How much does it Cost to Develop App like Instagram

Prateek Saxena August 17, 2022
app like instagram

With over 1.452 billion active users, Instagram has emerged as the users’ ideal choice within a short span of time. The growth tangent that this photo-sharing app has taken ever since its inception has set exemplary standards in the industry. And as a result of its growth and popularity, Instagram is not only used to share pictures but used by brands and businesses as well to promote their products and services.

However, when talking about creating an app like Instagram, the most common question that comes to mind is about the cost involved in the entire process. The expenses include keeping the app not only running but also secured and appealing to its users. 

On an average, the cost to build an app like Instagram ranges from $40,000 to $60,000, depending on various factors.

In this blog, walk you through the evolution of Instagram and its business model followed by giving you the answer to how much does it cost to build an Instagram-like app. We will also provide you with the steps for Instagram app development, features of the Instagram clone app, and lastly will finish with how to make money from an app like Instagram.

Now, let’s get into the details of all the topics mentioned above for a better understanding.

Evolution of Instagram

Instagram started as a photo-sharing app with a number of features that can be counted on hands but today it is a lot more than that.

Evolution of Instagram

Despite maintaining its simplicity each year, Instagram is constantly making new changes.

And now, if you are thinking of having an Instagram-like app, then you must be aware of its market statistics. To have an answer to this, let’s move further.

Instagram market statistics

Could you ever think that a social media app can go from a newbie to a complete social media star in just a few years? The answer may be no, but these statistics act as a proof.

  • As per Statista, Instagram is the fourth most popular social media platform that has 1 billion active users monthly.
  • As per a report, the platform currently has 1.452 billion users and this number is estimated to grow manifold in the coming years.
  • According to Statista, by 2025, Instagram is forecasted to reach 1.44 billion monthly users worldwide, which would be 31.2 percent of the total internet users.

Instagram market statistics

These stats clearly represent the progressive picture of Instagram, and with its success, many businesses are planning to hire a mobile app development company that can help them build an app like Instagram.

Reasons why Instagram is a successful social media app

Every application or product has some reasons because of which it becomes successful. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons behind the success of Instagram as a social media application:

Unique user experience

Instagram is a photo-sharing app that allows its users to post, edit images, as well as follow other users’ posts. Unlike other apps such as Facebook and Snapchat, which also allow users to share photos and videos, Instagram has several features that make it unique.

For example, Instagram users can apply filters to their images to change the look and feel of the photo. In addition, the app provides a variety of photo editing tools that can be used to crop, rotate, and adjust the brightness and contrast of an image. The app also offers a comprehensive search function that makes it easy to find photos based on hashtags and location. As a result, Instagram provides users with a unique experience that is unavailable on other apps.


There is no doubt that Instagram has evolved a lot since it started in 2010 as a photo-sharing app. Today, it is much more than that. It has become a powerful tool for marketing, branding, and communication. In addition to sharing photos and videos, businesses can use Instagram to promote their products and services and connect with potential customers and followers.

Many businesses use Instagram to run marketing campaigns, such as contests, giveaways, and product promotions. Also, Instagram provides businesses with insights and analytics that can be used to measure their posts’ performance and understand their followers’ engagement. As a result, it is clear that Instagram acts as a useful tool for businesses of all sizes.

Wide reach

Instagram has a strong community and is available in almost all parts of the world. As of now, the latest version of Instagram offers translations in 25 languages, making it accessible to users worldwide. In addition, Instagram has a large user base, with over 1.452 billion active users. This gives businesses a wide audience to reach out to. 

Moreover, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, with a high engagement rate. This means that businesses can reach out to a large number of people with their posts and ensure that potential customers see them.


Instagram is a simple and easy-to-use app that anyone can learn to use quickly. The user interface is designed to be easy to navigate and find the features you need. In addition, the app is constantly being updated with new features and improvements, which makes it even more user-friendly. As a result, Instagram is an ideal platform for businesses of all sizes to connect with their target audience and promote their products and services.

These are some reasons why Instagram is a successful social media app.

The next section is about the features and the approximate time taken to build a feature-rich photo-sharing app like Instagram.

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Instagram-like app development: App features and development hours

Adding features to your app would be a key factor in deciding Instagram-like app development costs. The development cost would vary depending on the features that you implement in your app. So, it is best to be prudent and look at the viability of each feature.

Must Have Features for Instagram

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 frontend, 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

Profile creation

The option of creating and 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 their profile, and change personal data like a profile picture, bio, website name, etc.

At the backend, this requires interaction between the client and the server-side of the application.

Estimated time of development: 48 – 50 hours


Your Instagram like app should have the messaging feature. And in order to make real-time messaging possible, it should also have a notification option to make the users aware of incoming messages.

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

To enable the notification functionality, 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

Image or video upload

The essence of a photo-sharing app is characterized by uploading pictures or videos.

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

In the backend, if you are looking for how to build an app like Instagram for Android, you will first have to 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

Photo editing is another essential feature whether you want to create an app like Instagram or any other app. Features like photo-sharing application, image editing and modifications are must-haves.

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

Social media integration

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

So, when you create an app like Instagram, you will have to make a 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

Also Read – The benefits and working of a Geolocation based mobile app


This is the feature  where users can find each other and see what is trending on your photo-sharing apps.

Apart from this, users become acquainted with popular subjects that circulate  on social media platforms, such as news about a well-known figure, latest trends, new recipes and lot more.

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

Estimated time of development: 60 – 70 hours

Simplistic design

The most crucial Instagram app development feature that impacts the cost is the design. If you want to know how to make an app like Instagram that repeats the success of the platform, be prepared to invest at least 60 – 70 hours on the designing front for android and iOS.

Additional settings

Apart from the above-mentioned features, 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

Additional factors that affect the cost of an Instagram-like app

Apart from features and tech stack, there are a few other important factors that decide the cost of developing an app. Let’s take a look at them one by one.



The cost of developing an app like Instagram can vary depending on the design. A more complex design with more features will obviously cost more to develop than a simple design. However, it is important to consider how the design will affect the user experience.

A well-designed app will be intuitive and user-friendly, which will encourage people to keep using it. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between complexity and usability when designing an app. 


The cost may vary depending on the platform on which it is built. For example, building an app for iOS may cost more than building an app for Android due to the different technical specifications and design guidelines.

Location of the app development company

The cost can vary depending on the location of the app development company. In general, outsourcing in developed countries will cost more than in developing countries. 

This is because organizations in developed countries tend to have higher overhead costs, such as salaries for their employees and rent for their office space. They also tend to be more specialized, resulting in a higher level of expertise.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the cost is not the only factor to consider when choosing an app development company. The quality of the company’s work and its ability to meet your specific needs should also be taken into account.

Technology stack

The cost to create an app also depends on the technology stack that powers it. It includes the following technologies:

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In order to reduce overall development costs, we would advise starting with basic MVP functionality like registration, user profiles, newsfeed, and content upload. At a later stage, you can add features like filters, photo editing, etc.

MVP for Instagram

There are several benefits associated with developing an MVP if you want to build an app like Instagram. 

You will save a lot on app development costs.

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

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

Moreover, if you want to know how to create an app like Instagram, we will not advice you to burn a hole in the pocket by adding all the features in your app as well.

The final cost of developing an app like Instagram

Cost To Develop An Instagram App

If you are getting an Instagram-like app developed by a leading app development company like Appinventiv, the approximate social media app development cost can range from $40,000 to $60,000.

However, this cost will include:

  • Functionality count of your social media app
  • Product management
  • Native app development
  • Backend development
  • Quality assurance
  • Mobile app design

As discussed earlier, the cost to develop a photo-sharing app like Instagram will also be based on the development hours needed, which in turn varies from one geographical location to the other.

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How to develop an app like Instagram?

If you have a great idea for an app, there are just a few steps you need to follow:

Market research and competitive analysis

This is where you examine your competitors and see what they are doing. You need to see who else is out there in this space so that you can learn from them. 

You should also take all of your findings and use them to create something better, or at least different than what is already offered in the market. Based on these findings, you can make adjustments to your own app and make it better than what it is in the current stage.

Defining your target audience

With the app’s expansive feature set, defining your audience is a must. This step will help you know which features you should include in your app. 

There are several types of Instagram users, like those who use Instagram for paid advertisements, others who like connecting with their fans, and a few more who love sharing their lives with friends and family.

However, these Instagram users are able to accomplish many things with this one platform. They can edit, share photos and videos, find new people to follow, search for geotagged locations, view trending content from all around the world, and even go live.

Defining your budget

Creating an app like Instagram will cost you money. You need to have a clear idea of how much you are willing to spend on this project before you get started. This will help you stay within your budget and not overspend on something that is not necessary.

Hiring a dedicated team

Hire a development team to create an MVP (minimum viable product). This is a version of the app that has all of the core features and functionality but is missing some of the features.

The MVP will help you get feedback from users so that you can make changes and improve the app before you release the full version. The minimal feature list includes user profile, upload and delete photos or videos, geolocation, user comments, tagging, 3rd party integration.


Once you have an MVP, it’s time to start testing. This is a critical step in the process because it will help you find any bugs or issues with the app. Testing will also give you an opportunity to get feedback from users so that you can make changes before.

Submitting the app to app stores

Now that the testing is over, it’s time to submit your app to the Google Play Store or App Store. This means the app is ready for public release. Ensure that you meet the required guidelines for each respective store.


Maintenance is a continuous process that you need to be prepared for. Once you have launched the app, you need to maintain it. This includes fixing any bugs that are found, adding new features, and keeping the app up-to-date with the latest operating system. 

Points develop an app like Instagram

Now that you have a general idea of the cost and how to develop an app like Instagram, you may also want to know about making money with an Instagram-like app. 

How to make money from an Instagram-like app?

Instagram is one of the most successful apps out there. With such a huge success, who wouldn’t want to make an app like this? But how do you make money from an app like Instagram?

Well, you can use several different monetization methods to earn money from Instagram. Some of them are:


The easiest way to monetize your app is through advertising. Though simple, it is still very effective if done right. You can have banners or videos playing during the time the user is using your app. 

The more users use your app, the more money you’ll make from it. However, some users might find ads annoying which may lead to less usage of your app. This method of monetization would be good for both free and paid apps.

Sponsored posts

Another way you can generate revenue from your Instagram-like app is through sponsored posts. These are posts by companies or brands in which they pay you to show their posts on your site/app. 

This strategy works best if you already have lots of users and they are active on your app. Sponsored posts can be in the form of pictures, videos, or even just plain text.

In-app purchases

You can also make money through in-app purchases. This means that you offer certain features as paid-only. These features will be much more interesting to users as they would get something that regular users can’t have. 

In fact, many users are willing to pay for some extra features if it means getting more out of their app experience. For example, customized filters and effects.

As you can see, there are several ways to earn money from an Instagram-like app and it really depends on what suits you best. If you’re not sure which one to go for, you can always try out different methods and see which one works better for you.

How to make money from an Instagram-like app?

Whatever method you choose, just make sure that it doesn’t affect the user experience too much as that would lead to less usage of your app.

How Appinventiv can help in your app development journey?

At Appinventiv, we have worked on several unique and innovative social media applications to help businesses create apps that customers would love.

For instance, we recently helped our client Innovative Eyecare to build a social media app called Vyrb that enables users to send and receive audio messages optimized for Bluetooth wearables.

It also allows voice posting to various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter using Bluetooth glasses. The app has been downloaded over 50K+ times and received funding of $1+ million.

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 with 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.

As of now, you can start with a simple and sophisticated strategy, but can add more features to your app as per the recent advancements.

Get in touch with us if you’re interested in developing a social media app similar to Instagram. We would be happy to provide you with a consultation and estimate for your project.


Q. How difficult is it to develop an app like Instagram?

A. If you want to develop an app like Instagram, it is important first to understand the features that make the app successful. Once you clearly understand the app’s key features, you can start planning the development process.

However, it is important to note that developing an app is not an easy task and it will require a significant amount of time and effort. In addition, the final cost of developing an app like Instagram will depend on a number of factors, such as the features you want to include, the platform you want to develop for, and the size of your team.

Q. How to cut the cost of developing an Instagram-like app?

A. There are a number of ways to cut the cost of developing an app like Instagram. One way is to develop the app yourself. However, this option is only suitable if you have the necessary skills and experience. Another way to reduce the cost is to outsource the development to an app development company. As this can help you save on development costs, choosing a reputable and experienced company is important.

Q. How much will it cost to build an app like Snapchat?

A. The cost of developing an app like Snapchat will depend on a number of factors, such as the features you want to include, the platform you want to develop for, and the size of your team. However, the rough estimate for developing an app like Snapchat is between $45,000 and $60,000.



Prateek Saxena
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