Twilio has unveiled a new video tool that can be embedded into iOS and Android apps and web browsers in a move to expand its cloud communication offerings.
Twilio already provides voice and messaging services that can be embedded into apps, and firms ranging from Uber, Airbnb and Box to major firms such as Coca-Cola Enterprises, Walmart and Home Depot use the firm's tools.
Now, Twilio has unveiled Twilio Video, built on WebRTC standards, so that users can add video chat capabilities to apps and websites.
The firm touted this as ideal for a variety of services, such as communication between players in mobile games, providing virtual tours of a holiday destination or in face-to-face customer support.
Twilio founder and chief executive Jeff Lawson said that adding video capabilities to the platform will help realise the true use case and benefits of video services.
"Saying ‘Hi' to grandma or having a corporate video call are just a couple of use cases for video calls. Real changes will come from embedding video into other applications," he told The New York Times Bits blog.
Twilio Video has features which allow four-way peer-to-peer calling, scalable and distributed video connections, and low latency connections with the nearest Twilio data centre, of which there are 28 in seven regions around the world.
There is also an optimised mobile media stack for iOS and Android apps which ensures that calls can handle network challenges such as jitter, packet loss and latency.
Twilio Video is free to use during its current private beta period, and will always include a free tier. Twilio declined to say how much the service could cost developers once it is out of beta.
One early beta tester is Zendesk, and Adrian McDermott, senior vice president of product development at the firm, said that adding video chat support was a real bonus.
"With Twilio Video, Zendesk can seamlessly add communication capabilities to our platform and enable companies to have high-quality real-time conversations with their customers," he said.
Twilio might be bolstering its services and platform, but the firm will need to keep an eye on messaging and communications platforms being created by major social networks.
Facebook recently expanded its messaging service, which includes Messenger Platform, allowing developers to integrate the social network's messaging service into apps.
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