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What is in-app live streaming?

In-app live streaming is a feature that enables users to broadcast real-time video from a mobile app, with the support of live chat capabilities.

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This embeddable feature is a popular way to host various live events, such as interactive demos, webinars, product releases, and more. It allows brands to facilitate engagement and connect with a wide audience dynamically and meaningfully.

Benefits of in-app live streaming

  • Enhanced engagement: Uniting chat, voice, and video capabilities in one channel facilitates meaningful interaction while allowing the host to share news, announcements, and other time-sensitive content.

  • Real-time interaction: Live streaming allows many users to engage with a content creator, influencer, brand, or presenter at once using comments, reactions, and chat.

  • Authenticity: Live streams are an opportunity for genuine and unscripted interactions that showcase a streamer’s or business’s personality within the familiarity of the app.

  • Independent broadcasting: Hosting an in-app live stream allows businesses to bypass the rules and monetization models of public streaming platforms, while enabling unique experiences that drive high engagement and returns.

  • Monetization: Businesses and content creators use live streams to launch marketing campaigns, promote sponsorships, solicit donations, and feature new products with integrated checkout functionalities that drive conversions.

Use cases for in-app live streaming

  • User conversations: Chat capabilities make live streams into an interactive event that fosters community engagement, complete with mentions, custom emojis, and other modern chat features.

  • Operations: Live streaming is an efficient way to conduct employee training, host announcements from leadership with interactive Q&A, and provide skill development programs to improve workplace productivity.

  • Marketing: Businesses use live streams to launch new products, generate leads in webinars, highlight thought leadership in virtual conferences, host watch parties, and more.

  • Sales: Live streaming also allows businesses to host interactive product demos, auctions, and showcase new products or features in coordination with limited-time offers and flash sales.

  • Event coverage: Watch parties allow businesses and content creators to cover conferences, live performances, and other industry-specific events while fostering immediate discussion among viewers.

How industries use in-app live streaming

  • Online gaming and Esports: Watching gameplay and tournaments is a core activity of gaming communities. Businesses and content creators use live streams to foster commentary, engagement, and drive monetization.

  • Education: Live streaming allows educational institutions and professionals to conduct virtual classes and respond to student questions through real-time chat.

  • Financial services: Live streaming allows financial firms to discuss important news and host interactive Q&A sessions with customers and shareholders from the privacy of their own app.

  • Retail: Live streaming allows businesses to solicit feedback about products or experiences while showcasing their brand personality and collecting user-generated content for marketing purposes.

  • Social and communities: Live streaming is an important feature for engaging online communities, allowing businesses and influencers to reach global users to discuss ideas, reach consensus, promote products, and more.

  • Telehealth: Live streams allow health professionals and providers to offer live sessions on mental health and physical well-being to a wide audience while addressing key questions in chat.

Key features of in-app live streaming

  • Cross-platform SDKs: Quickly build, integrate, and scale a custom-branded, visually consistent live streaming experience for any device using software development kits (SDKs), pre-built UI (user interface) components, integration tools, documentation, and more.

  • Push notifications: Alert app users when a live stream is about to start or gets scheduled to maximize engagement.

  • Moderation tools: Provide a safe, respectful space by moderating live chat and comments with automated tools to ban or block certain content, and mute or deactivate functions that silence bad actors.

  • Reactions and emojis: Increase engagement and foster a memorable experience by providing viewers with expressive reactions and emojis.

  • Mentions: Enhance interactivity by providing users with @ mentions that notify the stream hosts in real-time of direct inquiries or callouts from chat.

  • Video and AR filters: Tailored the viewing experience by applying visual filters to the viewscreen. For example, a chef could make food look more appetizing, or a makeup influencer might use video filters to alter the colors on the screen.

  • Screen sharing: Improve the quality of communications and viewer comprehension with live screen sharing, helping to improve online presentations, training, demos, and more.

  • RTMP transcoding: Enable stream content to be delivered to website and mobile devices instantly using the RTMP video protocol for maximum device compatibility, video quality, and user experience.

  • Rich media: Share and let viewers share rich media content like slides, presentations, videos, documents, and more.

  • Cloud video recording: Capture live streams to cloud storage for later use, repurposing video content for marketing or training purposes.

  • High-quality streaming: Look for the latest video and audio capabilities to ensure a quality viewer experience, including 1080 screen resolution, noise suppression, echo cancellation, and more.

Live streaming is a versatile, engaging, in-app communication channel that allows a business to connect with audiences authentically and interactively. Sendbrid and other leading mobile communications platforms provide live streaming APIs and SDKs for every device and platform. These tools simplify the process of adding and customizing live stream capabilities for mobile apps.

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