The COVID-19 pandemic showed that flexibility and adaptivity are crucial for surviving in the modern digitalized world. One of the most substantial effects of the pandemic was a boom in remote work and lifestyle. Video conferencing apps became the only thing that kept employees of most companies together during this period. The statistics show a huge jump in downloading and usage of such products, especially Zoom and Skype.
Introducing your own application can become a very profitable investment due to favorable market conditions. However, the financial aspect of app development is quite tricky to calculate. This article will be helpful if you want to estimate the cost of building a video chatting app and learn more about the specifics of such solutions.
Must-Have Features of a Video Conferencing App in 2021
Before we start analyzing the costs of video calling app development, let’s clarify the basic features of such products. Before starting the project, you need to have a clear understanding of how to develop a video chat app. The project length and development hours highly depend on the functionality of your solution. You need to find and highlight something unique that none of your competitors have thought about.
Keep in mind that you should choose a feature set that corresponds to your monetization strategy. For instance, Zoom limits the duration of meetings and the number of participants. Besides unique features, it is necessary to add basic app features every user expects to see in a video calling app. Consider the following features for your custom app development.
- In-app and in-person chat
- Recording meetings
- Sharing the screen
- Scheduling meetings
- Muting audio and video of participants
- Compatibility with numerous devices
- Hand raising
- High-quality video and audio calls
- Notifications about upcoming events
- Virtual background and/or green screen
- Blocking noises
Not all of them are essential, but most users would be satisfied with such a feature set. After analyzing the market and deciding on the features, you should opt for the most suitable technology stack.
Steps to Create a Video Conferencing App
If you want to build an app from scratch, you need to realize that development involves numerous processes, including:
1. Back-End Development
This is the first stage of project development, and it is crucial. The first decision that influences the cost to make a video chat app is whether you develop a native or a hybrid application. Native apps are created for only one platform and have more robust functionality, but the development time is longer and requires more resources. For native applications, the most popular stack is Java, Kotlin, and Swift. On the other hand, hybrid apps can be used on numerous platforms. It optimizes the time-to-market and development effort, but sometimes you will need to compromise the features.
2. UI/UX Design
Attractive, intuitive, and lightweight design is necessary to keep the users engaged and improve their experience. Video chat apps don’t leave designers much space for imagination, but the basic principles are similar to any other application. Try not to overwhelm the interface with unnecessary elements and make the navigation logical. Pay attention to the video layout and chat visibility. These issues cause most user concerns.
This is an essential technology that enables real-time audio and video communication using simple APIs like RTCPeer connection or Media stream.
Keep in mind that the less widespread the technology is, the higher the developer rate will be.
Your Development Team is Your Key to Succeed
For end-to-end development, we suggest hiring an established team, not just freelancers. Hiring in-house employees would also be beneficial if you have enough resources and time. The app development team for video conferencing solution consists of:
- Back-end developers
- UI/UX designers
- Android and/or iOS engineers
- Project managers
- Testing specialists
The team size depends on the scheduled deadlines and project size. Moreover, if you choose an outsourced team, you can easily change the team to adjust perfectly to the project. This approach is more flexible, and in some cases, it can significantly reduce the development budget.
What is The Cost to Develop a Video Conferencing App?
It is impossible to estimate the total cost for developing your video chat application. The development process is complex and full of unpredictable factors that might influence the process itself and the final solution. First of all, you need to analyze the specifics of your project and discuss them with your development partner.
Here are our rough estimations for a product with Zoom-like functionality. Keep in mind that they highly rely on the developer rate (offshore outsourcing vs. in-house teams in the US have completely different rates) and the number of hours spent on the development. Let’s assume that you chose a developer team from Eastern Europe with an average hourly rate of $60.
Creating a UI/UX design takes nearly 150 hours. The lion’s share of time is spent on development – nearly 700 hours. Quality assurance can take nearly 40 hours. In this case, the cost will be nearly $48,000. But remember that the cost goes up with every feature you introduce.
Make sure to choose an experienced and trustworthy team who will suggest the most cost-efficient and beneficial technical solutions for app development. Selecting such a partner may cost more than an average company. Still, with their assistance, you considerably optimize the cost to create a video call app and save much development effort.
To Sum Up
The market of video conferencing solutions is experiencing a boom, and many companies have decided to create their own products because of the high demand. Keep in mind that the development costs depend on the features, approach, and developer rate.
There are many video conferencing app free available in the market which can help developers to design a better app with the minimum cost.