By now, we’re all aware of the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic truly brought video calling into their own. This is when video communication became a literal savior. It lets people work from home, attend appointments, get therapy, and catch up with family/friends across the world. It saved lives, sustained careers, and allowed people to access their support systems while being physically confined.
Cut to 2023, and the fear of the pandemic has passed. But video calling has become an intrinsic part of modern life….and so have video calling APIs. Most apps include some element of video communication, be they dating apps or medical software. Software users expect, by default, that any app/website enabling two-way communication will offer a video option.
So, if you are building such an app, you need to know your video calling APIs. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 10 video calling APIs that devs should be paying attention to when choosing what to incorporate within the software under build.
But first, the obvious question.
What is a video calling API?
Think of APIs (Application Programming Interface) as the “buttons” on your coffee machine, they allow different software entities (or modules) to interact with each other in response to a user action. APIs primarily facilitate communication and data exchange. Within apps, such APIs can also be used to implement video communication features, without taking on the hassle of building such features from scratch.
Out-of-the-box APIs let devs bypass the hassle of building the complex code that drives video calls. Instead, they can use these plug-and-play APIs to insert live audio-video communication experience into their in-house software with much less effort.
Must have features for video calling APIs
Make no mistake, you’ll have to do a fair amount of research to identify which video calling API best suits your dev team’s and your app’s needs. But, at the outset, we can help you create a few filters. At the very least, the video APIs you consider should carry the following in-built features (apart from video and audio calling, of course):
- Screen sharing: Ability to share a user’s screen during video calls so that all users in the call can view said screen in real-time. Screen sharing must be able to project real-time images to multiple devices simultaneously.
- Recording: Ability to record live video and store it for viewing later.
- Group calls: Ability to let multiple participants join and interact on a single video call.
- Noise cancellation: Ability to cancel our environmental noises during video calls.
- Call quality improvement: Ability to improve call quality by reducing (at least to some extent) lags, background noise, jitters, and glitches.
Top 10 video calling APIs in 2023
Let's evaluate the top 10 Video calling APIs - Dyte, Sinch, Cometchat, Twilio video, Agora, EnableX, Vonage, Apphitect, Jitsi Meet, Daily bases their features, limitations and pricing.
- Twilio Video
- Jitsi Meet
Let’s dive in!!
The Dyte API is ideal for setting up video conferencing capabilities for businesses and organizations. It can be customized for business meetings, virtual webinars, remote medical consults, customer support, and so much more. The Dyte’s video calling API is completely customizable, with in-built features for easy scalability, integration with third-party software, real-time collaboration, dependable customer support, and more.
With Dyte, you get, by default, crystal-clear video and audio quality. High customization levels mean that devs can tailor the API to their platform’s needs with minimal work.
Scalability is also built-in since the SDK can support up to 10,000 participants. It’s also bewilderingly easy to integrate Dyte with your apps, by virtue of its open APIs and sample apps ready for immediate deployment.
Features of Dyte API
- Complete and seamless customizability
- In-built scalability for up to 10,000 participants
- Real-time collaboration, file sharing, and whiteboards
- AI-powered chat
- Interactive live streaming
- 24/7 customer support
- SOC 2, GDPR & HIPAA compliant
Curious about Dyte’s suitability for your development needs? Just talk to us, and let’s set you up with a seamless interactive experience.
Limitations of Dyte API
- Mobile SDKs are in beta, as of writing this article.
Pricing for Dyte API
You start with 10,000 free minutes…every month. If you exhaust these minutes, you pay $0.004 per user per minute, with recordings and RTMP-out available at $0.010 and $0.015 per minute, respectively.
Here’s a deep dive into Dyte’s pricing.
Of course, the API is customizable so that devs can configure call performance, security, and brand identity within video and audio calls. Sinch has notably been used by big-name enterprises like Google, Tinder, Uber, and Visa.
On their website, Sinch claims to provide 100% reach, providing legal access to every mobile phone on the planet. It is primarily favored by Healthcare, Finance, and eCommerce industries.
Salient features of Sinch
- Compatibility with & support for multiple platforms
- High-grade reliability & security
- Custom filters & masks on video calls
- Live streaming & broadcasting capabilities
- Low latency video
- SMS & MMS sending capabilities
- Phone calls
Limitations of Sinch
- Users have reported that documentation & support is inadequate.
- Comes with a steep learning curve.
Pricing for Sinch
Sinch actually features different prices for different locations (countries, continents) and functions, so it’s best to reach out to their sales team and discuss your particular requirements.
Cometchat’s APIs are scalable, secure, and easy to use. Intrinsically designed to drive peer-to-peer engagement, the API has all the features to quickly and efficiently integrate its video capabilities into your software ecosystems. This includes 1-to-1 and group video & voice chat.
Cometchat is particularly well-known for its detailed, thoughtful tutorials and demo apps. They are very useful when you’re trying to evaluate the suitability and functionality of this API for your communicable workflows. The tool also provides in-depth documentation for video call integration.
The API enjoys cross-platform support – iOS, Android, and web. This makes for fast and easy inclusion of the API’s power capabilities into any digital communicative mechanism.
Among the brands that trust Cometchat, a few notable names are Udaan, Swedbank, and Caix.
Features of Cometchat
- Indicators to notify that a participant is present online and/or typing a message
- Drag & drop chat widgets
- White-labeled message translation
- Facilities for automated moderation
- Automatic scaling to accommodate the total number of users in any call
- HIPAA compliant
Limitations of Cometchat
- Customers have report slow support responses.
- The UI can be confusing, especially if customers have a time crunch.
Cometchat’s pricing depends on the number of MAU (monthly active users) your app intends to serve. Check out their pricing page to get a sense of what you’ll pay based on your MAU count.
Twilio Video API
Built on WebRTC tech, the Twilio Video API is best known for its ability to create custom video conferencing features with custom layouts and virtual backgrounds. The API and SDK are compatible with all major devices & browsers.
You get all the usual features to be expected from a video calling API but it also comes with developer tools for quality control (such as the Network Quality API). They can use these tools to track network performance and prioritize bandwidth distribution among meeting participants.
Given that Twilio is cloud-based, it allows integration with your in-house software within minutes.
Features of Twilio
- Can be used by non-developers to create, edit and manage workflows.
- Comes with detailed documentation for the API and SDK
- GDPR compliant
- “Breakout” video conference rooms on demand
- Chat moderation
- Notification in real-time
- Support for mobile devices
Limitations of Twilio
- Requires high coding effort.
- Manual configuration required for multiple audio inputs/outputs.
Pricing for Twilio
Pricing starts at $4 per 1,000 minutes. Recordings cost $0.004 per participant minute. Recording compositions costs $0.01 per composed minute, and you pay $0.00167 GB/day for storage after the first 10 GB is exhausted.
If you need a deeper exploration, read our detailed breakdown of Twilio’s pricing in 2023.
Check out how Twilio compares to Dyte’s Video Calling APIs.
Agora’s live video chat API is compatible with multiple OSes and platforms. It is known for its flexibility: it can be used for casual & professional calls, as well as for live streaming. The API is fully customizable. Agora is used across industries for apps powering telehealth, gaming, retail, media, and entertainment.
The Agora SDK comes with a set of extensions providing AR effects, voice & sound effects, content moderation & noise cancellation capabilities, among other features.
Notably, Agora’s in-built algorithms come with adaptive resolution, ranging from 96p to 1080p so that your app’s video continues to stream, even with less bandwidth availability. This technology also keeps calls free (or minimizes) of jitters, high latency, stutters, and other anomalies that crop up in low network conditions.
Features of Agora
- AI-driven anti-jitter mechanisms
- Visual Filters with Custom Masks
- AI-driven noise cancellation
- Compatibility with Flutter and React Native
- Supplemental Enhancement Information (SEI)
Limitations of Agora
- Given its usage-based pricing model, Agora can be quite expensive at scale.
- Integration can require significant developer effort.
Pricing for Agora
Agora’s API pricing is based on usage. What you pay depends on what video quality you want on your app, the number of meeting participants, and the duration of the video call (with said video quality).
Agora’s pricing model can be a little complicated (especially if this is your first time using a video calling API), so take a moment to look at their pricing page. You can also have a look at our detailed breakdown of Agora’s pricing model.
Check out how Agora compares to Dyte.
This cloud-based CPaaS tool provides an API to help devs include real-time communication capabilities into applications. Commonly offered features are voice and video calls, text messaging, and file sharing.
The platform is scalable and reliable with the ability to handle traffic loads. The APIs are easy to use, dev-friendly, and come with detailed documentation.
Features of Enablex.io
- Scalable infra with solid uptime levels
- Data center in multiple countries
- User-friendly APIs
- Dev-friendly platform
- Up to 2,000 participants per video conference
- E2EE and AES-512 encryption
Limitations of Enablex.io
- Users have reported that documentation is somewhat lacking.
- Chat feature not available.
- Instances of delayed response from the support team.
- Inadequate branding options.
Pricing for Enablex.io
Pricing depends on the number of participants and session duration. You also pay extra for features like recording, transcription, live recording, etc.
Vonage is a cloud-based platform offering APIs for devs to build and expand communication capabilities. It offers voice, video messaging, text messaging and more. You get APIs for Voice, Video, SMS, and Verify (to validate customers).
The API is relatively easy to use, with numerous helpful docs, guides, events, blogs to approach for help.
Features of Vonage
- Data centers in multiple countries
- Compliant with GDPR, PCI and HIPAA compliance
- SIP interconnect
- Video stream customization
- HLS and RTMP streaming
- Video analytics
Limitations of Vonage
The maximum throughput for Vonage API's outbound SIP trunking is 3 calls per second. SIP calls initiated at a faster rate will lead to the call being rejected and not queued.
- Inadequate written documentation.
- Reportedly, delivery is not excellent in certain countries.
- Dashboard not too user-friendly.
Pricing for Vonage
Pricing is varied based on which API you’d like to use. It is best to check the Vonage API pricing page.
Learn how Vonage compares with Dyte? An honest comparision, we promise.
Apphyticen provides video chat solutions to enterprises & SMEs. This API allows 100% customizations on call and chat functions.
Supported on WebRTC, Apphitect’s multi-platform API lets you build features like 1-on-1 video calling, group calling, video/audio conferencing, super scalability, load balancing, HD voice, video quality, etc. You can use it to build capabilities for meetings, webinars, presentations, and other virtual communication requirements.
Features of Apphitech
- Multiple device & platform support
- Load Balancing
- Scalable servers
- Video quality adaptation in response to network conditions
- Complete customizability
- Support FOR UDP, TCP, HTTP as media transport
Limitations of Apphitect
Does not enable the inclusion of unlimited participants in white-label video calls.
Pricing for Apphitect
Interested parties have to contact sales to know about Apphitect’s pricing.
Jitsi Meet API
The Jitsi Meet API lets you host and provide video meetings between colleagues and teams, when its embedded into a third-party application. It comes with most major features expected in such an API.
By using the iFrame API, you can embed Jitsi Meet into application with relative ease.
If you use React in your web application you can use Jitsi’s React SDK instead.
If you are an existing customer of Jitsi as a Service (JaaS), please note that JaaS uses the deployment on 8x8.vc domain, and not under meet.jit.si.
Features of Jitsi Meet
- Open source with impressive community support.
- Relatively easy setup, thanks to its one-click installation
- User-friendly UI and setup steps.
- Uses industry standards security mechanisms to ensure that user data remains strictly confidential.
- Supports multiple clients – Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS.
Limitations of Jitsi Meet
According to Jitsi’s DevOps Guide, “Building a scalable infrastructure is not a task for beginning Jitsi Administrators. The instructions (of the guide) assume that you have installed a single node version successfully, and that you are comfortable installing, configuring, and debugging Linux software.”
In other words, achieving peak scalability with Jitsi Meet might not be the easiest thing in the world.
Pricing for Jitsi Meet
As mentioned above, Jitsi Meet is open-source and free of cost. However, if you do want to opt for a paid option, you can go for 8x8 Jitsi as a Service(JaaS). Pricing for JaaS is based on the number of monthly active users (MAU).
Check out our comparison of Jitsi vs. Agora vs. Dyte for a deep dive.
Daily provides a live video call API that lets developers add live video and audio facilities to whatever software your devs are building. Devs can add 1090p HD video calls with screen sharing for any device. It also offers different recording options, such as transcriptions.
There is a Daily Client SDK, used for building custom user interfaces by working with Daily’s APIs. Then there is Daily Prebuilt, a video chat widget you can embed into any application with some code.
Features of Daily
- HD screen sharing, hand raising, breakout rooms, whiteboard
- Can host interactive calls with upto 1000 participants
- Provides logs for events and software performance metrics from each client in a session
- Email and chat support available.
- Customizable UI
- Auto-tuning of video calls
Limitations of Daily
- Not too many customization options
- Mobile SDKs in beta
- There have been some reports of delay in support
- Devs have to add publish-subscribe logic as the tool cannot do so itself
- Inadequate edge case management
Pricing for Daily
You get 10,000 free minutes every month. After they are exhausted, you pay $0.004/min/user for video calls, $0.00099/min/user for audio calls and $0.0012/min/user for streaming.
|Video Calling API||Features||Limitations||Pricing|
||Different prices for different locations and functions. reach out to their sales team|
||Pricing depends on the number of MAU (monthly active users).|
||Starts at $4 per 1,000 minutes. Recordings cost $0.004 per participant minute. Recording compositions costs $0.01 per composed minute, and you pay $0.00167 GB/day for storage after the first 10 GB is exhausted.|
||Agora’s API pricing is based on usage. What you pay depends on what video quality you want on your app, the number of meeting participants, and the duration of the video call (with said video quality).|
||You start with 10,000 free minutes…every month. If you exhaust these minutes, you pay $0.004 per user per minute, with recordings and RTMP-out available at $0.010 and $0.015 per minute, respectively.|
||Pricing depends on the number of participants and session duration. You also pay extra for features like recording, transcription, live recording, etc.|
||Pricing is varied based on which API you’d like to use. It is best to check the Vonage API pricing page.|
||Interested parties have to contact sales to know about Apphitect’s pricing.|
|Jitsi Meet API||
||According to Jitsi’s DevOps Guide, “Building a scalable infrastructure is not a task for beginning Jitsi Administrators. The instructions (of the guide) assume that you have installed a single node version successfully, and that you are comfortable installing, configuring, and debugging Linux software.”
In other words, achieving peak scalability with Jitsi Meet might not be the easiest thing in the world.
|Jitsi Meet is open-source and free of cost. If you want a paid option, you can go for 8x8 Jitsi as a Service(JaaS). Pricing is based on the number of monthly active users (MAU).|
||10,000 free minutes every month. After they are exhausted, $0.004/min/user for video calls, $0.00099/min/user for audio calls and $0.0012/min/user for streaming.|
The advantages of using a video calling API – faster time to market, lower maintenance effort, increased security, and resource (time, effort, money) conservation – don’t need to be discussed. Devs know how the API game works.
To start with, dive into the must-have features of the API – screen sharing, recording, group calls, noise cancellation, and call quality boosting. At Dyte, we go the distance to ensure that these features and every other function are built to benefit the customer, no matter their specific requirements.
If you’re curious about what we’ve done, here are some resources:
Interested? Let’s talk and figure out how Dyte can help amp up your software’s communication capabilities.