Video conferencing allows people to maintain audio-visual, real-time, two-way communication with colleagues, family members, and friends even when they are separated miles away.
Recent advancements in technology and especially faster internet bandwidth have allowed video conference to become a much more popular communication medium, and with the COVID-19 pandemic limiting physical interactions, many businesses and organizations have opted for video conferencing technologies to facilitate the increasing demands of remote working.
A video conferencing API essentially allows businesses to easily integrate video conferencing features into any existing service, website, and/or application. Thus, we can get a cost-effective way to add video conferencing, while also saving valuable development time.
What Is a Video Conferencing API?
A video conferencing API, as the name suggests, is a type of API (Application Programming Interface). An API, in turn, is an interface that defines interactions by providing a technical structure between multiple applications. In this case, a video conference API essentially allows an app to communicate with a video conferencing software, so the app can now use the video conferencing software’s functionality directly on the app.
By integrating a video conferencing API, we can easily and quickly add video conferencing to any API-supporting software and applications.
Iotum offers video conferencing and video chat API, and we can easily integrate it with an existing app to get high-quality audio and video conference with in-browser video access and zero downloads.
Video Conferencing API VS Building From Scratch
As we know, video conferencing can provide so many benefits in many different use cases, and in general businesses have three different options when they want to use video conferencing in their activities:
Using Third-Party Services
We can use ready-to-use third-party services like Callbridge to quickly and easily use video conferencing. Typically these options are now pretty affordable and easy to use, but to use all the features will involve a pretty steep learning curve (so you might need to train your employees beforehand).
The main downside of this option, however, is that you won’t get too much freedom in customizing the app according to your organization’s needs, and you can add custom logo/brand color, etc. for branding purposes.
Building from scratch
Another option is to build your video conferencing solution from scratch. If you have the manpower and/or budget, this can be a viable solution if you want a custom-tailored app with personalized features and/or branding.
However, obviously, it will take longer to build a solution from scratch, not to mention to test it properly before launching. Also, you’ll need to manage your own server and/or other infrastructures, and not to mention you need to ensure the app meets all your local compliance requirements and regulations to avoid future problems.
Integrating video conferencing API
Integrating a video conferencing API to your existing website and/or app allows you to get the best of both worlds: you can get the personalizations/customizations you’ve put into your app, and you can avoid the hassle of developing and running your own video conferencing solution.
Imagine using your existing app/website and get additional features provided by the API like:
- Screen sharing functionalities
- Messaging (audio/video chat)
- Various video conferencing formats
Obviously, you also don’t need to worry about data security when using a proper API, as most video conferencing APIs offer built-in security standards that will be automatically implemented during the integration.
What Are The Benefits of Video Conferencing for Business?
Video conferencing provides businesses with the closest possible alternative to face-to-face interaction, allowing employees to get the following benefits:
The core benefit of using video conferencing compared to other communication methods is the interactive interaction, the closest we can get at the moment to face-to-face interaction. We don’t need to commute through the rush-hour traffic to meet with clients or colleagues, and we can quickly use video conferencing during time-sensitive emergencies. In remote working situations, we can also use it to communicate with individuals in different time zones.
When compared to other forms of communication like email, text messaging, or audio calls, video conferences allow us to use facial expression cues and other interactive communication methods in the meeting, which can help in getting our point across during the discussion.
Cost and time efficiency
Travelling and commute can be expensive and obviously time-consuming in the long-run. Unless it’s absolutely necessary to conduct in-person meetings, video conference meetings can often be an adequate alternative.
You can easily record the video conference meeting, eliminating the need for lengthy meeting notes. This ensures that important points from the meeting are properly recorded, and we can easily share the recording with those who can’t join the meeting. In cases of disputes, we can easily review the meeting recording to clarify the issues. Some video conferencing APIs also provide the feature to generate live transcripts for easier and more convenient review later.
Accessibility for everyone
Advanced video conferencing APIs offer accessibility features like live captions, allowing those with disabilities to be able to participate in the meetings effectively.
Video conferencing can be used in various situations where remote training can be beneficial, for example when onboarding new employees or training remote workers.
By integrating video conferencing API into your existing app, video chat and conferencing have become more and more accessible. You can easily integrate your existing software and app that supports API with video conferencing features, allowing you to reduce the time needed to deploy the solution and ensure cost-efficiency while also providing you with customization and versatility of your own video conferencing solution.