Conference calls are now the things of the past as we have got more digitized platforms that make people-to-people communication seamless and super-easy. Video call apps have become a global platform for communication that connects people from any part of the world. Many companies have opted to build a video chat app to provide better connectivity to people.
We have powerful video calling platforms like Skype, Apple Face Time, Google Duo, Zoom, and Houseparty that allows people to seamlessly connect with other people and talk to them face-to-face for hours.
According to Statista, downloads for video calling apps have shown more than 100% increase globally amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Video chat app development is becoming popular with people finding video chat as an effective and safer means of communication.
What is Houseparty?
It is one of the popular real-time video chat applications that one can use to connect with friends and family. Users not only connect with dear ones using Houseparty, but they can also play online games with this app without even downloading those games on their devices.
Additionally, the app allows users to create private virtual chat rooms to connect with specific people. Users can organize virtual parties and add friends to the party. So, there are a lot of amazing features and functionalities that come with the Houseparty app for users.
Popular video calling applications that are setting a new trend in the market
What does it take to create a video chat app like Houseparty?
If you are looking to invest your money and other resources in a project that will yield higher returns; then putting those resources in developing a video chat app like Houseparty can be a profitable choice today. Video chat apps are setting new milestones with people finding a new way to meet and stay connected. Also, the employees of a company can conduct video conferences using such apps. Let’s go through the process of creating such an application that will satisfy every need of the end-users and your business.
1. Find the target audience
When it comes to mobile app development, an important phase is to find the people for whom you are developing the app; and this group of people is known as the target audience of your app. Hence before you start developing your video chat app firstly you need to understand your target audience. The audience may be Gen X or Gen Z or Millennials or all of them.
By identifying which group of people you want to target, will help you determine the right design of your app, future marketing strategies, and many other aspects of your video chat application. The choice of features and functionality in your app also depends on the target group of people. For instance, if you want to target millennials then developing an app like Viber that offers varied stickers and filters can help reach a larger audience.
2. Know the competitors
If you want to create a successful video chat app, then knowing and understanding your competitors in the market is a crucial step. So start with complete research to know about every competitor, their products, and marketing strategy. However, knowing about the competitor’s products and strategies might be difficult. You can start by putting questions to common users.
Ask the users questions like what kind of video chat app they use, what features they like in the app, what features are missing or unimportant etc. With this type of information at hand, you will be able to form a perfect strategy to get an edge over competitors.
3. Start with the right design for your video chat app
Once you gather all the essential information about your target audience and competitors, the next step is to utilize it for creating the perfect app design for your video chat application. Think about a great UI/UX design for your app. You must also remember that intuitive user experience is key to making your video call app attractive and engaging. The UI also has to be attractive and user-friendly.
Although you can complete the above two steps by yourself or with the help of a market researcher, for this step you will need assistance from a proficient mobile app designer. As the design of your app plays an important role in building your brand, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. The colors, logo, icons, etc, all must be in a proper flow that will entice the users.
4. Development process
Dozens of technologies work under the hood to power a chat application like Houseparty. Here we will break down the tech architecture of a chat app to understand what tools and technologies are required to build such a video chat app for Android and iOS platforms.
Back-end development is concerned with setting up the server environment for your application. While there are many BaaS (Mobile backend as a service) that are ready-to-use solutions for mobile backends, video calling apps require complex tools and technologies. It is also a smart choice to develop a custom backend from scratch. It is the first step your app developers need to complete. If you need any help from Sparx IT Solutions in backend development, you can contact us.
Integration of sockets
For live video chatting a technology is required which is known as sockets that exchange information among multiple devices. This technology is used for establishing an interactive connection between client and server.
It is a popular technology that is used for real-time media communication (voice and video) between devices. By using this technology, secure and robust video calling apps can be built. Being an open-source technology, it enables video chat application developers to do hard work using easy APIs.
There are several other technologies that are used for developing real-time video chat apps like you will work with Swift or Objective-C programming language to create the app for iOS devices.
For Android devices, you will usually work with either Java or Kotlin programming language. You will utilize IDEs and cross-platform development frameworks. If you want help in developing your mobile app you can choose us to create your app.
After creating an app it goes through a testing process to ensure that the quality and performance are up to the mark.
If you really want to make your chat app successful then we’ll suggest developing it with the MVP approach. The Houseparty app was also created with the same approach. Let’s take a look at the necessary MVP features that an app like Houseparty should possess.
Important MVP Features for Creating an App Like Houseparty
For Admin Panel
There should be an admin dashboard panel that will provide all the essential information about your users and market trends.
It will offer an easy way to add or remove unauthorized users anytime.
Manage marketing campaigns
This functionality will allow you to efficiently manage your marketing campaigns as well as provide information to users about new features.
You can authenticate users’ accounts by sending OTPs and verifying the same.
For User Panel
The app onboarding process shouldn’t be chaotic, it should be very simple and straightforward. As soon as a user installs your application, the app onboarding experience should make her/him feel satisfied to continue with your app. You can allow users to register your app in two ways:
Register with full details (users are required to provide information like emails, first/last names, etc).
Register with social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, etc.
The use of both of these options is recommended so that users can choose as per their preferences. After registration, every user should have a profile where his/her data is saved. Further, users should be able to make changes in their profile by adding a picture for instance.
Undoubtedly, video calling is the most essential feature of a video chat mobile app. Your users should be able to conduct video calls in HD also the users must be able to share data in real-time.
This is also one of the most important features of a video chatting application. The app should allow its users easily to find their friends. Houseparty app fetches friends from phone’s contacts and via social media websites such as Instagram or Facebook. Your app should also provide such functionality to enhance user experience.
Group chats are among the must-have features that video calling apps should possess. Houseparty allows a maximum of 8 people to connect through group calls at a time now. If you want to make your app more competitive, it can support video conferencing for more than 8 people at one time.
User status is quite a useful feature that enables a user to find out whether his/her chat friend is online, away, or unavailable at some point in time. So, a user can see the status of his/her friend to know whether the friend is available for talking or not. You can consider this feature and make your app more effective.
Just like Skype and WhatsApp, most popular video chat applications allow sending/receiving text messages to their users nowadays. This feature is very useful for users when their friends are not available for video calls. After including such a feature, your app will become an all-in-one solution.
Animations and Filters
Custom animations and filters will make your app more engaging and interesting. Filters and animations can be used by app users to describe their feelings. When you add animation and filters that work during video calling or text messaging, if available, it will add extra engagement to your app. You can keep users hooked with your app using such features.
Geolocation is being widely utilized in different real-time chat applications these days. By using this feature, users can rapidly find their location that can also be shared with friends. The app reads the GPS information of users to detect locations automatically. It improves the user’s experience and provides a quick and easy means for sharing locations.
Push notifications are one of the most powerful features of mobile applications that help in user engagement. Your app can use this feature in your favor by sending push messages that keep users hooked with your application.
Encryption ensures the protection of users’ data and privacy. When a user sends a message, it is encrypted and transferred to the receiver, when the receiver gets the message it is decrypted on his/her device. So, encryption and decryption take place on the users’ devices and the data is transferred safely. Encryption is an essential feature when it comes to creating a highly secure chat application. You must integrate this encryption to enhance the overall security of your mobile app.
These are the must-have features for a successful video calling application like Houseparty. You can also add several advanced features in your app such as allowing users to play games in your app or make private calls to each other. You can conduct research on users to find out any specific needs and then include the features that will cater to those needs.
You can take user experience to the next level by integrating advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality. By incorporating these features, you can make your app more powerful and feature-packed.
We have seen the process of developing a video chat mobile app and must-have features, it’s now time to look at how much it costs to develop such apps.
How much will it cost to develop a video chat app like Houseparty?
Developing a video chatting application like Houseparty requires a noteworthy investment. The cost of developing such an application depends on numerous factors such as:
The platform(s) for which you want to develop the app (iOS, Android, Windows, or all).
The features that you wish to integrate into your app.
Whether you decide to work with a mobile app development company or hire a freelancer.
Whether you are building the app from scratch or using any APIs or SDK.
The OS versions that your app needs to support.
So these are some factors that will affect the overall cost of developing a video chat app. If you are in the starting stage of your business or have a low budget, then we would suggest you create an app with basic functionalities. And, when you get a decent number of users on your app, you can extend its functionality and scale your application. However, you must note that your app should have important features and it should be the priority when you decide on a budget.
If you are looking for a reliable app development company, then Sparx IT Solutions is the right choice. We have highly experienced and talented mobile app developers who can build video chatting apps for a wide range of businesses. Our developers will integrate the best features that will make your app a big success. Contact us to help you build a great chat application that will offer excellent user experience and give your business a competitive edge.