Video chat apps are proving to be indispensable tools for any type of business. A video chat app helps connect and network individuals on a larger scale than the standard chat rooms. These kinds of apps provide a wide array of advantages for businesses, from being more engaging than audio conferencing to providing more structure for meetings. But how do you build a video chat app? We will explore the steps in this article. And if you want everything to go smoothly, we strongly advise that you partner with a custom mobile app development company.

The Step-By-Step Guide To Building A Video Chat App

Here is a comprehensive step-by-step guide on successfully building a video chat app.

Step 1: Research About Your Users

Any good developer understands that it is crucial to know your users’ needs and expectations. Yet, this takes research, time, and in-depth market knowledge.

For instance, if your users are made up of individuals between the ages of 15 and 25, you know how important it is to include filters, stickers, and emojis in the app.

Similarly, if your target audiences are businesses, you may have to provide screen-sharing, high video quality, and data encryption features.

When you fulfill this step well, you can create an app that precisely meets the needs of your users rather than stuffing it with impressive yet unnecessary features.

Step 2: Know The Costs

Whether you seek to develop the app from scratch or integrate a software development kit or SDK, the overall costs vary and will depend on the features you will include.

If you want to keep the app basic and focus most of your efforts on the app’s video calling features, you can save costs on app development.

However, understand that costs may rise considerably if you want to integrate other features like group calls, text chat, screen sharing, and the like.

Step 3: Decide On The Development Direction

At this point, you already have an idea of your approach to your video chat app development. On the one hand, you can create the app from scratch, but note that this takes a lot of time and resources.

On the other hand, you could easily integrate an API or SDK into your app, thereby reducing costs and shortening the development cycle.

Step 4: Get To Know The Underlying Tech

However, not every API or SDK is compatible with your existing technology or app. Thus, it is vital that you first understand the underlying bandwidth and infrastructure required to transmit the video in real-time.

You can refer to several open-source projects that will allow you to evaluate whether they are suitable for your video chat app.

Step 5: Consider The App’s Design

At the end of everything, what matters the most is the user experience or the UI. While, at times, your app may already have an engaging UI, it might still require adjustments when integrating video call features into the existing app.

Having said this, you might need to be ready to redesign some areas of your application to integrate the planned video calling attributes.

Furthermore, you want to keep the UI as accessible and clean as possible without compromising functionality.

Video Chat Apps: Must-Have Features

We have previously stressed the importance of including only the necessary and functional features in your video chat app. What are some of these features?

1. Basic Features

First and foremost, video chat apps are applications that let users video call each other. This basic feature is the first thing you must develop. Then you can add the other important features.

2. Push Notification

Users need to know them via notifications whenever there is an incoming video chat call or text message. You must have this feature in your app.

3. Group Video Chat

This feature is essential for video conferencing applications. It allows several users to be on the same video call.

There are two major types of group video chat calls. The first is where there is one main speaker while the other users mainly listen. Think of a webinar. The second is a video chat where several users speak and listen.

4. Screen Sharing

This feature allows all participants in the video chat to share a screen that all the other participants will see.

This feature is almost basic for these kinds of apps – users who collaborate on a project may need to share content, whether a PowerPoint presentation, a document, and the like. Screen-sharing features are also fundamental for purposes of education.

5. Contact List 

Another essential feature in video chat apps is the contact list. Contact lists are not that complex to implement, but remember, you must make them efficient.

When users scroll through their contact list, they should be able to tap on a particular name and be able to start a call with them.

Similarly, while a video chat call is running, opening this contact list and adding more users to the chat should be possible.

6. Virtual Noise Cancellation

Since everything is happening virtually, virtual noise can be everywhere. A participant may participate in the video chat while commuting with the crowd or at home where other people are present.

Hearing virtual noise can be stressful during the call, but with a virtual noise cancellation feature, you can separate the users’ voices from the noise in the surroundings.

7. Text Messaging

Video chat apps may be about visuals, but participants can also text each other.

This feature is critical when users need to intervene in the ongoing conversation but do not want to interrupt the person speaking.

8. Custom Effects And Masks

This feature works best in recreational video chat app development, making the call even more fun. It also can make your software stand out from the rest of the market.

Why Invest In Video Chat Apps

Simply put, there is no better time to invest in video chat applications than today, when these kinds of apps are growing in demand.

During the first months of the pandemic, when office work became home-based, the need for video chat apps increased drastically. Plus, the worldwide mobile video chat traffic figures have been growing since 2020. These are expected to grow further up to the year 2028.

It is not yet too late to join the hype. Competition, of course, is high, but if you know the crucial steps, there will always be space for you in the market.