How much does it Cost to Develop Instagram like App

Sudeep Srivastava October 28, 2021

Instagram, as a social media app, has emerged as the users’ ideal choice in very little time. The growth tangent that Instagram has taken ever since its inception has set exemplary standards in the social media brand was witnessed seeing an influx in the number of active users in double-digit thousands, at the end of year one of its launch itself.

In the below article we will be providing you with Instagram’s rising popularity graph followed by the cost estimation of how many $ it would take to create an app like Instagram and lastly, will finish with the Instagram features that you need to have in your Instagram clone app.

The platform currently has 1.386 billion active users, and this number is estimated to grow manifold in the coming years.

Instagram Users Worldwide

Salient Aspects of Instagram

Based on simple features revolving around photo sharing and the social element of real-time messaging, the app has become a mandatory application on every device. Although, you must be well aware of the features that the Instagram app come bundled with, let us, nevertheless, look at the take a quick refresh and learn about the tools used for social media app development cost like Instagram


With the question- how to make a social media app like Instagram, you should know that the platform started a photo-sharing revolution that was then followed by Snapchat and a number of businesses hoping to witness the same revenue hike in their monthly app analytics report as Instagram’s. And why not, when you look at the photo-sharing apps platform itself, the competition is still not widespread and the tech stack that Instagram has is not that complex that it will be unachievable to be adopted by SMBs.


Instagram started as an app with a number of features that can be counted on hands, it took 9 years for Kevin Systrom to make Instagram as feature-rich as it is today.

Read these Inspiring Insights by Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, The Man Who Built A $1 Billion Startup covered in Forbes to see how far Kevin has come with Instagram.

We at Appinventiv as a service provider, having developed over 50 photo-sharing apps, we know that both cost-wise and market growth potential wise, it is always best to develop an MVP first and then keep adding features in the structure.

While we are on the topic of MVPs, you can also read aboutHow To Build An MVP That Raises Money For Your Mobile App.

MVP For Instagram

There are several benefits associated with developing the MVP of your app like Instagram first –

  • You will save a lot of money on the development front.

  • You will not end up developing an exact replica of an existing app.

  • You will get time to gauge which features of Instagram are liked and which are not.

Now having good plans we will not advise you to burn a hole in the pocket by adding all the Instagram Features in your app as well.

Without taking you down the rabbit hole of the several features that Instagram comes packaged within the present day. Let us look at the ones that you must have in your version of Instagram app development. These basic features of Instagram are the must-have features of your alternative to Instagram App MVP – The ones you will focus on for at least 6 months of the app launch on the Play Store or App Store.

Disclaimer: You will notice how we have mentioned Estimated Time in front of every feature. The idea behind doing this is the answer to How much Does it Cost to Develop an App like Instagram lies in different factors and the development hours.

The more the development hours, the more mobile app builders charge to complete your app project.

Basic Features of Instagram and Time to Develop Them


Set Authorization

When it comes to Authorization, like every second B2C app, Instagram also gives the users two options – the options that need to be present in your photo-sharing application as well.

  • Create a New Account
  • Login with Existing Gmail or Social Media Account

Along with these, there is always an option for the users to retrieve the lost password through phone, mail, or social account.

While this is happening on the front end, on the backend, you will need a database on the server to save the users’ data, an OAuth like open authorization protocol for secure social media login, and in the end, access to users’ identity for times when they forget the password.

Estimated Time of Development: 65 – 70 Hours

Creation and Editing of Profile

The option of editing a profile should be the next must-have feature of your photo-sharing apps. Users should be given a space in the app where they can edit the profile, change personal data like a profile picture, bio, website name, etc.

On the Backend, this requires interaction between the client and the server-side of the application.

Estimated Time of Development: 48 – 50 Hours

Messaging Platform

Your Instagram Clone App should have the feature of messaging. And in order to make real-time messaging possible, it should also have a notification option to make the users aware that they have an incoming message.

In the backdrop, to prevent the server from getting overloaded from constant to and fro messages, you will have to use the RESTful API on HTTP in place of the permanent socket connections.

In terms of notifications, for enabling them you will have to establish a connection with Apple/Google server by registering the device on their server. It can be done by using APN or GCM.

Estimated Time of Development: 120 – 140 Hours

Additional Settings

With the cost to build an app like Instagram, you can even give your users the chance to set the language or enable or stop notifications, put the private mode on, etc.

For example, if you wish to add push notifications, then the app server must register with the Apple or Google servers and provide the proper ID. The notifications are sent by the server using ID.

Estimated Time of Development: 90 – 120 Hours

Image or Video Upload

The essence of a photo-sharing app and the number one feature answer to the question on How to create a photo-sharing app is Uploading Pictures or Videos.

Here, users can either take photos from within the app or upload the existing ones.

In the Backend, if you are looking for how to build a photo-sharing app for Android, you will have to first read into Camera API, MediaRecorder classes, android.hardware.camera2 API, and SurfaceView. In Apple, you will have to add the feature using the UIImagePickerController – a part of UIKit Framework.

Estimated Time of Development: 70 – 85 Hours

Photo Editing Option

Photo Editing is another essential feature of a photo-sharing app. Whether you are creating an app like Instagram or like another photo-sharing application, Image editing and modifications are must-have.

In the Backend, you have two options, either use standard files or develop your own filters. If going with the former, copy the ready source code in the project, if going with the latter, write the whole source code on your own.

Estimated Time of Development: 60 – 70 Hours

Link With Social Media

Like every other social media platform on the planet, Instagram also doesn’t operate in isolation. Your users will interact with one other by sharing the images and videos from the Instagram clone app.

So, when you create a photo-sharing app, you will have to make the provision of linking it with other social media platforms.

In the Backend, you will have to establish a connection between your app account ID and the social media account ID, by using the authentication methods offered by third parties, like OAuth.

Estimated Time of Development: 8 – 10 Hours


Your app should also have a feature where users add a location in the image or video. The post then needs to be added to the world map, making it possible for others to track the location of where the photo was taken.

While seemingly easy, the development of this feature requires using APIs. On iOS and Android, you can achieve that with the help of Maps and Location Services.

On Android, it is done by using the class of android.location package and maps service through MapView class. In iOS, you will have to use CLLocationManager Class and maps service through the Map Kit framework.

Estimated Time of Development: 24 – 30 Hours

Read here


This is the feature using which users will find each other and what is trending on your photo-sharing apps.

Aside from that, users become acquainted with popular subjects that are now circulating on social media platforms, such as news about a well-known figure.

Users select their preferred option, and the backend server delivers the desired outcomes.

Estimated Time of Development: 60 – 70 Hours

Simplistic Design

The Last but most crucial Instagram app development cost feature is Design. If you are aiming for an Instagram clone app that repeats the success of the platform, be prepared to invest at least 60 – 70 hours on the designing front if you are thinking of creating Instagram like apps for android and iOS.

How Much Did It Cost To Build Instagram?

Let’s talk about how much does Instagram cost, and here we will be noticing the actual reasons behind the cost to develop an app like Instagram.

It is very difficult to give the exact price of developing an Instagram like app as everyone has different requirements. The cost estimation of Instagram App development can vary greatly according to different factors like geographical locations, development team, features included, app design, and so forth.

The factors also include the platform, such as Android or iOS or both, the decision between native and hybrid, the unique features, the app development company’s most cost-effective plan, and so on.

It’s difficult for anyone to offer an exact cost for designing and developing a mobile application because each client has distinct needs and the cost changes accordingly. Typically, the price is determined by the cost of development per hour, or the app development company offers the whole cost of developing your app.

For example, if you’re looking for a social networking app development agency in the United States, expect to pay roughly $100 per hour, significantly increasing the cost of developing a photo sharing and photo editing app.

If you want to know how much it costs to design a social media app, you should include the cost of hosting or publishing, as well as the cost of app testing, maintenance, and updates. Plus, if you want to add more features later, you’ll have to pay for that as well.

Let us look at the different features that will be present in your app and the time it would take to develop them.

Again, these features do not include Instagram’s recently added features like IGTV or Instagram Lite, etc. These are the must-have features that are 100% enough to start your photo-sharing app journey and create an app like Instagram.

To Conclude: The Cost To Build An App Like Instagram

It’s crucial to remember that this is the age of social media apps. Using a social media network like Instagram to promote your business would provide you an all-around edge.

Don’t forget that people enjoy using new social media platforms, and if you provide them a reason to do so, you may take the lead.

You can start with a simple and sophisticated strategy for now, but as time goes on, you can add more fuel to your app.

Please get in touch with us if you’re interested in developing a social media app similar to Instagram.

Sudeep Srivastava
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