desktop computer screen with video conference
With a variety of security protections and effects features, there are several APIs to choose from when hosting and participating in video conferences. — Getty Images/SolStock

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to adjust to a remote workforce, making video conferencing software more popular than ever before. For many companies, out-of-the-box video call platforms have every feature their employees need.

However, customizing your video conference tools with APIs allows you to create rich, unique experiences that are specific to your business. Whether you're looking to connect your sales team with clients, provide secure and private consultations or find a better way for your employees to work together remotely, these API tools can help you upgrade your virtual meeting space.

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What are video conferencing APIs?

API stands for application programming interface. It takes requests from you, tells your system the request, then returns the response back to you. You can think of an API like a waiter in a restaurant: They’ll take your food order, bring it to the kitchen, then take the meal from the kitchen to you.

In terms of video conferencing, APIs integrate different technical tools to better enhance your video chat, such as mobile usage or in app chat. You can build your own video conference application from scratch or enhance your existing original one. Here are five popular video chat APIs.

[Read: A Quick Guide to Hosting Online Business Meetings]

Twilio

Twilio is a platform that allows you to build powerful programming tools for your video conferencing needs. They offer features for both peer-to-peer and group conferencing such as screen sharing, cloud recording and workflow integration. It also allows you to control the application’s layout and what every member of your chat can see and hear.

APIs allow you to create and build a custom video conferencing experience for you, your employees and your customers.

Vonage

Formerly known as TokBok, Vonagebrings people together with their easy-to-use customizable video chat experience. They offer protective security features, encrypting your signals and records as well as offering the option to deploy your own firewall from your own servers. Through the app, you can reach thousands of participants with video and messaging customization such as video chat, effects and filters. You’ll also have the opportunity to view analytics about your sessions through the dashboard.

MegaMeeting

The MegaMeetingAPI is an easy-to-use system that allows you to create, edit and join meetings. The interface is powered through GraphQL, a query language originally developed by Facebook in 2012 and open-sourced in 2015. Through that language, you can customize the appearance of your video conferencing account with your own personal branding, logo and colors. Not only do they allow you to build your own original video chat application, MegaMeeting also offers the ability to register your guests and send them a reminder e-mail before the meeting or webinar.

[Read: Hosting a Virtual Event? Here's How to Do It Right]

Eyeson

Using Eyeson lets you build your own user interface for your video conferencing platform. One of their unique features is the ability to layer your conference in real time, combining live video with photos, presentations, animation, data and additional video elements. You can synchronize these elements directly into your call as well as integrate live streaming, recording, screen sharing and meeting history.

Voxeet

Voxeet encourages their users to build the best customer experience through their API. A division of Dolby, they offer the best sound quality by using TrueVoice 3D Audio Technology. This API is versatile enough for any industry including project management, education, recruiting and customer service, and it is compatible with both iOS and Android mobile platforms.

APIs allow you to create and build a custom video conferencing experience for you, your employees and your customers — from essential features such as messaging, recording and screen sharing, to specifics like security precautions and audio and video quality.

Many of these services have free trials that allow you to play around and see which API has the customization features that are best suited to what you’re looking for. Try them out and enjoy the privilege of video chat that is uniquely yours.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published May 21, 2020