Live streaming and real-time is a prominent feature in many individual and businesses day-to-day operations because of the vast influence and reach it has. Live streaming engages users on a more human level, while chat apps increase the reach of your content and build a sense of community. Together, they form a foolproof approach to marketing that will cause your popularity to rise.
While a handful of companies choose to create a chat app for a live streaming website, yet others choose to go with a service provider who gives them the best services for affordable prices and without the pressure of maintenance.
Typing and read receipts make a lot of sense for messaging. You write a letter, you put it in an envelope, you send it to a friend, and you want to know when they get it. It’s like FedEx — they let you know when the package gets dropped off.
— Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap Inc.
But before heading into that, here is a breakdown of popular live-streaming chat apps and their ideal features.
Today’s Most Popular Live-streaming Chat Apps
Several live streaming video chat apps have become ubiquitous in everyone’s lives, integrating with our favourite social media platforms to become an extension of unique ways to communicate. Here are some of the most popular platforms that also double up as live broadcasting chat platforms:
Facebook is easily one of the largest social network platforms in the world. As of 2019, the platform had 2.45 billion active users from all over the world (source). Facebook Live is the platform’s live-streaming asset. It allows you to broadcast a live video from your company page or personal profile to your audience. Individual members of your community have the chance to enter the discussion and ask questions, comment, respond or simply follow along with the conversation in real-time.
In 2019, Twitch accounted for a whopping 73% of the live streaming market, making it a force to contend with (source). The platform focuses mainly on live-streaming video games, including the broadcasting of sporting events, music broadcasts, artistic content and, more recently, real-life streams. Twitch is considered the best live streaming video chat app that is wholly favoured by the gaming industry primarily.
While Instagram is primarily a photo-sharing app, it has recently integrated live-streaming feature. This chat live streaming app hybrid is great for businesses who want to try a new method for product marketing, highlighting sales and discounts, leveraging influencers to books engagement and generating leads and brand loyalty through live chat. Going live on Instagram is a perfect way to tap into a 1-billion strong user base that is active on the app every month (source).
Stand-out Features of Live Video Streaming Chat Software
Regardless of the real-time streaming chat software that is in use, certain features are a must-have to ensure a fulfilling experience. Here are some to keep in mind when choosing the ideal app:
- High-quality video
High-quality video ensures a sleek experience both for those conducting the livestream and the audience who is watching. It ensures that the message gets through clearly and in real-time.
- Real-time chat
It takes the audience from passive to active, allowing them to interact with the one conducting the live stream and create more engagement. It builds a sense of community and provides more fodder for future such marketing tactics. Real-time chat also brings in potential leads and loyal customers.
Notifications are a great way to create hype and encourage users to log in to the platform when they’re not on it. Notifications can be used to create reminders and keep the brand fresh in the audience’s mind. They increase the impact of the livestream solely by bringing more people onto the platform.
Emojis are crucial drivers of social media interactions so they need to play a part in livestreaming as well. They make livestreams much more interactive and visually engaging; they’re also a simple way to deliver messages effectively without wasting words.
Recording allows businesses to double the impact of their livestream by using it in different formats and recirculating when they become relevant again. It’s also a great way to rope in an audience who missed the live but might still be interested in your content.
- Live broadcasting
Live broadcasting is necessary to project content in real-time on interactive live streaming chat services. This feature should be accessible to a whole host of devices and variations in bandwidths to ensure the widest audience possible. Being able to broadcast in real-time, with no delays, is a given.
- End-to-end security
End-to-end security ensures that no third party can get unauthorised access to a broadcaster or viewer’s account through the livestream. Despite broadcasting to millions at one go, the security framework must be steady and scalable enough to offer the highest security levels to all who are participating.
A Handy List of Top Live Streaming Chat API and SDK from Leading Providers
Many businesses might be tempted to create a live broadcasting chat application in-house, but that is often a recipe for disaster. Instead, it makes more sense to source chat plugins for live streaming from experienced providers.
MirrorFly is a high-quality video calling application that packs quite a punch when it comes to live broadcasting. There are many perks to getting their chat for live streaming SDK or API. With high quality and low latency live audio/video streaming, you will be able to create a higher level of interactive experiences for your users within your app. They also use technologically sound end-to-end encryption for their livestreams, ensuring that users and broadcasters needn’t worry about hackers and phishermen.
Apphitect is an elaborate and effective chat API & Messaging SDK that also supports video and voice calls. The chat app allows for real-time messaging within your business app. It boasts a plethora of other features including multimedia sharing, native messaging support, rich UX, location tracking and push notifications.
Agora has an easy-to-embed SDK and live video calling API that allows businesses to integrate live chat into android app, macOS, Unity or Cocos. It offers an immersive live streaming experience that can be embedded directly into an app to keep users engaged. This also doubles up as an avenue to increase revenue streams. They also allow for audio streaming to cater to different bandwidths.
Sendbird includes professionally controlled cloud infrastructure, public chats and community chats that can also be scaled as you increase the number of viewers. It is popular among gaming businesses, which integrate live chat into iOS app or Android to better engage players and turn them into active and connected users. Push notifications allow you to draw your users back onto the app and help them resist the urge to shift to another messaging app. Moderation tools and conversation nudges ensure that users enjoy a safe and engaging interaction on your app.
Applozic includes a real-time chat feature for live broadcast and video streaming applications. When you integrate live chat into a website or mobile app, your viewers will be able to join multiple broadcast channels in order to comment and chat with fellow users. The profanity filters ensure a safe environment to converse in; similarly, moderation controls allow app owners to regulate interactions and make it a secure and friendly place. You’ll be able to elevate your app’s audience even more by engaging them in real-time chat on common topics.
EnableX offers real-time chat, voice and video call API for websites and apps on popular software configurations and operating systems. They also offer a live broadcasting feature, which allows businesses to broadcast directly from their app or website, or connect to YouTube or Facebook to increase their reach. They boast of several use cases which showcase their use across fields including customer service, KYC, group collaborations and broadcasting within official contexts such as meetings and events.
WIthout needing to build a live streaming chat app, you’ll still be able to reap their benefits by instead choosing the Vonage video streaming API. This API allows businesses to broadcasts video in real-time to a live audience, through an HTTP or RTMP stream. Their SDKs on the client-end cover web, iOS, Android, Windows and Linux operating systems. It offers brands full control over personalisation, functionality and the user experience.
The video broadcast extension from CometChat allows businesses to leverage their chat app towards higher levels of communication. They have APIs that make it easy to plug into existing apps. Broadcasters will need to install OBS Studio, a video recording and live streaming software for Windows, macOS or Linux to be able to use this feature– however, it is free and open-source so it won’t set you back by any amount.
PubNub delivers chat experiences that leverage live events and are bolstered by interactive features. These include polls, reaction emojis and content moderation, all of which spells better user experience for viewers and broadcasters alike. PubNub use cases span several industries including gaming, healthcare and dating. All of these industries benefit from real-time live streaming, broadcasting and chat features because they make existing platforms more user-friendly, interactive and user-oriented.
The final word
It is always a smart idea to integrate scalable APIs into your business app or website instead of choosing to develop a live chat for broadcasting application yourself. Despite being a relatively new market, live streaming chat application builders are taking the world by storming, providing businesses, feeling forced to create a live streaming chat android or iOS feature, a much easier way to reach their goals.