How Much Does it Cost to Make an App Like Instagram

It goes without a footnote that an app like Instagram has millions of users. With the tremendous visceral interface, relevant icons and brilliant features and powerful photo editing tools, Instagram is now an everyday part of our lifestyle that let's share anything we capture in a matter of seconds.

The Uber, the Amazon, the Airbnb, the Paytm, etc. are all on the pinnacle positions in their respective categories.

Similarly, both Facebook and Instagram have become the acknowledged rulers of social media and truly considered as the most powerful and strongest platforms to connect with the world audience.

If we talk about the Instagram, there has been a colossal progression in this photo and video-sharing social networking platform owned by Facebook Inc. ever since it made it's coming on 6th October 2010.

It was quite astonishing to note that Instagram received an incredible response from worldwide audiences and within a couple of months from its inception; there were about 1 million registered users. But it secured a genuine hike after social media giant Facebook acquired it in the year 2012.

According to Statista, the number of Instagram users exceeded to about 800 million in September 2017 and the figures of June 2018 states that the number has crossed to 1000 million. Just wow!

One of the exemplary reasons for its enormous growth is the fact that Instagram like Facebook offers the most effective services to not only communicate with friends and relatives on a personal remark, but it has become an empowering tool for the promotion of business and marketing helping you to reach out more customers.

After reading these key insights about the popular photo and video sharing app, if the desire to get an application, similar to Instagram has already begun pounding your brain, then welcome; let’s get started and proceed with the journey.

The Cost of Developing an App like Instagram

So when you sit to have a comprehensive estimate of building an app similar to Instagram, you have to take into consideration, a number of fickle factors.

These consist of the choice of platform such as Android or iOS or both, the selection between native and hybrid, choosing the best features, picking the most budget-friendly plot of the app development company and so on.

Developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

Since there are a number of image and video sharing apps available both on Google Play Store and the Apple Store, it is profoundly recommended that you should first build an MVP of the product and get the valuable user-feedback on it.

It allows you to save a lot of time and money; plus you also get an opportunity to analyse your idea feasibility.

It must be remembered that although you are creating an app that is quite similar to Instagram, don’t just frantically copy-paste the features directly.

For example, it does not make any impression to add features like IGTV or Instagram Lite, etc. that have been recently added into Instagram. Instead, try to offer something exclusive that can immediately draw user attention.

Setting up the Account Authorization

The first setup that becomes vital for social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat to start with the account authorization.

Here the users will get a couple of preferences; first is they can create a new account altogether and secondly they can sign-in into their current account using their email or social media account.

In bonus, there is always an option where you can also set up a new password in case you forget it through, email, and phone SMS or social media account.

One more crucial aspect to note here is that you have to save the user’s data on the back end for which you need a vigorous database same as the OAuth open authorization protocol for secured login into the account.

The evaluated time for development is ticked at 65 to 70 hours that include registration through emails, the sign-in or sign-out, registration by phone number and sign in through social media.

Create and Edit Profile

In the next step, you should target on building the option of creating and editing profile so that users can start sharing their photos and videos. In addition, the users also get the option of editing their profile where they can change their personal information, profile picture, bio and much more.

If we discuss the backend, you have to establish an interaction between the customer and the server-side of the application.

The calculated time for development is about 48 to 50 hours.

Creating the Messaging Feature

Once you have done with developing the profile, you can now shift your focus towards developing the messaging feature. It is imperative that you provide a real-time messaging facility to your audiences if you want to succeed in your venture.

This would apparently require you to create a notification, which makes the users informed by the incoming message.

At the same time, it is also very crucial to protect the server from excess loading of the incoming and outgoing messages. In order to achieve your ends, you can make use of restful API on HTTP as a replacement of permanent socket connections.

Similarly, if you want to have the notifications implemented then it is superior to get linked with the Android or the iOS server through device authorization on the server. You can use APN or GCM for doing it.

Developing a messaging platform would probably require an estimated time of 120-140 hours.

Uploading the Photo and Video

In the next phase, you have to begin with implementing the photo and video upload feature, which is said to be the most pivotal tool or the base of platforms like Instagram. The users can choose the images from within the apps or they can also upload from the current ones.

As far as the backend is concerned, you have to go for a distinct approach both for the Android and iOS platforms. In the case of Google, the Introductory activity is reading the Camera API, MediaRecorder classes, android.hardware.camera2 API, and SurfaceView. On the other hand, if you are creating an application for Apple devices then you have to use UImagePickerController, which is a part of the UIKit Framework.

The measured time is around 75 to 300 hours that include adding the feature of upload image or video and also organizing the option of tag or comment, which requires more time for development.

Customising or Editing Photos

You not only have to offer the feature of a photo or video uploading but the photo editing is also an important part of the photo-sharing app like Instagram.

In fact, the option of customized images should undoubtedly be included in all social media apps. It helps the users to play with their images and display their art while editing it according to their own preferences.

Now, talking of the backend, you get twin choices. In the first instance, you can make use of any common file or another alternative is creating your own files. In case you choose the former option, then you would have to copy the ready source code in the project whereas the recent option requires you to write the entire source code on your own.

The approximate time of building is about 65 to 70 hours.

Implementing the Extra Settings

This is the area where you provide various options to the users such as whether to enable or disable the push notifications, set their preferred language and set their account privacy.

If you want to grant the push notifications, it becomes necessary for the server to get connected with the Apple or Google server.

You need to register on the Google or Apple server and provide a convenient ID. The server sends the notifications through ID.

Talking of calculated time, it’s about 95 to 125 hours.

Connecting with the Social Media

Though you are creating a social media application, but it’s extensive to connect or link it up with other social media platforms as it cannot remain detached.

Today users are communicating with one another through various social platforms where they are sharing information, video, images and much more.

So, you have to prepare them a link allowing connecting with other social media platforms.

For the backend, you have to connect the app account ID with the social media account ID. For the authorization appliance such as OAuth will come into play.

The expected time for advancement is 8-10 hours.

Integrating the Geo-location Feature

Indeed, the geo-location feature has been regarded as an extensive tool necessary for almost all social media applications.

This feature eases the users by providing their exact location while posting a photo or video in their profile. This makes it simple for the other to trace their location.

In order to implement this feature into your app, you would require the support of APIs. And here too, the approach for both Android and iOS becomes obscure for which you need the services of Maps and Locations.

For example, the Android app creators need to use the class of android location package and maps service by employing the MapView class.

On the adverse, the iOS app developers will need the help of CLLocationManager Class and map service using the Map Kit framework.

After the front-end gets the data from a sensor, they send it to the backend. However, you need to attain the permission of the user before sending the data.

The data gets saved in the server-side and the image is returned to the user pinpointing the location.

The approximate time for creation is about 24-30 hours.

The Search Option

The Search Option helps the users in finding their friends, groups and known companions on social media apps.

Apart from that, they also get mundane with the hot topics that are currently trending on social media platforms such as news related to any acclaimed personality.

The users choose their preferred option and the backend server provides the desired results.

The estimated time of development is about 60-70 hours.

The App Design – UI and UX

Aside from these important features, you also have to evaluate the cost of app designing which means the User Interface and User Experience.

It has always been prudent to keep the application simple and sober and choose a design that becomes the identity of the app.

In addition, you also have to choose the colours and the size of the content very carefully. Choose the application name short and relevant.

Now, if you talk about the approximate time of app designing such as Instagram, it usually takes around 60-70 hours.

Some other Additional Costs

If you want to know about the additional cost of building a social media app, then you generally would have to view the price of hosting or publishing, the app testing, maintenance, and update.

Plus, if you want to add some other features, later on, you will also have to pay for it.

The Development Team

The teams that usually develop these types of applications include a project manager, one or two app developers depending on the platform, backend developer, app designers and others. Always go with a well-experienced app development team.

The Final Cost Estimation of Instagram App Development

It is very complex for anyone to give you the exact cost of developing any mobile app as each of the customers has a different requirement and the cost varies according to their needs.

Usually, the charge is decided on the basis of per hour development cost or the App Development Company provides the total cost of creating your app, which you have to pay at one time or in instalments.

The hourly price tag also gets changed depending on the country. For example, in the US the price is around $100, while in India it stands at $20.

However, roughly, the cost of building an app such as Instagram would range $50,000 to $60,000.


It is extensive that this era belongs to the age of social media apps. Having a social media platform such as Instagram would offer an all-round advantage to inflaming your business prospects.

Don’t forget people like to use new social media platforms and if you offer them with that extra benefit, you can become the leader of the race.

For the starters, you can begin with a simple and sophisticated approach, but as time progresses you can boost more fuel into your app.

FAQs About Instagram Like App Development Cost

How much does it cost to develop an app like Instagram?

The cost to develop an application like Instagram mostly depends on the type of functionality you wish to add in your application. On average, the cost to create an app like Instagram is somewhere around $50,000 to $60,000.

How long does it take to develop an app like Instagram?

As you know, the time to build an app depends on the complexity of the project and the experience of the app developer. However, to give an estimated time, it takes around 4-6 months to develop an app like Instagram.

How do I hire a developer for an app like Instagram?

You can hire a developer from different platforms like Google, LinkedIn, Upwork, PeoplePerHour. However, the most reliable and trusted source is to hire an app development company like Mindinventory.

-By Aditi Debnath




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