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How Much Does it Cost to Make an App Like Instagram

How Much Does it Cost to Make an App Like Instagram


A lot of people like photographing. Whether it’s taking masterpiece photos, being a model and posing on camera or just loving to share beautiful moments of their life with friends. Amateur photographing has changed the whole concept of the industry and 2010 was something like point of no return. Prior to that, no one could even think that such a simple thing can change the world.

Even in 2017 developers and business owners cherish ideas of building an Instagram like app. And the first question coming to their mind is how much does it cost to develop an app similar to Instagram. Since Instagram is a social media after all, in this article we will answer questions how to create a social media app and how much to build an app like Instagram costs.

How Much Does it Cost to Make an App Like Instagram?

The fundamental Instagram functions

What do we need to create an Instagram clone and how to make an app like Instagram? First of all, we need to define essential parts of the app like Instagram.

  1. Account authorization: user can login via Facebook, e-mail or simply mobile number;
  2. Developing/creating profile: enabling to customize an account, enter and edit personal data such as name, e-mail, profile picture, etc;
  3. Messages exchange: built-in online chat option eliminates message latency, since they are sent and delivered immediately;
  4. Adjusting settings: a question of comfort and app usability. User can set the UI language, hide account data to keep from unnecessary eyes;
  5. Uploading visual content: taking photos, recording vids, making previews and importing them straight from your gallery;
  6. Customizing photos: user is provided with a huge amount of photo effects and also can setup view, rotating and straightening.

How Much Does it Cost to Make an App Like Instagram?

Integrating with third party social media: sharing photos with your online-friend has never been so simple. It doesn’t matter whether he or she uses the same social network or not. App can synchronize with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, VK… the list is actually a bit long.

Geolocation: sometimes it brings pleasure to post photos from special places one has been to. It's no more necessary to indicate the place yourself, it is simpler to trace the location where the images were made using the app.

How to build mobile app like Instagram

In this part we will review essential stages of mobile app development and how long does it take to develop an app.

Providing authorisation. There are two possible ways for user to authorize:

  • set up a new account by filling in the requested fields like login, password, e-mail
  • register via third-party social network account

It is important for users to have a possibility to recover the password. There are several ways of doing that: e-mail, phone number, social media account.

Eval time: up to 70 hours for backend and mobile development on average, including:

  • registration/authorisation via e-mail - 20 hours;
  • sign in/sign out - 8 hours;
  • SM integration - 8 hours;
  • signing up/logging in via phone number - 34 hours.

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Developing/profile creation.
 Adding or changing profile data is performed via collaboration between client and backend of the application.

Eval time: 50 hours, including 42 hours for frontend and 8 hours for backend.

Making amendments of settings. An app needs a connection with Google or Apple server to enable push notifications. Usually developers use GCM (Google Cloud Messaging) or APN (Apple Push Notification) services.

Eval time: 94-126 hours, including:

  • push technologies - 66 hours (development - 26, backend - 40);
  • other settings - 30-66 hours (development - 26-43; backend - 8-26).
How Much Does it Cost to Make an App Like Instagram?

Uploading pictures/videos. This part of development is the most labour-consuming, thus will greatly influence the cost to build an app. It is comfortable to use android.hardware.camera2 API, Camera API, SurfaceView and MediaRecorder classes. iOS usually performs it via UIImagePickerController which is a part of UIKit Framework.

Eval time: 78-318 hours, including:

  • photo and video import - 20 hours (frontend - 16, backend - 4);
  • extra features (tag, comment, etc.) - 56-300 hours (frontend - 40-120, backend - 16-180).

Customizing photos using filters. It is less consuming to implement a pre-made code into a product and to use its filters. If you want to create custom filters for photo sharing apps like Instagram, your developer should use his own source code.

Eval time: 68 hours for iOS development including:

  • applying standard filters - 36 hours;
  • creating custom filters - 16 hours each;
  • cropping/rotating - 16 hours.

Social media integration. To make a social media app like Instagram you will need this option simply because it expands you app's visibility. SM synchronization between accounts is performed via providing a connection between an app ID and third party source ID. Common service to use is OAuth.

Eval time: 10 hours for each SM both for frontend and backend.

Geolocation implementation. After the location data is created your app sends it to the head server. Usually, app asks user for approvement to operate with its geolocation data. Once server saves the data, it returns a photo with mark of location on the map.

Eval time: 24 hours, including 16 hours for iOS mobile development and 8 hours for backend.

That's a common fact that that Instagram like app for Android will take 20% more of development time, because of code logics and structure. Therefore bear in mind that the real cost Instagram Android app will also be higher.

Now that we know how to develop apps and how to make a social media app in particular, know we need to find out more about how much is it to make an app like Instagram.

Do you have a question?

Instagram app development

All the listed development stages have to be performed by a top-notch team of developers. Such dream team has to consist of at least 8 specialists. They are:

  • 2 backend developers
  • 2 client-side developers
  • 2 UI designersinstagram app clone
  • 1 QA tester
  • 1 project manager

Cost to build app similar to Instagram depends on how many hours were spent on development and how much money a developer takes for an hour of 1 programmer's work - hourly rate.  Let’s imagine that you pay 50 dollars per hour. Now approximate value of photo app Instagram can be easily calculated.

So how much an app like Instagram cost would be?

To develop app like Instagram a nice developer would need 800 hours on average for an entire project, taking average hourly rate we've come to the number of around $ 40 000 for Instagram app clone.

Before creating your own photo sharing app, you have to know that, if you want to win the trust of users and to develop a quality product, you should be ready to invest a lot of hard work and develop complex strategies to win over your share of market.
Thunderrise Dev Team wish you good luck and offer our humble help in your future app development projects! Please consider this and contact us asap, especially if you left a like for Instagram app!