. Its encryption method is considered impenetrable because all data is encoded and stored using a cryptographic hash. And with decentralized architecture, there’s less risk of third-party apps causing havoc.

🔝 Whiteboard Camera System
This is an advanced camera system that allows you to attach your own board. The application system will allow the speaker to broadcast the contents of the whiteboard via video conference. Thus, users will be able to download the contents of the interactive whiteboard and receive all the important information they need during the meeting.

Once you have already decided on the features and integrations you need, it is now time to start the development process.

How to Make Your Own Video Calling App Step by Step

There are several standard stages when it comes to the development process for different mobile applications. We will describe each stage in as much detail as possible, from the point of view of our expertise.

1st Step: Conduct the Market Research

Work on the app creation starts with research. It is a crucial part of the beginning to the end of your video chat application development. This is where deciding the purpose of your application, the target market, and the audience, and the preferred platform comes.
This is the part wherein you will decide if the app you’re going to create is for single users or for business purposes. It is also where the functionality, monetization, geography, and demographics are thought of as these factors affect the features and platforms of the app moving forward.
We have already given you a short overview of the video conferencing app market above. However, launching a successful product means going deeply into both market trends and future competitors.

2nd Step: Define Your Niche and Target Audience

Knowing and understanding who your target audience is, is important in the success of your video chat application. If you know your target audience well enough, you will understand what they want and need–and you will be able to offer exactly what they are looking for.
At this stage, it is important to note the expectations that your end-users might have from your video chat application.
Since video call apps now are a growing trend, expect a rise in the number of apps of the same type that will surely appear on the market. Therefore, we strongly urge you to carefully consider the business strategy you should have and pay attention to the detailed portrait of your end-user.

3rd Step: Collect Your Feature List

Of course, video chat MVP features are enough especially for those who are just starting since it is faster and cheaper. Having a list of the most basic features will allow you to understand the amount of work you need to put in before launching your app. Aside from that, it will also give you a heads up on what you need to improve on or what you need to add compared to your competitors.
Based on your target audience, you have a base idea of the necessary functions you must have in your app.

4th Step: Create an Awesome UI/UX Design

The design of your video chat app is incredibly important but keep in mind that it should not be too overwhelming or over the top. Simplicity is the key. So users need to navigate through the app intuitively without overthinking what they should do. The design should match your target audience and the objective of your app as well; being straightforward when it comes to the design and functionality is good.

5th Step: Prepare Project Specification and Choose Contractors

Once you are ready, it is now time to bring the project to life and find a software development team that will help you. You can either augment your in-house team of developers for your company or hire an outsourced team from other countries.

6th Step: Choose the Tech Stack

There are various options when it comes to which tools to use in building your video chat application. You can build each part on your own, choose SaaS software and external services that provide APIs that you can then smoothly integrate into your application.

Do note that the tech stack may vary depending on the set of features you choose to have in your app and the needs that are determined by the scale of your project.

Here is a comparison table of ready-made APIs and the app built from scratch development:

 

7th Step: Start your MVP Development

After passing through all the stages, this is where you need to decide what approach you would use in building the app and organize the development process.
Here are a few points worth addressing:

Reliable Backend-Development
This is where the development process determines the functional core of the app and how it should perform. The app must be able to deliver high-quality service even though it is loaded with data.

WebRTC Integration
Video-based applications have the need to apply WebRTC–a technology supporting real-time communication in both desktop and mobile systems through a wide range of APIs. WebRTC helps implement peer-to-peer without needing a third-party web server as it transmits media content.

SDKs and APIs

Software Development kits and Application Programming Interfaces play a huge role in building a video calling app. Both make the development process easy and quick.

  • Twilio – this helps provide engagement APIs needed for the harmony of workflow and communication.
  • Vonage Video API – this aid in connecting to the session, publishing streams to sessions, and subscribing to streams in sessions.
  • Wowza GoCoder SDK – this is perfect for video conferencing as it is easy to use and flexible for end-to-end live-streaming.

8th Step: Test

Make sure that your code works as it should. That’s why after all the development you have put through, it is necessary to test the application. It is key to check the code for bugs and several inconsistencies to prevent future problems and provide an amazing experience for your users.

9th Step: Launch & Support

The next step is to launch your app in app stores for easy access. It’s also important to invest time and resources in getting feedback and using it to make customer-centric changes.

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Video Chat App Monetization Strategies

The main purpose of creating a video chat is to generate profit. We’re written several ideas on how to create a video chat app and earn money:

1. Advertising

Through advertising, you can collaborate with other brands having the same target audience as yours. This gives you an opportunity not just to interact with potential users but also with brands.

There are several models: cost per click (CPC), cost per mile (CPM), cost per action (CPA).

  1. CPC means that advertisers pay you every time a person interacts with the ad.
  2. If you choose CPM, it means that advertisers will pay for every 1000 interactions.
  3. CPA model assumes that the advertiser pays for each specified action like installing the app or subscription for the company’s newsletter.

2. Premium Features

There are a ton of premium features you can opt to have in your apps such as customization, stickers, and a lot more. This gives your users a better experience and a reason to pay your company for the product.

3. Paid Video Calls

You can give the opportunity to use video chats for free for some period of time. People who want to use the app longer should pay.

4. Freemium app

It means that the free version has some limits. Like the number of members of the online conversation, the length of the call, etc. But if a user buys a premium version, all restrictions will be removed.

How much does it cost to make a video calling app?

Many factors affect the cost of your video chat app development. There are some you might want to consider:

  • An app development platform that you chose, e.g., iOS, Android, or cross-platform presence
  • The people that make up your team. Ideally, the team should include a project manager, iOS developers, Android developers, backend developers, business analyst, UX/UI designer, and QA engineer
  • The features included in your app
  • The rates of each member of your team depending on their skills and expertise
  • The project tech stack you choose

Here is a table with a rough estimate:

FeaturesApprox development time, hours 
1. Project Start
Initial backlog preparation4
Project Schedule Preparation2
Staging environment setup6
2. Development Section (Mobile)
Basic Features
Registration40
User Profiles70
Contact List40
Text chat60
Video and Voice Calls100
Group Calls80
User Status40
Security110
Schedule meetings60
Сall Recording90
Advanced Features
Data backup60
Push Notifications40
Screen and Desktop sharing60
Background Changing120
Background noise suppression 100
Emojis and Stickers40
3. Stabilization and Delivery
Prepare deployment docs10
Prepare description docs14
Prepare Android build10
Prepare iOS build10
4. Project Management
Backlog elaboration and maintenance10
Planning meetings, review meetings10
Project Management and communication20
Quality Assurance, hours:289
Total Development, hours:1154
Project Management, hours:52
Total: 1495

 

We offer web development services starting at $34.50 per hour and extended team & staff augmentation $4800 monthly. Feel free to contact us via email: andrew.gromenko@code-care.pro or via the contact form to get an accurate estimate.

What Technologies You Should Choose

When developing a video chat application from scratch, you should decide on the technical stack, including programming languages, frameworks, databases, and encryption protocols. We would like to draw your attention to the streaming protocols that you can use when developing your application, as they are at the heart of the video application and determine its capabilities.

Here is the list of the technologies we recommend to select:

Programming Languages: React Native
Frameworks: Node.JS
Databases: MySQL
Cloud Platforms: Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3
API & SDK: Twilio, Vonage Video API, Wowza GoCoder
SaaS Solutions: Krisp, PubNub, OpenTokRTC

Do note that the tech stack may vary depending on the set of features you choose to have in your app and the needs that are determined by the scale of your project.

Our Expertise

At Code&Care, we have a strong experience of pleasing users with powerful and engaging calling apps. Here are two of them that our team is proud of.

Moxie Girl
MoxieGirl is a motivation planning platform for teen girls with key ideas such as setting goals, chatting in groups or personally, sharing results in different social networks. The Code&Care team added a video calling function with mentors, and group video chats.
The tech stack: Node, React, Redux.

Video chat app case study
 

eCare Nordic AB
eCare Nordic AB is a video calling healthcare application that provides customers easy access to booking and having a video or voice-only call with doctors. The key features include user-friendly, simple, and intuitive design with maximum protection for user data.

Ibis
Ibis is a web application related to the healthcare industry that connects doctors with patients. Within the application, each user has a dashboard where it is possible to book an appointment, check the calendar schedule, have a video call, check the invoices and pay via the payment gateway.

To get professional advice, do contact us, and we will consult you for free on a cost estimate of your project.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You may still have questions

A video calling app requires a list of the following features: registration, user profiles, contact list, text chat, video and voice calls, user status, security, etc.

Everything depends on the complexity of the project. The minimum required time is around 300 hours for an MVP.

A video calling app development includes several stages: conduct the market research, define your niche and target audience, collect a feature list, create a UI/UX design, prepare project specification and choose contractors, choose the tech stack, start the MVP development, test.

The final price of a video calling application development may vary from around $9,000 for MVP to $17,000 for a complex project.

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