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How Does An App Like Instagram Function In The Market?

4887 Views | 1 min | Published On: April 16, 2021 Last Updated: October 9, 2023

The functionality of sharing photos and videos brings new achievements to an app like Instagram. This basic but distinctive Burbn (Instagram’s previous name) software concept received $500K in seed funding, allowing for the development of a product for iOS, Android, and Windows phone. In addition, the project received $57.5 million in total from ten partners following two additional funding rounds.

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the owners of Instagram, sold the company to Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion ($300 million in cash, the rest in Facebook stock). Instagram is now a free service with a market capitalization of more than $100 billion US dollars.

Instagram’s popularity has influenced a lot of companies. As a result of its popularity, other well-known photo-sharing applications such as Swipe, Snapchat, Vine, Camera, and Flickr have emerged. All of these applications make use of photos and videos, but their key meaning and features differ. After all these apps have discovered what makes them different in the market, the success of social media apps is certain. 

Evolution Of Instagram

Instagram is a very popular social media app, all over the world. It has gained so much popularity that people are planning to get an app like Instagram developed. A study in Wordstream suggested that 95 million pictures are posted daily on Instagram and the number of active users on Instagram have reached 1 billion. Who would have expected such achievement from this photo-sharing app?

Instagram’s story began with the simple functionality of customizing a photo into a square fit. This feature can be called Instagram’s MVP, as it helped the company to attract more funding and grow a solid project for major mobile platforms (iOS, Android, and Windows phone).

The unique selling proposition of Instagram was that the app allowed its users to not only share photos but also edit them. When this social media app was introduced in the market, the photo editing tools and the sharing tools existed separately. 

Right now, Instagram is known as a free photo/video sharing app available on all platforms including Android, iOS and web-based. It can no longer be categorized under photo/video sharing app as it has evolved as a social media platform that connects people worldwide offering a wide range of functionalities for marketing specialists and business owners.

What Are The Opportunities Provided By Instgram?

Social media apps like Instagram can be viewed as different opportunities for various purposes. Some of the major ones are discussed below:

Photo Editing App

Instagram gained popularity as a photo editing/sharing app. The app can include various tools used for adjusting photos like colourful filters and elements. This will allow the users to adjust photo size, brightness, contrast, structure and other elements. 

E-Commerce Platform

The social platforms present today play a major role in refashioning the future of eCommerce. Brands find photo-sharing apps like Instagram more engaging than any other platforms. In these apps, companies are benefitted by sharing the images of their products. On the other hand, the app also earns a commission from the companies that showcase their products on the app.


Communicating is an integral part of any social media platform. Apps like Instagram can also be used as a messenger. This functionality will allow the users to share messages, videos, images, highlights, etc. to connect with other users.

Instagram is still not done with its advancements. Some of the recently updated features include IGTV, stories, shoppable posts uploaded by brands, nametags, quick replies aka direct, explore page, reels, and many more.

Basic Features That An App Like Instagram Must Have

For developing an app like Instagram, you must know the features and functionalities that make it one of the most-used apps. Some of the major ones are described below:

1. Authorization

The user starts the experience of using this app by authorization. Users sign up into the app using any convenient method including phone number, email id, other social media accounts. It will be useful for the users if the option of resetting via phone or email is added.

2. Profile Editing

Once the user makes an account in the app, he should be able to start with the registration of his/her profile. The user can edit the name, gender, profile picture, bio or contact information. In case of registration of a brand, the company can edit their account details including name, contact information, location, etc.

3. Uploading Photos & Videos

The most important feature to be included while developing an app like Instagram will be uploading photos and videos on the app. Remember to provide specifics like previewing the show, downloading current content, commenting, marking, and taking photos.

4. Photo Editing

Instagram is famous for its filters. Users like altering the appearance of photographs. That is why, if you want to make an app like Instagram, photo customization is a must-have. Straightening, rotation, zooming, and other editing options should not be overlooked.

5. Linking With Social Networks

The best thing about an app like Instagram would be if it would connect users from various social media platforms just like Facebook has started integrating messages with Instagram. It’s easier than you can incorporate as many social media platforms as possible into the app.

6. Geolocation

Geo-location integration will help you expand the functionality of your app and make it more engaging. Users enjoy showing the locations where they take pictures and videos. Consider tagging a location not only on the photo but also on a map.

7. Search

The search feature is one of the most essential features that can be integrated into an app like Instagram. This functionality allows users to search any particular thing within a set of parameters. 

8. Texting & Communicating

People deserve to be able to speak with one another. Implement a message sharing option to give the consumers the option. Make sure it’s set up so they can talk in real-time. Allow users to leave comments on each other’s pictures. Incorporate push notifications into your mobile app so that users are alerted to any new messages or feedback.

9. Settings

The settings in the app like Instagram should be adjustable and convenient to the users. They should be able to choose the language, theme, accessibility of their profile (public or private) and should be able to enable or disable push notifications if they want.

10. Stories

The functionality of stories allows users to share the moments of their lives on their profile for a maximum period of 24 hours. These can be photos and videos. Users can add text, stickers, live face filters, and stickers to their stories much as they can to a daily story.

11. Reels & TV

The features of introducing reels and TV should be a great idea for an app like Instagram. This will allow users to upload short videos (reels) and long videos (IGTV, as on Instagram) on their profile for as long as they wish.

Take a look at the functionality that Instagram launched between 2017 and 2018 if you want to create something more than just a photo-sharing app. These capabilities have increased user immersion and elevated the app’s entertainment value:

  • Boomerang: 1.5 seconds looping videos
  • Superzoom: 3-second clip zooming in on the object the camera is pointing at.
  • Rewind: rewinds the video
  • Emoji Slider: This sticker can be attached to a storey and allows people to ask questions of their viewers. People express their feelings by swiping an emoji.
  • Question Sticker: It’s an immersive sticker that you can hand out to the crowd and ask them questions about.
  • Nametag: This card allows users to identify other users using their nametag.
  • Shoppable Posts: Brands can upload their products as shoppable posts.
  • Hashtags: People will also have hashtags (#) and profile links (@) in their Instagram bios, which act as live links to a hashtag page or a profile connection.

What Are The Steps To Develop An App Like Instagram?

The steps to develop an app like Instagram should be basic and simple. The major steps to consider in the development are as follows:

Define Your Objectives

Instagram is not only a photo-sharing app but also an eCommerce platform. This is also an app used for marketing campaigns of brands and influencers. Before starting with the developmental fundamentals of your app like Instagram, you must clear out all the objectives that you have in mind regarding the app. You must be sure about who you want to target and what you want to achieve with an app like Instagram.

Market Research

You must have known by now that you are not the only one who wants to be successful in the marketplace by developing a social media app like Instagram. The smartest thing you can do is market research. Research about the competitors will help you know about the functionalities and features that your competitors are using.

The analysis will help you find out what you need to do differently to make your app like Instagram stand out in the market. You must know what your users want and cater to their requirements. You must also consider whether you want an Android version, an iOS app, or an app that works on all platforms, such as Instagram.

Deciding The Features Of Your MVP

After you have defined your objectives, researched your competitors and understood the requirements of your users, it is time to ponder upon the functionalities that your app like Instagram would serve. You must make a list of features that your app must include. 

Gathering The Team

Now that you have got an idea about your project, you should choose the right mobile application development company to begin with the development process. The company you choose would provide you with expert developers. The team would comprise a project manager, app developers, UX/UI developers, quality analysts, etc.

Before reaching a final decision, you can seek out an established architecture firm to review their past work as well as customer testimonials. The firm will handle the programming resources as well as the distribution of your app, such as Instagram, through various app stores. Before signing a deal, make sure you know all of the terms and conditions.


There is no way for a company to prosper if no one knows about it. Even if your software, such as Instagram, is superior to your rivals, it is useless if no one knows about it. As a result, marketing an app like Instagram is needed at all levels. You don’t have to advertise it there.

Use your time wisely and promote your app like Instagram to your target audience wherever they are. You may also use a variety of marketing methods. Whether it’s in the press, television commercials, other social media networks, or enlisting the support of young influencers with a large following.

Revenue Model Of An App Like Instagram

Instagram started its business as a photo-sharing app. After Facebook bought it for $1 billion, Instagram started to make money for its owners. Instagram’s monetization has gotten it to where it is today, worth $100 billion. Instagram, like Facebook, generates the most of its revenue from advertisements.

According to some reports, the rise of Instagram ads is currently outpacing that of Facebook. Advertiser spending on Instagram increased by 177% in the second quarter of 2018, according to Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report, compared to just 40% on Facebook.

The revenue model of an app like Instagram would consider the following subjects:

  • Sponsored Posts: It’s no joke that funded videos, as on Facebook, are Instagram’s main source of revenue. An ordinary post with a sponsored tag and a call-to-action button is called a sponsored post.
  • Carousel Ads: A carousel post is identical to a regular post in that it includes many photographs that advertisers use to illustrate a message.
  • Stories: Instagram borrowed the use of a story from Snapchat. When users are following the stories of people they follow, commercial videos appear.
  • Facebook Adverts: Instagram’s business model is based on Facebook advertisements. Advertisers may use Facebook to insert ads on an app like Instagram. It is possible to do so without having an Instagram account.
    Here are some suggestions for monetizing a smartphone app like Instagram:
    Advertisement: Users may use photo-sharing software to create company profiles, advertise themselves, and attract followers.
    In-App Purchase: There are many items you can sell for an app like Instagram, such as personalised filters and effects.
    Special Deals: Your app can provide special offers to its users.

How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App Like Instagram?

The cost of social media app development like Instagram is a topic to discuss. The cost of development can depend on the features included, platform integrated and the technologies used. As a result, a photo-sharing app like Instagram would set you back at $59,300.

The cost of developing an Instagram clone is determined by the company’s rate. However, do not choose the cheapest option; however, ensure that the consistency of the finished product is satisfactory.


Overall, creating a photo-sharing app like Instagram is all about processing, transferring, and saving images. Keep in mind that setting expectations for the photos that users want to post is important to ensure that the profile gallery and feed look fine. By squaring, Instagram was able to solve this issue. You can think of some other way to align and optimise the files.

Now you know how to create an app like Instagram and what you’ll need to get the best results. Success will find you if you offer the highest quality goods to customers and do your utmost to make it simple and comfortable for them to meet their needs. Don’t hesitate to keep up with the new trends, and keep in mind that the most potential you’ll ever have is for improvement.

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