Introducing the Daily.co API for video calls

There’s now a rapid, efficient way product teams and developers can integrate 1-click video calls into your product or site. We’re excited to introduce the Daily.co API for video calls. With our API, it's easy to create and configure on-demand video call URLs. And with a single <iframe> tag developers can implement secure, in-page, 1-click video calls that work across browsers and devices, with a market-proven, polished UI.

See the developer documentation here.

Distributed culture and video calling

Remote work and lifestyle is so popular it’s creating new user needs, and entire classes of products. A quick short list includes:

  • Online coaching and mentoring for any field
  • Customer support video calls, with automatic recording, across industries
  • Industry-specific dashboards that sync collaboration and project work
  • Long distance learning
  • Team management and productivity

Just a decade ago video calling was only found in big systems in corporate board rooms. Now video calls, on every computer, are a mainstay of work. This is only the start. Video calls are so common to how we connnect, they’re a useful feature inside other programs and products.

The Daily.co API for video calls is designed for a couple big things. A team can deploy rapidly. No longer does a team have to spend days and weeks, resources of time (and money), to integrate a usable video calling tool. We provide best-in-class, 1-click functionality, in a polished UI. Deploy literally in minutes. Leverage our video calling expertise.

The API also is so simple that it throws open the door to more teams. Maybe your team! Another exciting trend, in addition to the remote trend, is the no-code movement – more broadly, more accessible technology. If you have sophisticated dev skills, you can build anything you can imagine with our API. But even if you're not a developer, you can add embedded video calls into any web page, and use our integrations to create new video call workflows!

The video calls

The Daily.co API supports integration of 1-click video calls. Our team has been building video calling for more than two decades, and we started Daily.co to build a better video calling experience.

We emphasize clean design, 1-click technology, and powerful features thoughtfully applied. Since our Daily.co launch in 2016 we’ve built on top of WebRTC platform. It’s 1-click video calling, with no downloads. Its ease and simplicity eliminate the traditional clutter of video calls.

Easier for customers. All Daily.co links are no download. Users simply click on a link, and guests never have to create an account.

Better UI. Our clean design is in sync with this streamlined approach. Users told us a lot of video calling felt clunky. Our UI is clear, which lets users make use of key features like dual screen sharing, local and cloud recording, 50 person calls with smart mute, and more.

Top browser support. In addition to supporting robust features on Chrome, we support Edge, Safari, and Firefox. Users can join calls with 4 or fewer on Safari and Firefox. Edge can be used for 1:1 calls.

Responsive. The mobile experience doesn’t require a download – again, users simply tap the link in iOS Safari or Android Chrome.

Privacy. You can learn more about our backend in this blog post from our dev lead, Kwin. All calls are encrypted. Calls with 4 or fewer participants are fully encrypted end-to-end and are peer-to-peer.

Bonus: Unusually for a video calling API, our Daily.co browser calls actually let you try out a call. Keep in mind the API gives your more robust control, of course, but to dip your toe in the water, just sign up at Daily.co and try a call.

The API

Our API allows swift integration plus more robust control of these 1-click video calls. A developer can create, manage, and also embed video calls.

  • Simple API calls to create, configure and delete rooms.
  • Flexible user-specific permissions and configuration via encrypted tokens.
  • Recording.
  • Meeting attendance and usage analytics.
  • One additional line of code to embed the video call into a product or site, with an iframe.
  • Room and user configure options include recording, room privacy, expiration dates/times, join with camera/mic booleans, and more.
  • No server-side code needed to get started.

Our documentation details all configuration options. Here's a “Get Started in 5 Minutes” post by our lead developer and CEO Kwindla.

While the API gives devs more deployment control and power, to the user the calls themselves are elegantly simple. API-created calls share the same design with our basic browser product – the same layout, video grid, menu interface, responsive layouts, and interaction paradigms.

Because you don't have to write any UI code, you can go to market with a tested, proven, video calling product with just a tiny amount of new development.

Here’s a shortlist of the many design scenarios that our UI-ready calls handle for you:

  • Responsive design
  • In-call interactions
  • Device permissions
  • Camera/mic switching
  • Screen sharing
  • Maximizing video feeds
  • Network optimization and bandwidth-based muting
  • Chat

Clear pricing

In every product we’ve launched, we’ve also asked how to make pricing more sensible. That’s part of simplifying video calling, we believe. In keeping with this, the Daily.co API pricing is based on a different approach than many other video calling APIs.

With video calling, API pricing is based on minutes used by all the participants. APIs use a formula to calculate this.

Most other APIs use a formula known as "subscriber minutes." The formula looks like this, where n is the number of people who have joined the call:

n *(n-1) * minutes

The Daily.co API takes a cleaner approach, and saves you money at the same time. Our formula is simply:

n * minutes

The goal, as in all things, was simplicity and clarity. Finally, so developers can test with ease, we offer a free tier, which doesn’t require a credit card. Tier upgrades are based on minutes and rooms, as well as premium features like recording and custom domains and branding.

Get started with the API

It’s easy to start building. Go to the documentation here. To get a key, sign up at Daily.co and click on the ‘Developers’ tab.

And we’re just getting started. Our roadmap is anchored by our mission to put the best tools in our customers’ hands.

And, after all, the ability to work and live from anywhere has really just started to open up. The next few years will see some incredibly fluid tools, and new ways of thinking about how we all can work and build together.

Let us know your feedback and feature requests. We’re excited to hear what you're building.

The wonderful top image is from Unsplash, by Edu Lauton — thank you!

Recent posts