How to Build an App Like Threads? Process, Features, Cost

Prateek Saxena December 26, 2023

With over 30 million sign-ups in just 16 hours of its launch, Instagram’s Threads app, the recently launched “Twitter Killer” by Meta, has taken the world up a storm. According to the official app store description, Threads is a dynamic social media application that fosters engaging conversations and vibrant communities.

Designed to cater to diverse interests and trending topics, Threads enables users to connect with like-minded individuals and follow their favorite creators. Whether you seek to join discussions on current affairs or explore upcoming trends, Threads empowers you to share your ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world while building a loyal following of individuals who share your passions.

Threads provide a seamless sign-up process by using your existing Instagram login credentials. As new accounts join Threads, you will automatically follow the same accounts you already follow on Instagram. With Threads, you can share posts up to 500 characters long, along with captivating images, gifs, and videos up to five minutes in duration.

The platform’s interface is reminiscent of Twitter, featuring concise text-based content and options for liking and reposting. Users also can quote a thread, similar to the functionality of retweets. Threads combine the best features of multiple social media platforms, resulting in a unique and interactive user experience. With such robust features, considerations often circle around how much does such a platform would cost to develop? To give you a rough idea, the cost to build a text-based like Threads can vary from $45,000 to $300,000 depending on various factors detailed later.

In the current landscape of Twitter’s challenges, several tech companies have sought to capitalize on the situation. However, Threads possesses a distinct advantage with the strong backing of Meta, leveraging its substantial resources and the extensive user base of Instagram, which exceeds two billion monthly active users globally.

This blog will help you understand how to build a text-based app like Threads. In addition to comprehending its features, and development process, we will also look at the cost to build an app like Threads and the factors that affect it.

Now before delving into the costing details and the development process, let us first understand why launching a social media app like Threads is the astute move for Meta that will solidify its position in the industry.

Why is the Social Media Text-Based Apps Industry the Lucrative Option to Dive Right In?

Remember the recent cage fight that is expected to take place between Mark and Elon in the upcoming days? Whether that happens or not, Meta has taken the first move and launched the Threads messaging app, a direct competitor to Twitter.

Musk’s implementation of a temporary “rate limit” on Twitter limited the number of tweets users could view, resulting in a negative user experience and increased public complaints. This created an opportunity for Meta to capitalize on the social media landscape and introduce Threads as a more engaging and user-friendly platform a little early before its planned launch date. Meta’s goal is to address the deficiencies of Twitter and attract users by offering a compelling alternative in the ever-changing world of social media.

Meta’s decision to integrate Threads into its existing infrastructure and user base is a strategic move that aims to capitalize on its resources and create a seamless and improved social networking experience. The Threads app can change how people talk online, create fun communities, and help users connect with their favorite creators and people who share their interests. As the app gains momentum, it will further enhance Meta’s platforms and provide users with an enhanced social networking experience.

Twitter’s turmoil not only proved beneficial for the early launch of the text-based app Threads but also proved favorable for BlueSky, another Twitter rival that witnessed inexplicably high traffic, all thanks to the recent gimmicks carried out by Musk.

According to recent reports, the social media ecosystem is expected to witness a market share of $310.3 billion in 2030. The increasing surge in the app market size can be attributed to the growing demand of social media apps across the consumers. Thus, now is the right time to leverage the growing market space with a social messaging app like Threads.

How to build a Text-Based App Like Threads?

To build a text-based app like Threads, hiring a dedicated app development firm like Appinventiv, which has prior expertise in delivering similar applications is vital. Here is the extensive Threads app development process that needs to be carried out for developing a similar social media app:

Requirement Analysis

Begin by fully comprehending the app’s requirements and objectives. This phase of text-based app development includes clearly defining the target audience and the features and functionalities that will go into the app.

Market Research

Extensive research is essential for analyzing the market landscape, identifying competitors, and gathering insights into user preferences and trends. It will be crucial in refining the app’s overall concept and positioning in the social media space.

Design and User Interface

Once the above functionalities are mapped out, it’s time to start creating the app’s wireframes, mockups, and prototypes to visualize its interface and user experience. For an app similar to Threads to gain instant traction, an intuitive and visually appealing design that aligns with the brand’s overall essence will take you a long way.

Technical Architecture

During this phase of text-based app development, define the technology stack and infrastructure needed for the app’s development. In addition to this, carefully select frameworks and programming languages based on scalability, performance, and compatibility requirements.

Backend and Frontend Development

This phase involves developing the backend infrastructure, which includes servers, databases, APIs, and other necessary components. Implementing robust security mechanisms to protect user data and ensure data privacy is vital. Following this, the app’s user interface components, screens, and interactive elements will be developed. The focus while Threads like social media app development will be responsiveness, usability, and seamless navigation across different devices and platforms.

Testing and Quality Assurance

This phase of the Threads app development process requires thorough testing to identify and resolve bugs, glitches, or usability issues. Functional testing, compatibility testing, and user acceptance testing will be carried out to ensure a seamless and error-free user experience.

Deployment and Maintenance

After the app has been deployed across the respective app stores, it is vital to regularly monitor its performance, gather user feedback, and make necessary updates and improvements, to ensure seamless functioning across all platforms.

[Also Read: How to Create a Social Media App in 2023 – A Comprehensive Guide]

Features to Build an App Like Threads

Thread is a platform that stands out due to its distinctive features and its emphasis on fostering connections between individuals. Threads offers users a unique opportunity to build communities centered around shared interests by providing a fresh approach to online conversations. Here are some key features that can be launched initially while developing a text-based app like Threads:

Seamless Integration: Threads allows the users to sign up with their existing Instagram account, making it easy for them to connect with their friends and followers on Instagram directly within the app.

Follow Accounts Automatically: Once you’re on Threads, you can automatically follow all the accounts you already follow on Instagram as they join the app, ensuring you stay connected with the people you care about. You can also search for other accounts over the home page and follow them to view their content and posts.

Enhanced Messaging: With Threads, you can share texts, quotes up to 500 characters, photos, links, and videos up to 5 minutes in length. The app allows you to share your content at the Instagram story while linking your Threads account to other apps.

Threads:  The app has a familiar interface similar to Twitter, with short text-based content, options to like and repost, and the ability to quote a thread, similar to retweeting with quotes.

Communities: Threads is a platform that intends to foster vibrant communities where users can engage in meaningful discussions and connect with like-minded individuals who share their interests. Social media apps allow users to build a loyal following and share their ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.

Tune Out the Noise: Threads provides a “Turn Out the Noise” feature that empowers users to take control of their conversations. It is one of the most sought-after Threads app features that allows users to customize their experience by selecting who can mention or reply to them, filtering out replies with specific words, and managing profiles through unfollowing, blocking, restricting, or reporting. Additionally, any profiles blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on Threads, ensuring a more positive and focused conversation environment for users.

Compatibility with Interoperable Networks:  Threads plans to support the ActivityPub protocol, an open social networking protocol established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This compatibility will allow Threads to connect with other apps supporting the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress. By being interoperable, Threads opens up new possibilities for connections and interactions not typically available on most social apps. This will allow users to engage with a wider network across different platforms, thus fostering a more inclusive and expansive social experience. For  carrying out Threads-like app development, it is vital to ensure interoperability across multiple networks.

Now that you have understood the multiple factors and features that impact the cost of Threads app development, let us move ahead and check out the various differences between the recently launched Threads and its closest competitor-Twitter.

How is Threads Similar to or Different From Twitter?

When comparing Twitter and Threads, it is essential to analyze their distinctive features and functionalities. These two popular platforms in the digital realm provide avenues for communication and expression, but they possess unique characteristics that cater to diverse user preferences. From character limits and video lengths to content discovery and threading experiences, some nuances set Twitter and Threads apart in the social app ecosystem.

  • Threads have a character limit of 500, while unverified Twitter users are limited to 280 characters. Twitter offers a paid subscription that increases the character limit to 25,000.
  • Threads require users to have an Instagram account, allowing for easy importing of bio information and followers from an existing Instagram profile.
  • Threads allow users to post videos up to five minutes long, while non-verified Twitter users can post videos up to two minutes and 20 seconds long.
  • Twitter’s homepage showcases trending topics and personalized recommendations, while Threads primarily relies on the home feed for content discovery.
  • Threads currently do not have a draft-saving feature, unlike Twitter which allows users to save drafts of their posts.
  • Starting a thread on Threads requires hitting the enter key three times, whereas, on Twitter, it can be done with a simple click on the plus button.
  • Unlike Twitter, which provides this option, threads does not offer a separate tab to view other profiles’ likes.
  • Threads follow the same content rules as Instagram, providing controls for muting and blocking accounts.
  • Threads is built on the ActivityPub social-networking protocol, allowing users to interact with a wider community beyond Instagram, similar to Mastodon and other decentralized social-media apps.

Exploring the Threads App Development Cost

To give you a brief idea, the cost to build an app like Threads can vary from $45,000 to $300,000. Several factors can impact the overall cost of development, such as the overall complexity of the app, the location of the hired app development agency, the features integrated into the social media app, the tech stack used, aesthetics, etc. In general, the higher the overall complexity of the app, the higher its cost.

App Type Threads App Development Cost Estimation Time Frame
Simple $45,000 to $90,000 3 to 6 Months
Medium Complex $100,000 to $200,000 7 to 9 Months
Most Complex $220,000 to $300,000 9+ Months

Even though it is difficult to determine the exact text-based app development cost, a dedicated app development firm like Appinventiv can offer you a clear budget based on your custom requirements.

Factors Affecting the Cost to Build a Text-Based App Like Threads

There are multiple factors that can impact the cost to build a text-based app like Threads. Ranging from integrated feature list, the UI/UX design, wireframes to the location of the development company, let us understand the Threads app development cost analysis and the factors that affects it in detail below:

UI/UX Design

An effective UI/UX strategy is essential for the overall success of a mobile app. It plays a crucial role in enhancing user engagement while increasing the user retention rate. Implementing multiple testing procedures to tailor the app to specific requirements directly impacts the Threads app development cost.

App Platform

The choice of the platform has a substantial impact on the overall text-based app development cost. Choosing between iOS or Android platforms or adopting a cross-platform approach involves different cost considerations based on various factors. To ensure an optimized budget in the early stages, starting with a single platform is generally recommended and transitioning to a cross-platform app once it gains popularity.

Team Size

The size of the app development team contracted by the company directly impacts the cost to build an app like threads. The selection can involve choosing between freelancers or an in-house team or outsourcing the app development project to a dedicated organization. Each option possesses distinct advantages and disadvantages that need to be carefully evaluated.

Data Encryption

Implementing robust data encryption mechanisms is crucial for protecting user data and ensuring its confidentiality. However, it is important to note that implementing these mechanisms can lead to increased text-based app development cost. To effectively safeguard sensitive information, it is necessary to carefully implement encryption algorithms and secure data transmission protocols.

Authentication and Authorization

Developing a robust authentication and authorization system is crucial for safeguarding user accounts and stopping unauthorized access. Including advanced security measures like two-factor authentication (2FA) or biometric authentication may necessitate additional development work and potentially impact the overall cost to build a text-based app like Threads.

Location of the App Development Agency

The geographical location of the app development agency also influences the Threads app development cost. For instance, hourly development rates in Asia tend to be comparatively lower than those in the UAE, UK, or the US.

App Development Rates as per Regions:

  • Eastern Europe: $60 – $70
  • Asia: $40 – $50
  • America: $100 – $120
  • Africa: $20 – $40

Maintenance

Proper mobile app maintenance is crucial for ensuring its success in the rapidly evolving social media ecosystem. Implementing measures to ensure smooth functioning and optimal performance across all platforms is important. In addition to bug-free app expenses, maintenance costs also encompass app upgrades and the adoption of new technologies as per market demands.

Tech Stack

A well-designed mobile app, integrated with a strong tech stack, is crucial for its success. Using the latest technologies and resources to build a text messaging app like Threads is essential to stand out from the competitors. However, the cost of Threads app development can vary as per the multiple technologies that are to be implemented in order to incorporate multiple features.

Features

The feature list is a crucial factor in determining the overall Threads app development cost. An app with an extensive feature list usually costs you more than one with minimal features. Defining a well-crafted feature set that sets the app apart from its competitors is crucial to ensure easy market acceptance.

How to Make Money From an App Like Threads?

Text-based messaging apps like Threads and Twitter are gaining popularity in this rapidly growing social media space, earning millions of bucks within just a few hours of their launch. But how do you make money from an app like Threads or Twitter? Well, let’s get onto that:

Meta is not yet using any monetization strategy for Threads as of its launch. If you are looking to launch a text-based app in the social media space, here are the the various monetization strategies available for you to try out:

Advertising: The app allows you to generate instant revenue with the help of targeted ads, sponsored content, or paid partnerships with brands.

In-App Purchases: You can offer the users premium features, exclusive content, etc., for purchase within the app.

Premium Model: You can offer a basic version while developing an app similar to Threads for free while offering premium upgrades or verified tags and advanced functionalities for a monthly premium.

Sponsored Content and Influencer Collaborations: Collaborate with influencers or brands for sponsored posts or content promotion within the app.

How Can Appinventiv Help You Dominate the Text-Based Social Media App Market?

The introduction of Threads by Mark Zuckerberg addressed users’ need for enhanced personal connections, private messaging, and temporary content, resulting in a valuable contribution to the social media landscape.

Now that you have understood that the cost to build a text-based app like Threads varies from $45,000 to $300,000, now is the right time to jump on the bandwagon to leverage the growing social media space.

Appinventiv is a dedicated social media app development company with more than eight years of expertise in the field and has helped multiple clients leverage the social media ecosystem across various genres.

For instance, we recently developed a social media app called Vyrb that allows the users to share audio messages optimized for Bluetooth wearables.

The app paves the way for voice posting across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter using Bluetooth glasses. The app has witnessed over 50K+ downloads and received funding of $1+ million.

In today’s social media era, leveraging platforms like Threads can give your business a significant advantage. Embracing new social media apps and enticing users to join can put you ahead of the competition. If you wish to develop an app like Threads, feel free to contact us. We are here to offer consultation and project estimates tailored to your custom needs.

FAQs

Q. How much does it cost to build a text-based app like Threads?

A. The cost to build an app like Threads varies from $45,000 to $300,000. There are several factors that impact the overall cost of development including the complexity of the app, API integrations, the location of the hired app development firm, the UI/UX design of the app, etc. Get in touch with our experts to get clear cost estimates based on your custom business requirements.

Q. How long does it take to develop an app like Threads??

A. The time frame to make an app like Threads depends on the overall complexity of the app. For instance, a highly complex app with an extensive feature list will take around 9 to 12 months while developing a simple app with minimal features will take around 3 to 4 months.

THE AUTHOR
Prateek Saxena
DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
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