Our primary focus at Zipcan is to make embedded video calling extremely easy for anyone to add to their website or application. But once Zipcan is embedded, our customers demand a wide range of call experience based on their context.

This blog post summarizes how Zipcan works and what your participants can expect when entering a Zipcan video call.

Everything starts with a Video Space. Each Video Space can have its own settings, theme, security and embed code. The default starts with one room, but using Dynamic Rooms or Events you can create more within that space.

The first step is to choose your settings:

  • Lobby Title
    • The default: “Join the Conversation”. Can be overridden with any text string
  • Lobby Description
    • When entered, text appears below Lobby Title.
  • Allow participants to invite
    • When disabled, the “Invite” button in the "Participants" drawer is omitted for participants only. Hosts can still use the Invite button.
  • Enable Messaging
    • When disabled, the “Messages” icon in the control bar is omitted for everyone.
  • Enable Screen Sharing
    • When disabled, the screen share icon in the control bar is omitted for everyone.
  • Waiting Room
    • When enabled, a host who is signed into the admin needs to allow participants into the call. When disabled, all participants enter the call immediately.
  • User-hosted Chat
    • When enabled, anyone who comes to your Video Space will start their own private call. To get participants into the call, this person must use the Zipcan invite/re-direct to get others into the same room.

We will not cover it in detail in this post, but it is also recommended to add the domain of where you embed the Video Space to the Domain Safelist under the Security option. This provides an added layer of security by only allowing the video to be used where it is embedded.

Next you can choose an embed option.

Button: All calls start with a themeable floating button provided by Zipcan. The button can open the video chat as a popup, as a modal, or as a panel.

Inline: A traditional iframe embed allows you to place the video chat where you specify in your website or application content. The Zipcan widget is responsive but you should be aware of the container size and the other elements on the page.

Advanced: Our NPM module allows you to integrate a Video Space directly into your app using a web component.

Common settings:

  • Example, if you have a network website where you wanted participant A and participant B+1 to be in the same call, use this configuration to create open rooms with Dynamic Rooms. This configuration allows for anyone, with access, to join a video call. Turn off Waiting Room and User-hosted chats. Then use Dynamic Rooms to add a unique MY_ROOM id to the URL so every call within your application is unique to that ID, but the theme and behavior is the same.
  • Example, you sell 1-1 video chat time with a consultant or celebrity, use hosted and moderated video chats. This configuration requires someone be signed into the admin so they can view and allow participants into the call. Anyone not authenticated in the admin will go into the waiting room and the host will be notified.
  • Example, you want website visitors to jump on video immediately or schedule a call. Use either of the two configurations above. With an open room setting and dynamic rooms, every agent in your company could have their own room. If you want to engage website visitors immediately, agents can use their own dynamic room in any text chat or customer communication. Participants can join immediately. If you want website visitors to schedule time, you can connect a persistent link to your scheduling tool with waiting room on. Then at the scheduled time, the host will allow participants into the call. FYI this is what we use here at Zipcan when you schedule help with us.
  • Example, you want any user on your website or application to start a call, then invite others in, like a clubhouse chat but on video. With user-hosted calls, once the embed code is on your website, any user can start their own call.

As you can see, Zipcan is simple, but offers a plethora of options to facilitate calling within your website or application.