The Ultimate Guide to Building a Successful Video Chat App

12 min read
February 17, 2023

Are you thinking of creating your own video chat app, but don't know where to start? Don't worry, you're not alone! In this post, we'll give you the ultimate guide for building a successful video chat app that will revolutionise the way people communicate.

We’ll explore the different types of video chat apps, the costs of building one, and the key features that make a video chat app successful. By the end of this article, you’ll gain the knowledge you need to make an informed decision when it comes to building a video chat app. 

The world of communication has advanced in light years since the days of long-distance phone calls and dial-up internet. Thanks to innovative new technologies, we can now connect with people anywhere on the globe instantly. Video chat apps are at the forefront of the online communication revolution. 

Video chat apps have steadily grown in popularity. They received a massive boost in uptake thanks to social distancing protocols. These apps give us the power to have face-to-face conversations with our peers and colleagues in real-time, no matter where we are. They’ve changed the way we communicate with each other forever.

Table of Contents 

  1. A Quick Overview of the Video Chat Market
  2. Types of Video Chat
  3. Popular Video Chat Use Cases
  4. How Much Does it Cost to Build a Video Chat App?
  5. Cost of a Video Chat App vs Traditional Communication Methods
  6. Key Features of a Successful Video Chat App
  7. 5 Steps to Integrate Video Functionality
  8. 7-Step Guide for Building a Video Chat App
  9. Pros and Cons of Building a Video Chat App
  10. Final Thought

Whether you’re a business looking to create a new solution for your customers, or an individual interested in developing a new app, this guide will be a valuable resource for you.

A Quick Overview of the Video Chat Market

A huge spike in demand for video chat apps has created a vibrant market for new and innovative video solutions. 

The video conferencing market is expected to grow to $15.3 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 9.7% from 2021 to 2026.

According to MarketsandMarkets

According to the latest statistics, the video conferencing market is expected to grow to $15.3 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 9.7% from 2021 to 2026.

Video conferencing tools have been adopted by businesses of all sizes as an essential tool for internal communication, remote collaboration and client meetings. Individuals are using video chat apps for personal communication, online events, education, and connecting with friends and family. 

Video chat's versatility makes it an indispensable tool for communication and networking in the digital world. The video chat market is an innovation hotspot. Providers range from established tech companies to solopreneur start-ups. 

A competitive market has created a diverse product landscape with excellent opportunities for consumers. Providers are vying with each other to offer the best feature set and user experience to attract and retain customers. 

If an app combines the right features with an attractive and user-friendly UX, it can capture a significant percentage of the market share.

Types of Video Chat

Video chat technology has evolved considerably. There are several different types available that cater to different users' needs. Here’s a breakdown of the main video chat types:


One-to-One Video Chat

A simple form of video chat that allows two users to have a private video call with each other. One-to-one video chats are normally used for personal conversations but are also used for business purposes, including job interviews and remote consultations with healthcare professionals.

Group Video Chat 

Group video chats let multiple users participate in video calls. Often used for team meetings, family gatherings, or alternative social events. Some apps allow for 100 or more participants in a single call. Group video chat apps are a powerful solution for hosting virtual events. 

Live Streaming

Used to broadcast live video to large audiences. Commonly employed by influencers, celebrities and content creators to connect with their followers in real time. Live streaming can also be used for events such as concerts, conferences or product launches. 


Video Conferencing

Video conferencing apps are purpose-built for business use. They allow remote teams to collaborate and communicate in real time from any location. They typically offer a considerable feature set including screen sharing, file sharing, breakout rooms and interactive features such as Q&A, polling and hand raising.


Each type of video chat app has unique benefits and features. The type of app you build will depend on your intended user’s needs. When choosing a video chat app or planning to create one, consider factors like the intended number of participants, desired type of communication, level of security and privacy, and other features.

Popular Video Chat Use Cases

Video chat apps are extremely versatile and have a broad range of use cases in personal and professional communication. Here are some of the most common:

  • Personal Communication: Video chat apps are a popular means for friends and family to stay in touch, especially when geographically dispersed. They make it easy to maintain face-to-face communication, strengthen relationships and maintain family bonds.

  • Business Communication: Video conferencing has become an indispensable tool for businesses and remote teams. Companies use video chat apps to host virtual meetings, collaborate remotely, host team-building events, etc.

  • Education: Remote has become commonplace thanks to social distancing. Online education has embraced video chat apps wholeheartedly. Educational institutions use these apps for online classes, tutoring, and workshops.

  • Healthcare: Video chat apps within healthcare are a booming market. They allow patients to consult with healthcare professionals from the comfort of their own homes. Video consultations for healthcare purposes were practically unheard of pre-pandemic.

  • Events: Video chat apps are being used to host virtual events like concerts, trade shows and conferences. These events provide opportunities for businesses and organisations to broaden their reach, regardless of their location.  

The versatility of these apps makes them a valuable tool for a wide range of industries, and the list of use cases is constantly growing as technology advances.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Video Chat App?

Cost is the most important consideration when it comes to building a video chat app. Cost requirements rise and fall depending on the complexity of the desired features, development team and technology used. 

In this section, we’re going to give you an overview of the costs involved in building a video chat app and the factors that influence them. 

Development Costs

Development costs will consume most of your budget when building a video chat app. Costs will vary depending on the size and complexity of your app as well as the development team you choose to work with. On average, the cost of developing a basic video chat app ranges from $50,000 to $150,000. 

A more complex app with advanced features can cost upwards of $300,000 to build. The location of your development team will influence costs. For example, it will cost more to build your app in the USA than in India. 


Maintenance Costs 

There will be ongoing maintenance costs associated with building your video chat app. These will include server maintenance, security updates, bug fixes, and feature improvements. Maintenance costs will be dictated by the complexity of your app, the technology used, and the frequency of updates and bug fixes. On average, maintenance costs for video chat apps range from $5,000 to $20,000 per year. 

Server Costs 

Server costs will depend on the number of app users, app size and frequency of use. On average, server costs for a basic video chat app range from $500 to $1,500 per month, a complex app with a large number of users can cost upwards of $10,000 per month or more. 

Contact our sales team to help you estimate your project.

Video Chat App Cost vs Traditional Communication

The initial build cost of a video chat app will be higher than using traditional communication methods. However, the benefits of increased employee productivity, improved communication, increased reach and engagement more than repay the initial investment. 

Additionally, the growing popularity of these apps means that the costs associated with building one will likely fall over time as technology and development teams become more efficient. 

How much it costs to build a video chat app varies massively depending on the project's complexity, the development team and the technology used. It’s important to consider the total cost of ownership, including development costs, maintenance costs and server costs, when deciding whether or not to build a video chat app for business or personal use. 

Key Features of a Successful Video Chat App

Video chat apps must have certain key features to be a success. In a competitive market, only the most innovative solutions will succeed. A successful video chat app must be user-friendly, provide high-quality video and audio, ensure security and privacy (GDPR Compliance), and integrate with other communication platforms. Here’s a detailed breakdown of popular “must-have” features:

User-Friendly Interface

A user-friendly interface is the cornerstone of any successful video chat app. Users must be able to quickly and easily access whatever features they need. Your app must have a clean, intuitive design that makes it easy for users to start and join video chats.


High-Quality Video and Audio

Users need to be able to see and hear each other clearly during video chats. The age of blurry Skype calls is over, customers will only accept high-quality audio and video in today's market. For those interested in enhancing their video quality, exploring options like blur background can significantly improve the visual appeal of their video calls. A successful app must have a fast, reliable and stable connection to deliver high-quality video and audio. 

Security and Privacy

Security and privacy are key concerns for video chat app users. A successful app must have robust security and privacy measures in place to protect users’ personal information and conversations. Essential security features include data encryption, secure servers, user authentication and GDPR compliance. 


Integration with Other Communication Platforms

Video chat apps must integrate fluidly with popular communication platforms amongst your target users. Integration with popular communication platforms like email, instant messaging, and social media can greatly increase the appeal of a video chat app. 

Customisation and Branding Options

Customisation lets individuals and businesses personalise their app to match their brand and preferences. Custom branding, background images, colour and logo options are popular customisation features. They help organisations increase brand recognition, reach and user engagement.

Having some or all of these key features will greatly increase your app’s chance of success. In a competitive market, you should include all of these key features and some additional innovations that would benefit your target customer. 

5 Steps to Integrate Video Functionality

Video functionality is the most important element of any video chat app. Video quality and user experience must both be excellent for an app to succeed. Here’s a blueprint you can follow to integrate high-quality video chat functionality within your app:

  • Choose the Right Technology: There are several options available when it comes to video technology, including WebRTC, RTMP, and HLS. Whichever you choose must meet your app's requirements and provide users with the best possible user experience.
  • Video Platform Integration: Integrating with a video platform such as Digital Samba, Agora, or Twilio can drastically simplify the process of adding video to your app. Integrating with an existing solution will save you hours and lots of effort. These platforms offer APIs and SDKs that streamline the integration process.
  • Video Quality Optimization: To guarantee high-quality video functionality - bandwidth, network conditions and device capabilities must be optimised. This can be achieved using video codecs optimised for low latency and quality by adjusting video resolution and frame rate according to network conditions. 
  • Video Feature Implementation: To create a unique and engaging video chat app, features such as screen sharing, video recording, and video filters are essential. They enhance the user experience and make your app attractive and pleasurable to use.
  • Test and Monitor Video Quality: For a successful app launch, your app’s video functionality must be thoroughly tested and monitored to check for performance issues. You should perform user tests and monitor key metrics like video quality, latency and frame rate.

If you follow these steps, you’ll simplify the process of successfully integrating video capabilities within your app. Video is the most important component of a video chat app and should be the focus of the development process. 

7-Step Guide for Building a Video Chat App

At first glance, building a successful video chat app can seem like a monumental task. If you follow these steps, however, the development process will be smooth and efficient:

Target Audience and App Purpose

The first thing you need is a clear vision for your video chat app. Establish what it will accomplish and who will use it. From here, it’s much easier to determine what the key features and functionality of your app will be. Market research techniques like focus groups and surveys will pay real dividends at this stage. 


Competitor Analysis

See who your competition is and analyse what they offer. To stand out in a competitive market, you’ll need to provide a more attractive product than your competitors. Understanding your competition will help you improve what they offer and make your app successful.

Choose the right development team

The development team you choose will be pivotal in determining the success of your video chat app. Look for a team with experience and a strong portfolio that proves their expertise. Your budget will have a huge impact on what you can expect from your chosen development team. 

Decide on key features and functionalities

You have an idea and a development team, it’s time to decide what features and functionalities your app will have. Have a clear understanding of what you expect from your app and communicate it clearly to your development team. 

Choose the right tech stack

Your technology stack will have a huge impact on the performance and functionality of your video chat app. Consider the performance and scalability of this technology and how well it supports your desired functionalities. You should be able to rely on your development team to point you towards a suitable technology stack. 

User Experience

Even the best video chat apps would fail with poor UX. A well-designed UX will boost user engagement and satisfaction, helping you retain existing clients and attract new ones. When designing your UX, don’t forget your target audience, app purpose, and key features. In 2023, users will not tolerate a poor UX, the success of your app depends on it.

Test and Launch App

You’re almost ready to launch. It’s time to perform a thorough test to fix as many bugs as possible before launch. Rigorous testing will help you measure the stability of your app and address any issues before going to market. 

Launching your app is a big moment. Work with a marketing team to ensure that your new app gets the attention it deserves to ensure success. 

Pros and Cons of Building a Video Chat App


Increased Productivity: Video chat apps promote real-time communication and collaboration, boosting the efficiency of remote teams. They can drastically enhance workplace productivity and provide a healthy return on investment.

Improve communication: Video chat apps provide a personal and interactive communication experience compared to traditional text-based communication tools. This leads to stronger relationships between team members and overall improved communication.

Flexibility: Video chat apps can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. They allow businesses to reach a broad audience and expand their customer base. Building a custom solution adds further flexibility by catering to unique functionalities lacking in off-the-shelf solutions. 



Technical Challenges: To develop a successful video chat app, you need lots of technical expertise. The good news is that you can rely on your development team to have most of these skills. 

Some of the technical challenges you will face when building an app include providing seamless interoperability between platforms/devices and handling large numbers of participants. 

Development and Maintenance Costs: Building a video chat app can be a huge cost sink, especially if you want to develop a high-quality app with complex features. You’ll need to hire a development team, pay for servers and hosting plus ongoing maintenance costs to keep the app running smoothly. 

Security and Privacy Concerns: Given the sensitive nature of video calls, security and privacy are at the forefront of many users’ minds. You must ensure that users’ data is protected from cyber threats and encrypt calls to prevent eavesdropping. Many customers will also be looking for GDPR Compliance.  

User adoption challenges: Even the best video chat app will struggle if your intended users don’t adopt it. An app with an industry-leading user experience will provide a compelling reason for users to switch from their existing communication methods. Marketing and promotion efforts will be needed to build product awareness and encourage adoption.

Final Thought

Building a successful video chat app can bring massive benefits to businesses and individuals looking to improve their communication and reach a wider audience. To maximise your chances of success in this venture, you must adhere to a clear development plan, be mindful of costs, integrate desirable features, and deal with user adoption challenges. 

Digital Samba’s video meeting SDK offers developers an efficient means of incorporating video chat into their apps.

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