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How to Build an App like Snapchat

How to Build an App like Snapchat


If you are here (and you are here after all) these words just can’t stay unsaid. First, boy you are ambitious. Second: you are totally our type. Dive in, we start our journey from some basic theory on how to built an app like Snapchat and conquer the world.

“Snapchat is awesome” axiom

If you don’t agree it means you haven’t seen the statistic.

Interesting facts:

  • Snapchat is even more usable than Twitter. (Than Twitter, Karl!)
  • It’s more recognizable than Pinterest whatever it is. (Joking of course)
  • More than 150 million daily users and 9.000 snaps per second! (Just wow)
  • It’s content views are being compared with Facebook’s.

Do you have a question?

No wonder Zuckerberg wanted Snapchat for his own for $ 1 billion, then for $ 3 billion and last offer was around $ 6 billion. But Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy weren’t born yesterday. They had foreseen an upcoming success and gloriously turned down Facebook. Neat!

And finally. Drumroll, please.

Current estimated Snapchat cost is approaching $ 22 billion. Applause.
Why the idea of developing a Snapchat clone is inconceivably awesome?

Doesn’t building an app just like Snapchat sound like an awesome idea to you now? If it does, good. We’re on the right way.

I believe now you are ready to learn the truth. So what is Snapchat? The truth is that it's… a messenger. Comparing to gigantic WhatsApp it seems not so big, but grows fast increasing users engagement 4 times each year. Potential is what makes the price. So how does Snapchat get its public even when the market is already stuffed with Facebook, Viber, Telegram, Skype, Line etc? Does Snapchat cost money that was claimed? What kind of unique features Snapchat possesses? Stay with us and we'll find all the needed answers.

Snapchat hallmarks

Finiteness. Main peculiarity of Snapchat messages or “snaps” is their finiteness in time. One would think what’s so cool about it? Theoretical economy has an answer. Only those resources are valuable that are finite. The scarcer the resource - the higher its value. And that is what makes snaps priceless, that’s what awakens a desire to preserve them. Besides limited lifespan of snaps content saves phone’s memory and servers from overloading. Also it may serve as a way to monetize. A plus at every turn, isn’t it?

Photo and video content orientation. Snapchat is an app specified on media files sharing. The main screen is a screen of your front camera so you can make an instant snap and share it with a friend or a group of friends or post it to the semi-public “Stories”. Last is a broadcast like snap that stays accessible to your friends for 24 hours. It’s kind of similar to news thread in social networks.

400 mln snaps is being shared every month. Somehow people have come to like this new style of communication really bad. Primarily because it gives a special feel of freedom. Materials you snap won’t ever be seen by anyone except a destined receiver and only for stated amount of time. It makes users bolder with the content and fires up their engagement with the app.

A private stash or as it’s originally called “Memories” is basically a possibility to save snaps and “Stories” to phone’s memory. The content of saved snap becomes accessible in the gallery app, can be edited, shared etc. The stash has a “My Eyes Only” function that puts on your special (if you know what I mean) memories a PIN protection. Smartly done.
How to develop an App Like Snapchat

Snapness. Filters and lens are what makes snaps so ingenious and irresistible. Filters are not so new graphical effects. But as we know Snapchat developers look at every common thing from their very special perspective. Here you can add colored Filters, the current time, local weather, speed overlay or a Geofilter which is a graphical overlay that is only available in a certain area. Whether you’re in a city or at the festival swipe to attach the right atmosphere to your snap.

Lens is the feature everyone’s crazy about. With its help one can add a specific real-time effect to a photo or video. Want to make your eyes more expressive? Or maybe a cute cat ears?? Help yourself. Besides an ocean of lenses offered by third parties there is a Snapchat Lens Store so a user would surely be satisfied.

Do you have a question?

Even adding friends is something different in Snapchat. Common ways are too mainstream! Let’s make it Snapchat way! And that’s how a Snapcode was born. To add a friend a user should scan one’s Snapchat Ghostface Logo which black dots are actually are a QR-code.

Another option is to turn on an “Add Nearby” function. Using geolocation technology server compares device’s coordinates and shows other users with switched on option. Simple way to get new fun contacts. Thank you, Snapchat.

Discover your favourite publishers in a brand new format. Snapchat became so popular that magazines, channels and brands got involved. The “Discover”section consist of images and headlines previews of the content inside publishers channels and Live stories on the Stories page, instead of just logos. Long tap to subscribe, quick tap to enjoy.

Besides all the amazing features, Snapchat has a totally unique interface, supports audio and video calls, even has stickers with an option to create your own! What does Snapchat NOT have?! The answer is a worthy rival. All these aspects above make Snapchat a representative of a new market niche that is still accessible to eager participants. There are a couple of other similiar to Snapchat apps. Most notable are Wickr, Clipchat and some others, but none of them could have offered more entertaining features to users than Snapchat yet. Which means that there is still a chance to win over a share of a pie.

Let’s try, shall we?
How much does it cost to develop a Snapchat clone

How much does it cost to create an app like Snapchat?

Surely you understand that creating a Snapchat clone will require enormous amount of time and work since it has just too many complex for development features.

But have no worries, we’ll provide you with a special Thunderrise team of high class specialists. They will be:

  1. your personal Project Manager whom you will discuss all the wanted features of your Snapchat clone with. He will be at your service all way through the development process;
  2. a couple of Designers who will project awesome outward for your app;
  3. a bunch of Mobile Client Developers who will develop an MVP of your app;
  4. a bunch of Backend Developers who will develop APIs and organize server to maintain media exchange;
  5. a few QA Engineers who will make you rest assure you’re app is bugs free.

Do you have a question?

How much time does the development take?

  • Roughly the whole development process might take up to 1600 hours (on average 4-6 months):
  • 200-250 hours for Design,
  • about 450 hours for a Mobile Client Development,
  • 650 hours for a Backend Process and up to 300 hours for QA phase.

So the total cost will head toward $ 80.000 point and maybe even far beyound.

To create a Snapchat like app it’s not necessary to stuff it with all the functionality original app has. But the best way to make your app successful is to gradually add all the most appreciated by target audience features. So the total price could be either below stated value or beyond it depending on the customer’s choice.

Many people are also interested with a question "How much do Snapchat filters cost?" Well considering that applying Snapchat filter is an independent application itself, it will cost as a 3D application. Rough estimate is 200-500 hours of 3D-modelling and somewhat 50 hours of programming time. It sums up to $10.000-$25.000 total cost. It should be also mentioned that it's quite a smart idea to develop a Snapchat filter alone, since approximate revenue for its selling can surge up to $750.000 which 30 times more than starting capital.

You can always contact our managers to talk over specifics of the development process and total cost of your ideal mobile application. Thunderrise will gladly help you with your goals!