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How much does cost to create an app like Instagram

There is no need for impressive statistics with millions of users when we talk about Instagram. It’s just a part of our life. we are now able to share anything in seconds. Our main motto here is to find out how much does it cost to create an app like Instagram.

Being such a huge success story in the field of mobile applications, Instagram is inspiring many business companies. It does not necessarily mean to create a full Instagram clone, rather utilize marketing capabilities. You’ve heard about apps similar to Instagram: Swipe, Snapchat, Vine Camera, Flickr, Photo etc.

However, the Instagram app was sold to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012.

How does Instagram work?

From a user standpoint, all you have to do is to download the app for free from your app store and install it on the phone. Open the app, create your account, and you’re ready to go. Three options arise when you hit a camera icon.

  • Photo – to take pictures and post online
  • Gallery – to upload images from your phone
  • Video – to shoot short videos

Some people think that Instagram is like Facebook, but you write less and post photos more. Your friends and followers will see your photos in the feed option and they can like it, tag it, and comment on it. So it is a great social networking app, and mainly a photo-sharing app in essence.

Basic features of Instagram

There are also many ways to use Instagram for business. Already many leading brands do that, due to the fact that 80% of people to follow 1 or more businesses on Instagram. However, that is a separate extensive topic for another time. Now let’s take a look at Instagram features. These are among the key factors to how much does it cost to create an app like an Instagram issue.

Thus, to create a photo-sharing app similar to Instagram you would have to incorporate features like:

  • User accounts
  • Registration
  • Login
  • Profile editing
  • Social integration
  • Taking photos/videos
  • Photo/video editor
  • Messaging
  • Geolocation
  • Push notifications
  • Settings

However, more features depending on the scope of your project and type of target mobile app. One extra aspect is that you also have an inquiry into how to make a photo sharing website. Because Instagram on PC is also available as a desktop application. And you will probably need that too.

Backend development cost

This is where the calculation of the photo-sharing app cost starts. Four basic aspects to create an app like Instagram:

  • Users
  • Posts
  • Content
  • Messaging

This would be a design of your Instagram clone app, the structure that Android and iOS app developers call back-end. However, Instagram uses Python (Django framework) and HTML5 languages for such app development.

However, to create an app like Instagram for Android we can utilize Java or Kotlin. Similarly, Swift and Objective-C to develop iOS apps. The backend would also probably require incorporating real-time chats, with Socket.io for instance.

An app like Instagram for Android

This stage of app development for the native platform(s) of your choice would eventually be the crucial one. Both in sense of time/resources and app cost. For making an Android app like Instagram we’ll be combatting technical challenges peculiar to this ecosystem. For instance screen sizes, flat design, app starting times, image caching etc.

 To create functionality Instagram Android developer would have included:

  • App skeleton
  • Main screen
  • Registration/login
  • Search
  • Photo/video editor
  • Taking photos/videos
  • Profile/edit profile
  • Messages
  • Settings/geolocation   
  • Social integration
  • Followings/comments
  • Push notification

An app like Instagram for iOS

Developing a social networking app and/or photo sharing app for iPhone devices faces fewer challenges. To start off Instagram provides several iPhone hooks and document interaction API.

Secondly, images on iOS phones are pre-loaded and square-sized (640px by 640 px) for Instagram app. The developer is able to build with Swift or Parse languages for all the features of Instagram-like app. Utilizing the Xcode development environment for macOS, iOS, watchOS can cut down development time, compared to Android.

Instagram iOS development: 1320 hours approximately.

Summary: the cost

Finally, we are ready now to tell how much does an app like Instagram cost. Of course, two important factors to it would be the timeline and developer rate. App developers charge differently in various countries. We take the average figure of $50 per hour rate for Instagram-like app cost estimate. Also, consider that at ThinkMobiles we offer $30 hourly rate for mobile app development projects.

              iOS            Android
Backend           $20.000             $20.000
Development           $66.000             $75.000
Design/UX           $4.000                           $5.000            
Web/desktop           $5.000                           $5.000            
QA/PM           $5.000               $5.000
Total cost (approx.)          $100.000             $110.000

Approximate timelines to create an app like Instagram.

400 hours for backend
1500 hours roughly for app development
100 hours to create a web application and 100 hours to design
100 hours for all kinds of testing

To summarize our Instagram business research, it would cost around $100.000+ to make a photo sharing app for the single platform. For both iOS and Android, or more platforms one would have to spend $165.000 or more to create an app like Instagram.

If you would decide to simply develop an Instagram app clone, the price would be lower, clearly. It is essential to remember, that Instagram was initially built in 2 months by 3 engineers. With one year to launch, Instagram was later sold to Facebook for $1 billion.



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