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How Much Does It Cost to Make Photo Sharing Apps Like Instagram?

4891 Views | 2 min | Published On: October 10, 2019 Last Updated: June 6, 2024
photo sharing apps like Instagram

Instagram is not just one of the Photo Sharing Apps available online, it is a bundle of various things running under a single umbrella. This beautiful blend of Photography and Social Media – has played havoc with the app industry in very little time. 

A sassy marketplace, the hub of beautiful filters, and an amazing social media platform – these are just a few names Instagram is known for around the world.  

The pace with which Instagram is taking over the entire social media industry is unbeatable. Its popularity is growing fast since it first debuted in the year 2011. Just after 2 months of being open to the public, its user base grew to 1 Million. And, to 10 Million just after a year. Isn’t that astonishing? With more than 1 billion monthly active users, it is as of now the most popular social media platform worldwide. Numerous startups and investors are highly interested when it comes to build a photo-sharing app like Instagram.

App like Instagram

Source: Statista

If you are planning to build a photo-sharing app like Instagram, you must first be aware of the steps that Instagram took to achieve this success, the features its robust app is packed with, and how much it will cost to develop an app like Instagram.

To find answers to all these questions – let’s dig in:

Why Is It a Good Idea to Build a Photo Sharing App Like Instagram?

As mentioned above, Instagram has been the apple of people’s eye since its inception. Apart from its solid user growth, Instagram is also one of the most well-known social media platforms used by advertisers. As per Statista, After being acquired by Facebook in 2012, the relationship between the two has brought about billions of dollars in revenue, with experts anticipating Instagram to produce more than 14 Billion USD in the final quarter of 2020. 

photo sharing apps

Surely, the stats and facts like the ones mentioned above allure everyone to taste the triumph of its success. But this question is – while there is already a leader in the market, does it make sense to make another photo-sharing app and enter the market as a new contender? The answer is YES. Here is why:

1. People on Social Media Demand Changes

Since the arrival of LinkedIn in 2002, several social media websites made their debut one after the other. Yes, Instagram is a big name in the industry. However, that doesn’t mean it is a full stop for others. Here are a few market leaders of the social media industry who walked the red carpet after Instagram but are no less than Instagram today in terms of popularity:

Instagram developer

The names mentioned above are all enjoying a big chunk of the social media community. However, what differentiates them is their USP. Similarly, if you plan to enter the space of photo-sharing apps like Instagram “with a solid USP” nothing can stop you from being one of these top-leaders.

Also Read: Mistakes to Avoid While Selecting a Mobile App Development Company

2. Brand Marketers are Hungry For Apps Like Instagram

As per research, more than 2B people are using various social networks over the globe, and as smartphone usage surges, this count is expected to grow only.

In Spite of Instagram already being a well-known and used advertising platform, when Snapchat launched its new ad format in the year 2016, marketers all around the world embraced it with open arms resulting in increasing its yearly revenue to $58.7M in 2015 to $404.5M in the year 2016. 

With such a wonderful audience and enormous branding opportunities, businesses around the world are keen to build social media app platforms with good customer engagement rates and revenue potential. 

Also Read: 5 Best Mobile App Monetization Models to Make Money With Your App

3. Instagram Is Leaving a Lot On the Table

As per Statista, the United States tops the positioning of the countries with the most Instagram users with 110 M users using this photo editing and sharing application as of April 2019. Brazil was positioned second with 70M Instagram users, ahead of India with 69M users.

Instagram clone

While the popularity of Instagram in these 3 countries is difficult to beat there are countries like Germany and Italy where the app has fewer users comparatively. If you plan to disrupt the market of photo-sharing apps in these countries with a solid solution – none can stop you from replicating the success of Instagram.

If the reasons mentioned above are not enough to compel you to invest in a social media photo-sharing app like Instagram today – I don’t know what is. Now that you are well aware of why is it a good idea to create a photo-sharing app like Instagram – let’s look into the features you will have to integrate into your own photo-sharing app to stand out in the market.

TIKTOK like app

10 Must-Have Features to Build a Photo Sharing App Like Instagram

The key to the success of an app in the social media industry is engagement.

And that you can drive with amazing features. The features of Instagram have a fair share of contribution in keeping the engagement always elevating. The features of an application help users differentiate between a quality application and an awful application created with the sole goal of making money. 

By integrating user-friendly features in your app, you show your users that your business cares about them and that is the only way to keep the users engaged in-app. Here is a list of features that you should know before you jump into the development of a photo-sharing application similar to Instagram:

1. A Simple and Easy Authorization Process

how to make an app like Instagram

What’s there in a Login screen? Well, the answer is Everything. 

It is the integral factor that decides whether your users will stay in-app for a longer time or they will uninstall it immediately. In the registration screen, most of the time businesses want to extract all the information of the user – which is not at all a best practice. It will do more harm to your business than good by baffling your user with pages and pages of information to type and submit. 

Plan to take the data from your users, the Instagram way in your own photo-sharing application like Instagram. Enable them to sign up/log into the application in various ways, including email, mobile phones, and social networks like Facebook. 

To streamline all this in Front-End, you will require a database on the server end to save the data of users. An open authorization protocol like “OAuth” can help you implement it for secure social media logins. It can also help you access the user’s identity at the times when they forget their passwords.

If you are planning to develop your photo-sharing app with a renowned Instagram-like social networking app development company that has expertise and experience in developing such apps, it will take around 50-60 hours to develop.

Also Read: Instagram’s Threads – The New Jewel In Instagram Messenger App!

2. Creation and Editing of Profile

instagram clone app

Do you know what users care most about on Social Media? Their profile’s appearance in front of the world.

And this is the reason the option of profile editing is another must-have feature of photo-sharing apps. App users must be given a place in the application where they can alter their profile, and change personal data like bio, profile picture, website name, and so on.

On the Backend, this needs interaction between the server side and the client side of the app. The estimated time of development for this particular feature is 48 – 50 Hours.

3. Social Media Integration

best photo sharing application

Your users are done with posting an image on your platform? Now they need to post a similar photo on other social media platforms. 

Now, by keeping the competition aside for a moment, consider the fact that you need promotions and what is the better way than doing it with Facebook? The idea here is to connect your platform with other social media platforms. This way, your users will have the option to post their photos on your application and share them on other online platforms with a single tap! Could there be any better marketing strategy for success?

To integrate this feature in your app, in the backend, you will have to make a connection between the IDs of your social media account and your app account IDs. The estimated time to develop this feature is around 5 – 10 Hours.

4. Photo Editing Option

photo editing apps

Now, this is the most alluring must-have feature of photo-sharing apps like Instagram for users. Just click a picture, edit it, and share it instantly with friends. The feature gives users the ability to do everything in a single app – editing, modification, and sharing.

Make sure to integrate this essential feature into your photo-sharing app. Whether you are making an app exactly like Instagram or any other type of photo-sharing app, the image editing feature is a must-have.

In the Backend, you have two alternatives to integrate this feature, either utilize standard files or build your own filters. If going with the previous option, just copy the prepared source code in the project, if going with the last mentioned, you will have to write the entire source code. The estimated time of development for this feature is 70-80 hrs.

People say along with success stories you also should look on failure stories – to learn lessons from them. So, If you are planning to create an Instagram like app, have a look on Why Everpix – the World’s Best Cloud-Based Photo Startup Failed?

5. Messaging Option

It doesn’t matter what type of app you are building – a direct message feature is a must-have.

It helps the users to connect deeply with each other using your platform. Other than spending a huge amount of time in their feeds, the direct messaging feature can engage users with emoticons, group chats, and sharing of media via messages! 

In the backend, for the development of this feature, you will have to use RESTful API instead of a permanent socket connection to prevent the server from getting overloaded.

6. Geolocation

Geolocation in photo sharing apps

Your application should also have a feature using which your users can add a location in their pictures. The post then should be added to the world map, making it possible for others to track the location of where the photograph was taken. 

However, the integration of the feature looks simple – it requires the integration of APIs. So, the estimated time of development for this feature will be around 30-40 hrs.

7. Search

search in instagram

The search feature helps users to look out for their friends, tags, and places. In addition, photo-sharing apps should also provide suggestions for the content the user will like – depending on the user’s most liked and shared content. It is an MVP-level of feature for a photo-sharing application utilizing which users will find one another and what is trending in the app. The estimated time for the development of this feature is around 60 – 70 Hours.

8. The App Design – UI and UX

Apart from these essential features, you also need to figure out the expense of application designing which means the User Interface and User Experience. We suggest you keep the application sober and simple and select a design that becomes the identity of the application.

You also need to pick the size and the colors of the content cautiously. Pick the application name short and suitable. The estimated time of application designing for a photo-sharing app like Instagram is around 30-40 hours.

9. Stories

It is one of the most interesting features of Instagram. This option allows users to add images or videos to their feeds for 24 hours. After this time period, the story automatically disappears in case it is not saved. With this option, users can share their moments which they generally don’t want to share on the post feed.

Additionally, Instagram provides various options to add in images or videos of Stories. It includes stickers, music, filters, boomerangs, creating story highlights, hashtags, mentions, and more.

10. Monetization Strategy

The first monetization strategy was added to Instagram when Meta (formerly as Facebook) acquired the company for $1 Billion in cash and shares. It all started with sponsored posts and offering advertisement opportunities to marketers. Following, check the key principles of Instagram’s monetization strategy:

  • Sponsored Posts: The majority of income on Instagram comes from sponsored posts. 
  • Facebook Ads: These are important components of Instagram’s revenue model strategy. Brands or businesses can target users on Facebook through Instagram ads (even if they don’t have an account on Instagram).
  • Social E-commerce: This feature works best for brands and businesses. It allows users to purchase products by showcasing their products or links in Instagram posts, stories, or reels. 
  • Carousel Advertisements: These are single ads with multiple images or videos with their own links.

So, now that you know the essential features of an app like Instagram and the market potential of photo-sharing apps – Let’s see what tech stack you will need to make this app.

Before you jump into the development of your photo sharing app like Instagram – I will suggest you to take a sneak peak into Instagram business and Revenue Model to learn some of its strategies.

Instagram Tech Stack - A Robust Combination of Various Technologies

Instagram began as an application with just a few features that can be counted on the fingers. The Instagram team took 9 years for making Instagram as feature-rich as it is today.

If you are thinking of developing a photo-sharing app like Instagram, no matter what mobile application development process you plan to pursue, it could never turn productive until you get together a set of robust tech stack. Instagram Tech Stack is something that decided its future – it is robust while being a perfect blend of various technologies.

Have a look:

Instagram Tech stack

For successfully building an app like Instagram, we suggest you build an MVP first. Having created more than 100 photo sharing applications, we know that it is in every case the best approach to build up an MVP first and after that continue including features in the structure. It will also be a wise decision as far as the budget and market growth potentials are considered.

To know how an MVP will help you in the development process – you can read our comprehensive blog on MVP right here.

Now that you know all about building photo sharing apps like Instagram – let’s get into the main question and find out the answer to:

How Much Does It Cost to Make Photo Sharing Apps Like Instagram?

Well, it is very difficult for anybody to give you the exact cost of building up any mobile application as every client has various prerequisites and the expense fluctuates as per their needs. Usually, the cost is decided based on per hour development cost which you have just found in this article. 

The hourly rate of social media app development also gets changed relying upon the country in which you are building your app. For example, in the US the cost of development of photo sharing apps is around $100, while in India it stands somewhere around $20-$30. To give you a rough estimate for developing a photo sharing app like Instagram – the cost will come in between $30,000 to $50,000.

So, all set to bring your photo sharing app in front of the world? If you still have more queries related to the money you will need to develop an app like Instagram – feel free to contact us! Share exactly what you need and we will give you the exact pricing.

best photo sharing app

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q 1.What is Instagram’s Tech Stack?

On the server side, Instagram uses Python/Django. For iOS and Android development, it uses React Native. For the front-end development, it uses JavaScript and React.js. For cloud computing, it uses PostgreSQL for databases, Amazon S3, Amazon EBS, and Amazon EC2.

Q 2.How Much It Will Cost to Build an App like Instagram?

Although, the cost depends on several factors that include the complexity of custom features, third-party integration solutions, outsourced app development, and more. However, to give your rough estimate, it will cost somewhere between $30,000 to $50,000. The prices will go up if you add advanced features to it. 

Q 3.How long will it take to build a Photo-sharing app like Instagram?

To build a photo-sharing app like Instagram, it takes somewhere around 1160 hours to 1180 hours.

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