Video is now everywhere, and the average internet user now watches videos on Facebook or YouTube at least once a day. Not only that, but communication via video calls with apps like Apple Facetime, Skype, or Zoom is now also the norm for many businesses and individuals alike.
With the way video is now an inseparable part of many of our daily lives, it’s quite obvious why many companies today are looking to invest more in video solutions, and many are now looking for options to build their own video and video applications. services with the freedom to use your own logo, brand elements and even add custom features as needed.
Integrating a programmable video API can be a viable solution: it provides the versatility and customizability you want to build your own video solution, but without the long and complex development time of building your own solution from scratch.
What is a scriptable video API?
API (Application Programming Interface), as the name suggests, is an interface or bridge in the form of programming codes that connects two or more applications. In simple terms, the API will “teach” one application to understand another application (the one providing the API) so that they can access each other’s functionality.
There are many possible implementations of an API, but in the case of a scriptable video API, the API is used to allow an application to obtain video functionality from a scriptable video application.
It is crucial to know that a programmable video service can come in two different forms:
- A “white label” video solution. In this case, a professional software developer develops or licenses a video application solution while incorporating the client’s logo, branding elements, and custom features and functionality upon request. White label video conferencing software is an example of these services.
- Integrate a programmable video solution into an existing application or a new application, so that this application gains access to video features and functionality.
Why Programmable Video?
Let’s say your business is looking to have its own video conferencing app, a Zoom-like app with its own logo and custom features tailored to your organization’s needs.
In this case, the obvious choice is to build your own app from scratch, and while technically this option will offer the most freedom, there are also some key things to consider:
Building your own app is expensive. Unless you are an experienced programmer yourself, you will most likely need to either hire an experienced software developer with enough experience building video-related applications or outsource the project to a software development company. Both are potentially expensive, and the cost may not be worth it if you don’t plan on using the app commercially.
2. Data security
Depending on the functionalities of your video application, the transmission of confidential, sensitive and/or regulated data is possible, so you will have to take into account cybersecurity and especially data security. Investing in your own cybersecurity infrastructure will result in additional costs, not to mention that it can be very difficult to implement. You may need to hire another data security specialist to help you with this issue.
3. Longer development time
Even if you have the budget, building your own solution from scratch will mean a significantly longer time to launch the solution. Also, if you are in a heavily regulated industry (HIPAA, GDPR), it may take longer to build and test your video app to ensure it is compliant with applicable regulations.
With that being said, integrating a programmable video API can help you address the above issues.
Key considerations when choosing a programmable video solution
Different providers offering programmable video services may offer different qualities of services, feature sets, and general functionality.
If you’ve decided to invest in a programmable video solution for your business, it’s important to choose the right provider based on your needs and goals.
Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a programmable video solution:
1. Features offered
Pretty self explanatory, while most programmable video APIs and solutions offer pretty similar basic features, they can offer unique features not available anywhere else.
Identify your needs and requirements, and assess which features are crucial for your purposes, which are nice to have, and which are not very important. As a general rule, choose the most affordable solution that offers the critical features you need.
2. Ease of use
It’s important to find the right balance between feature richness and ease of use. If your programmable video solution offers too many features that are too complex to use, it will make it more difficult to train employees and other users to use the solution. Also, you may not be able to take full advantage of the solution if it is too difficult to use all the features.
The main reason you’d want a programmable video solution is for customization and freedom, or you’ll just stick with an out-of-the-box solution like Zoom or Skype. Consider how much freedom and flexibility you will gain from the Programmable Video API, and if you plan to scale your business, look for a solution that can keep up with your growth as well. Make sure it’s easy enough to customize the app for rebranding and to add or remove features according to your needs.
Pretty self explanatory, you would want a solution that is consistently reliable and doesn’t produce errors, connectivity issues, crashes, frozen screens, stutters, etc. Also, make sure the programmable video provider has followed the required data security best practices and has the proper security infrastructure in place to protect your sensitive data.
Integrating a programmable video API into your application offers a more cost-effective solution for your business to have your own video conferencing and live streaming solution. By eliminating the lengthy and complex development time you would otherwise have by building your solution from scratch, you’ll also save more money and resources in the process.
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