Looking to develop video chat app like Zoom? Here's the ultimate guide for developing video conferencing app

By Ruchir C., Monday, 05 April 2021

Online meetings or video conferences were not new to the world. Many video streaming Software was in use whenever required. However, with the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the subsequent lockdown, the use of such applications, especially Zoom has increased. Zoom is available on the mobile or laptop of almost every working personnel.

This sudden rise in the use of video conferencing application is because of the businesses trying to adjust to new working conditions by modifying their operations and helping staff to work with their atmos capacity and productivity from home. This is the way businesses are going to mitigate the impact of a covid outbreak on the business and to save people from the risk of getting infected.

A video conferencing Application like the Zoom application helps the staff to communicate online and conduct virtual meetings/conferences when they are operating from home. Demand for video streaming app Development has increased over a period of one year. The pandemic has been a challenge for almost all of us, but applications like these have helped businesses and individuals to overcome communication challenges. Some smart businesses have witnessed this sudden surge in the demand for applications like Zoom and are undertaking video conferencing App Development to leverage this trend. If you are a business or an individual that wishes to build an application like Zoom, then this article will give you in-depth knowledge that will be enough for you to make informed decisions.

How does a video conferencing application operate?

Let us understand the operations of any video conferencing Application with the example of Zoom. This application allows users to view high definition videos and sound. The app can handle till 1000 participants in one meeting. Participants to the meeting across the world can join it without much ado just with the help of an app and internet connection. The app allows users other convenience like turning off the sound/audio of the camera as and when they want. Sharing the screen of the computing device is also possible. All these features and more are provided to every participant of the meeting to offer maximum comfort. Here are a few of the features of the Zoom video conferencing Application that has helped in the rise of the application and its popularity:

Screen Sharing –

In the traditional meeting for presentation setup, the concerned members are present in front of you and they can see your presentation. However, not that most of us are working from home and connecting to the parties across the globe, it is not possible to see the presentation in person. Zoom has provided a solution to this through its Screen Share feature. This enables participants of the meeting to share the screen of their computing device with all the participants of the meeting without a cost or making any infrastructural arrangements.

Chat –

Zoom offers an integrated chat feature using which all the participants of the meeting can convrese with each other. They can communicate with individuals or message all the participants at the same time.

Mute Participants –

During the online meeting, if the host feels that any participant is making too much noise or he/she can mute that participant/participants.

Virtual Hand-Raising –

Just like in a traditional meeting or presentation setup, we raise a hand to excuse ourselves and express our opinion or raise a doubt, in the Zoom app participants can notify the speaker or the host of the meeting through a digital hand-raising icon. This makes conferencing apps like Zoom even more convenient and interactive. Plus, clutter in communication can be avoided by surpassing a scenario where multiple people are speaking at once.

Record Meetings –

This is another unique feature offered by Zoom meeting that allows the host to record the meeting and upload it to the cloud or store it in the computing device. This recording can be shared with other participants too.

Encryption –

As far as the security and privacy of the data or information shared during the Zoom meeting are concerned, the app protects it with an end-to-end encryption system in order to stop unauthorized access and prevent an unwanted person from joining the meeting. No one can join the meeting without the host permission.

Polls –

The host of the meeting can conduct an online or virtual poll during the meeting to understand what the participant’s think about a particular matter. The host can gather their responses by conducting a poll and make decisions accordingly.

As a business that wishes to use video streaming app Builder to develop applications like Zoom, you must be thinking that the app is offering some amazing features. However, you should also pay attention to the cost of building such apps. The cost of undertaking a video streaming app Development process depends on the features and functionalities you wish to offer in your application. On average, applications like Zoom can be developed at the cost present between $40,000 and $ 80,000. Plus, the video streaming app Builder you are using and the labour you have hired to complete the task also matters. This cost of labour will depend on the expertise of the labour and the location.

How does a Video Conferencing App Development work?

Here are a few of the important steps that you should follow while undertaking Video Conferencing App Development:

Backend Development – Development in the backend is possible at the beginning of the app development process if the app is built on a server from scratch rather than leveraging ready to use technologies.

User Interface Design

The UI of the video streaming Software decodes the way your users will be treated by the app. Hence, it is important to build a robust and appealing UI of an intuitive nature.

Compatibility to iOS and Android –

One of the best ways to boost your target market and reach a wider customer base is to develop an app that can run smoothly on both Android and iOS devices. Programming frameworks like Swift can help you or your team.

Apart from the above, there are two more crucial parts of Zoom's technology stack: One is the cloud network and the other is the video architecture.

The Cloud Network

Zoom video conferencing Application is closely monitored, controlled, and maintained by an expert team. The cloud network is a robust system of data centres that are interlinked via private connections. This robust connection network is supposed to offer global connectivity and help users across the world to communicate and interact with each other seamlessly. Zoom has more than 15 co-located data centres spread across the globe. This networking is expanding

Read the blog- How much is the cost to develop an app like Instacart, and what new ideas can you add-on.

Multimedia routing:

This means it is possible to deliver various video streams from meeting participants to the client’s device. This mitigates computing power needs and makes sure that highly scalable operations are possible. With multimedia routing, the application is able to handle 15x more participants than a regular MCU. Usually, MCU can support only up to 100 participants.

Multi-bitrate encoding:

In Zoom, streaming can adjust itself to multiple resolutions. Hence, there is no need to encode and decode the streams for every point separately. This boosts scalability and performance. With this, Zoom can offer different levels of video quality depending on the device and network strength.

The Video Architecture

Zoom architecture is optimized to manage dynamic video requirements. There are four important features that make Zoom stand out in the market on the basis of its back-end technology and cloud-native infrastructure:

Distributed architecture:

A decentralized approach is a key for Zoom. Its technological architecture allows Zoom meetings to be allocated across the data centre network. This makes it smoother and easier for users to join meetings via a private connection with the help of the closest data centre. This adds to the platform's scalability and offers a reliable video experience to up to 1000 participants of the same meeting.

Application layer quality of service:

Zoom uses a proactive application layer to optimize the audio-visual and screen-sharing experience as per the type of device and the present internet bandwidth. This helps in providing the best user experience across the networks.

What is the reason behind Zoom’s recent popularity?

There are many video streaming Software in the market. However, not every software is perfect to conduct group meetings that have a huge number of participants. While many other video streaming software supports a meeting of up to 10 participants, Zoom can deal with up to 1000 participants.

Yes, of course, there is no ‘one size fits all solution to make sure that your video streaming Software works smoothly, but Zoom has done something which has broken all the market doubts. The app is capitalizing on the increasing demands of the market that is in dire need of a solution through which it can conduct day to day communication and meetings smoothly.

Smart, new and old businesses, along with start-ups and individual entrepreneurs, are inspired by this highly boosted demand for video conferencing Application and are looking at this as a credible investment opportunity. These businesses are keen to undertake video conferencing App Development.

So let us find out how to develop an app like Zoom.

Choose a development or application platform

Even before the actual app development process starts, a business has to decide on the type of platform on which you wish to run the application. It helps in deciding the cost structure and required development tools, a time frame of the completion of the app, etc. Here, you have to ask yourself one important question, that is :

Do you want the application to run on laptop, smartphones, desktops or tablets? You can choose all these platforms and develop accordingly or you can choose one platform to host the application. You can decide the platform depending upon your objectives, business goals, target customer base, available budget, etc.

At present, there are two options. One is Native, another is web-based.

Native Apps

If you decide to go the native way, you can select the platform on which you can deploy the application. Usually, Android and iOS are backed by their own, distinct programming languages, Java and Swift/Objective-C, respectively. So the developer will have to develop a separate app for both iOS and Android platforms. The developers can also use a programming framework like React Native which can help in building apps that can run on Android and iOS devices, both.

Web-based Apps

Developers usually think of building this kind of application first. These apps can be accessed through any device. Plus, there is no need to use an extra third-party tool. Use of programming languages like JS, HTML is possible. Building the video conferencing app is easier using web-based apps. If you wish to make your app that can rock both computers and laptop markets this is perfect.

On the other hand, if you wish to provide more scalability to your app and more power to run effectively on the respected platforms, native apps make more sense. These apps also support legacy devices.

Progressive Web App

This is a fairly new concept that is gaining popularity in the IT world. It is a perfect blend of the best of the features of web and native.

Determine Video Chat App Features for your app

Once you are done with deciding the target platform on which you want to run your application, the next obvious step is to make a list of features that you wish your app to offer. These features will be your USPs and will help you to attract the target customer and sustain in the market. Depending upon your budget and resources available at the disposal, you can add the following features to the video streaming Software.

Chat

Video concerning will be an incomplete experience for the users if they do not have any other way of communication attached to it. Hence, chat. Integrated can't feature will allow participants to talk to each other individually or to the group at once. Can't during the call is crucial for better communication.

Pre-call Video Preview

Let the application users check the camera before they host or participate in the video call. Let them have an option of deciding whether to enable or disable the video if they wish so.

File-Sharing

Activities like conducting presentations or virtual meetings or conferences usually require the host to share important files with others. Exchange of media files or online documents during the meeting or video adds to the convenience. All these exchanges and sharing of data must take place in a secure environment.

Multi-party Conference

Any online conference app like Zoom can be successful only if the app can support more than two participants. A multi-party conference feature Developing such apps takes time and effort but this feature has to be there as it is the whole and soul of the application.

Recording

To be able to record meetings during the ongoing video call is important on many levels. If you wish to provide this feature to the users with the help of your video streaming Software, ensure that you offer a storage facility too. These recordings can be saved on the cloud or on computing devices too. However, while adding this feature to the application it is important that your development team pay extra attention to creating a secured environment to ensure users of complete safety of data and prevention of unwanted or ungranted access to any other party.

Desktop Sharing or Screen sharing

Having a screen sharing feature is core functionality that comes in handy when users are participating in the meeting or a host is conducting a meeting from remote work locations and has to share the data on the screens during the ongoing meeting with the rest of the participants. Educational meetings or meetings with technical details sharing can leverage this feature.

Filters or Icons

If the video streaming Software you are building is focused on supporting informal communication platforms, then having features like filters and emojis or icons is mandatory to keep users engaged and interested in the software. This tempts users to make more use of the application to communicate with others.

Whiteboard

If the education sector is the target, having a Whiteboard feature assists the initiator/host/professor/teacher to conduct classes and share information in graphical manner to make learning more entertaining, easy on mind and easy to grasp.

Mute Participants

Well conducting an online meeting the host cannot see all the participants in person and hence it is important to ensure that the meeting takes place without clutter, noise or unwanted communication and chit chat. To make this happen the host is given a feature that can allow him to mute all, or anyone, or a few specific participants, including himself.

Live Streaming

Live streaming on social media platforms is a growing trend. Using the live streaming option, users can stream live audio or video form of communication or talks. If the software is being used for business purposes then the user can stream conferences and meetings to a larger audience.

Virtual Hand-raising

This is a perfect way of raising a doubt or putting an opinion in the live meeting, especially when the participants are available in large numbers. It is the best way to let the host and others know that you wish to speak or convey your opinion on the ongoing discussion. This stops multiple participants from talking at the same moment and creating clutter.

Polls

Using a video conferencing application, the host can create a poll to understand the opinion of the participants on a particular matter. Poll features help the host together with the collective consensus and take decisions accordingly.

Know the Technology Stack

Be it a Music Streaming App Development or video conferencing app development, one you are done with the list of features and the platform of app deployment, it is time to think about the actual app development. So let us understand the development process.

Here are the basic steps that you must consider while developing the video conferencing application.

Step 1 – Back-end Development

In order to develop a video conferencing application like Zoom, you first need to determine how to create the required server part that can help in the proper functioning of the application. A ready to use BaaS can be helpful for some apps. However, video conferencing applications are more complex and you might need a robust toolkit to build your own server end-to-end. Back end activities must be performed accurately as it creates the base on which the whole application operates.

Step 2 – UI/UX Design

Once the back end activities are complete successfully, designing is the next step. The design of the application has to be crisp, appealing and user friendly. User interface and User experience play an important role here. The navigation used in the app must be simple and easy to understand and use. The user must quickly understand how the app works and start using it.

Development if a Video Conferencing Application might cost you the following:

When it comes to estimating the cost of the application, factors like location, features, complexity, labour, the expertise of the team, its size, the number of hours spent in app development, the platform on which the application will run, etc. play an important role.

Let us find answers to some crucial questions related to video streaming App development:

How should a team look like to develop a video conferencing application?

Your team must have a project manager, Android and iOS app developers, UI/UX designer, tester, etc with prior experience of developing an app like Zoom.

How to earn from video conferencing software?

Businesses can earn from paid video calls, premium subscription, advertising, advanced features, etc.

How to hire a developer for a video chat app?

There are many ways of hiring developers for a video conferencing application. You can use platforms like LinkedIn, etc.

Contact Us to Know More

Final Words

Video streaming software can be used not only in the corporate set up but also by common individuals to stay connected to friends and family when the geographical distance is present. Though the Zoom app has gained momentum in this pandemic, there is scope for other businesses to innovate and come up with a similar app with even better features and functionalities. Smart businesses acres the world are finding a way to enter this market and leverage the present growing demand.

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