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How to Make a Photo Sharing App like Instagram: Features, Planning and Estimate Cost

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Instagram is undoubtedly the most popular social media application in the world. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in the year 2010. In just 10 years since its inception, Instagram gained over a billion users and gave tough competition to its rivals. It became the top photography app with 1 million users in only two months. Thanks to Facebook, which acquired it in 2012, Instagram is a leading, effective marketing tool for many businesses. Over 120 million businesses are registered on Instagram.

The best part about Instagram is that it can be used as an e-commerce store or content business platform. Businesses are spending highly on Instagram ads and creating brand awareness. All major business to local shops is driving results and creating a brand presence with the Instagram app. In 2020, Instagram records 1.2 billion users with 127 million businesses. Therefore, it is the prime time to step into the social media business by creating an application like Instagram.

Market Analysis and Statics of Instagram

This social media platform started as a photo-sharing app and grew into a platform for businesses. According to multiple reports in 2019, the total active users of Instagram touched one billion. The USA tops the list with 115 million users, followed by India with 73 million active users in a day. As of now, Instagram has over 500 million active users who post 80 million pictures and 35 million stories daily. It is also reported that about 90% of the active users follow at least one business account on Instagram. Over the years, Instagram has made its presence an ideal choice for e-commerce businesses.

Instagram Statics

Here are some more stats, which will blow your mind,

  • Instagram’s yearly revenue is a whopping 6.84 billion U.S dollars as of 2018. It is speculated that in 2020, these figures have touched the 10 billion mark.
  • With highly targeted ads, some brands have paid over $5 a CPM on Instagram. The highest on any social media platform.
  • 67% of the total registered businesses in the US use Instagram ads.

What Makes Instagram So Popular?

Instagram stands out from its competitors because of its advanced photo editing features. From day one, Instagram is known for its filters and AI emoji. Not only that but Instagram allows you to be the fashion influencer and make a name for yourself with its diverse features. It is a great platform for young people to become social media influencers, which is why the majority of Instagram users are between the ages of 15-30. 

Well, there is no exact answer for why Instagram is so popular, but the majority of Instagram users are addicted to its filters and influencing characteristics. Other than that, Instagram is aggressive in adding new features every few months, which makes it entertaining for audiences as well as helpful for brands such as stories and polls. Instagram also provides free analytics for people with business accounts or influencers. The ability to reach diverse audiences and analytics features make Instagram an advertiser’s dream.

How to start developing an app like Instagram?

All the features of the Instagram application play a crucial role in keeping the engagement impact and have an equal share in attracting new users. Also, The stats above show that the photo-sharing app with diverse features is huge in innovation and expansion. With the rising popularity of video-first content, video ads will be a promising source of revenue generation for apps like Instagram in the future.

Now you know why it is a good idea to develop an app like Instagram but what it takes to develop an app like instagram and How to Create an app like instagram?

Steps to develop app like Instagram

Here is the list of things you should know for developing an app like Instagram.

1. Market Research

In order to build an app like instagram, you need to research the market, features, functionalities of your competitors, which operating platform is best for your app, and the requirements of your target audiences. A unique application is a gem on its own, you need to do differently to stand out from the rest without compromising the needs of the user. From finding out the geographical location to target the specific age group, you need to note down everything before moving into the next step. Therefore, it is advised to dive deep into the market to come across what works and what was failed.

2. Define Objective

Back in 2010, Instagram was launched as a photo-sharing app. After a decade of giving tough competition to its competitors, Instagram now is a photo-sharing app with an e-commerce portal and an app for influencers and brands. Similarly, in order to Build instagram like app, you need to decide an objective for your application by keeping in mind the targeted audiences. It is crucial to step into the market with a particular aim rather than stepping with a bag of different objectives.

3. Features

Features of an application are responsible for the success of the brand or application. It is easy to differentiate between a crappy app and a quality app by its features. Interactive and easy to use features are essential to engage the customers and secure them, especially when you don’t have any physical product. 

Top Features of Instagram

So what are the essential features to make an app like Instagram? Here are some Minimum viable product (MVP) features that you need to develop a photo-sharing social media app.

  • Hassle-free registration process

The first screen that every user encounters is the account authorization or signup screen. The signup screen requires an email address and password to create a user account. It is crucial to provide different methods of registration such as e-mail, mobile number, or username to keep the UX simple and easy. 

The only thing to look out for is to make sure not to exact the complete information at the beginning. Rather, exact the information the Facebook way. Facebook never asks to submit details at the beginning but with time, it asks for the ease of login with a mobile number and smartly collects the data. Similarly, you can create an app like instagram with simple registration and later can ask for other details.

  • Push Notifications

Any Social media app whether it is a photo-sharing app or dating app is considered and regarded as an entertainment application. Without the entertainment of the user, it’s hard for them to come back again and again. In that case, how to keep them engaged and ensure that they spend a good amount of time on the application?

“You got a new message”. Yes, by Push notifications. Your users are socially enthusiastic, they want even the minute update of their friend’s life. Simply send push notifications regarding any update of a friend’s post or story to keep them coming back. Set an algorithm to know about the user activity and send the push notifications related to it.

  • Stories

The team of Instagram developers is the reason behind Instagram’s success. Their developers mainly focus on new and innovative features every few months. Although Snapchat invented the stories, Instagram represented them in a better and convenient way. Later adopted by Whatsapp and Facebook, Stories have become the most appealing way of user-generated content. 

Statics shared by Instagram stated, 500 million users use stories every day. It is also considered as the invite-to-engage feature. Instagram stories have changed the business culture for e-commerce stores with their swipe to purchase integrated function. In order to create a successful social media application like Instagram, the Story function is crucial.

By default the time duration is set to 24 hours by all the platforms, you can make changes in your application by allowing the user to decide the display duration as per their wish.

  • Search Option

A search option is a great function to keep the user engaged. A user can look out for places, celebrities, peoples, and tags with the help of a search module. Along with this, search functions also provide suggestions in the search bar. Thus, make it easier for users to find the right person. 

When you develop an app like instagram or hire app developers team, the Search option should be on your priority list. You can take the benefits of search results and use them to display the most relevant results and push notifications. This way, you can furnish the user with a personalized feed.

  • Direct Message

The basic feature of a social media platform is messaging. People should be able to communicate with their friends easily. Furnish your customers by implementing an SMS exchange option. 

Over time, the message exchange feature has changed from simple text messages to text messages with photos, audio, video, stickers, and gifs. It is recommended to integrate the latest version or something out of the box. Let your user choose the template, design, language, or even backgrounds. Implement push notifications, connected with a message box to send notifications of recently received messages.

  • Photo Editing

Instagram is popular for its amazing filters. After all, it is a photo-sharing social media application. There are a lot of filters with diverse features for the users such as image resizing, geotags, masks, settings of contrast, adding text, and brightness. Users can leverage the different types of filters. 

Apart from that, Instagram recently integrated some of the new AI filters such as guessing the age to analyze what food the user looks like, these filters are innovative and engaging. You need to integrate such features to engage the users and keep the app entertaining. AI filters make other content interesting.

  • GPS Integration

Instagram users love to post photos of where they have traveled recently. More importantly, they want their followers to know the exact location. With the help of GPS technology, they can easily allow the GPS to track and post their location with their photos. The location feature in Instagram is dynamic, which means users can allow the GPS to track their location or they can manually type in case of a poor connection. You can easily integrate the GPS in your application to provide these vital features to the users.

Cost to Build a App Like Instagram

The app development cost of any social media platform or any other application is different. Various factors determine the cost of developing an app. 

To develop a basic Instagram clone, you will need a team of UX/UI designers, 2-4 developers, Backend and frontend developers, and a quality assurance engineer. 

Similarly, In order to develop an advanced feature instagram clone app, you will need a team of the above-mentioned developers with the project manager, admin panel developer, 2-3 more developers in extra.

It will take you around 6-12 months to find the best of them and hire them for a project. Instead, you can easily hire a web application development company to get the job done at a low cost.

The time required, developer hourly cost and a number of features can change the cost of developing an mobile app. Let’s have a rough idea of the estimated cost.

  • For the most basic instagram like app Development with important features and clean UI design, the cost can go up to $30,000. However, the support will be minimal.
  • The more advanced version of an app like Instagram with a basic MVP features the price can increase up to $20,000 according to your needs.
  • The complete advanced blend of features with creative UI/UX design along with some new features can cost you around $60,000. But, it will be worth it as developing an application is a one-time investment.

How does Instagram make money?

As we stated earlier, the yearly revenue of Instagram is approx. 6.84 billion in 2018. This big chunk is of course because of the bigger number of users. The more the user base, the more the revenue.

There are two revenue models of Instagram:-

  • Commission

This commission strategy is very new and came into play with the success of mini e-commerce sections on the application. You can use Instagram as an e-commerce store and in return, Instagram asks for a small amount of commission on every successful purchase made through the application. Similarly, you can integrate e-commerce sections and ask for a small percentage of commission on every successful purchase.

  • Advertising

Right now, the majority of social media platforms make money through targeted ads. Based on users’ activity and search history, targeted ads are shown to the users. Apart from that, Instagram allows you to advertise on its different features such as stories, IGTV, and reels. E-commerce stores and brands advertise on social media platforms to engage the user and create brand awareness. Some brands even paid Instagram, a whopping 5$ for every CPM.

KPIs to Follow for an App Like Instagram

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) should be examined when developing an app like Instagram.

The first indicator should be the number of active users. That way, you can grow your user base with the help of different marketing strategies, an invitation to top users of a similar app, and referral programs.

Engagement should be the second indicator. The number of total signups does not determine the success of an app but the user engagement does. It is crucial to check factors such as daily logins, the amount of time users spend, and the number of photos they upload.

Reading Recommended- How to Build an App Like TikTok?

Last but not least, Retention will be the third indicator. Being original is the key here. Since there is already a successful app making billions per year, it is difficult to attract users for the same type of application. It is equally important to consult the idea with a qualified mobile app development company to connect ideas with realities. Original apps with the right marketing can create a successful application.

The Bottom Line

Now you know how to make apps like instagram. Note that, thanks to the simple user interface, designed features, and good performance, Instagram has earned worldwide popularity. But, your social media application could be the one to dethrone and be the next big thing. Creating a photo-sharing application like Instagram does not mean making a clone of an already known and popular app. Instead, take the idea and bring new features, integrate basic features, and stay updated about new trends. 

By consistent testing and improving, you can give the users what they want. If you feel it is too much to do on your own, then you can hire a qualified team of Maven Cluster to get the quality job done without hassle.

We (Maven Cluster) are a leading Software development company in India, Furnishing users with the best of Mobile app development services. Our team is highly qualified in developing social media applications like Instagram. Around the country, we are considered the best Mobile app development company in India.

Have ideas about developing apps like Instagram? Let us know, We can make it even better together.

Contact Us to make a app like Instagram

Faheem Hasan

15 Years Technical Expertise | IT Consultant
Faheem Hasan carries technical expertise that is matchless. He has a vision to cater the world towards innovative solutions with his exciting team of software developers.

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