How much does Facetune-like photo editing app development cost?

Prateek Saxena May 23, 2024
Photo editing app development cost

If there is one thing that the mass acceptance of image-sharing social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram have done, besides being the absolute profitable marketing medium, is bring a positive, surging demand for photo editing apps.

With more and more people willing to share every second with the world, the need to look better – either naturally or through the help of technology – is on a sky-high level.

Photo editing applications have now transformed an amateur photographer or individual into an artist. What actually matters for people now is to have a photo editing app that would be equipped with all sorts of tools for creating masterpiece images, applying the magic of filters and effects.

One such magical photo-editing app that has been capable of redefining the photo editing ecosystem is Facetune. Originally launched in 2013, the app has been capable of staying at the top of its game even in 2022.

This blog aims to give you a comprehensive estimation of the Facetune-like photo editing app development cost. The blog will also help you understand the various features that make Facetune one of the most downloaded apps on iOS as well as Android.

So, let’s get started by coming straight to the question – What is the cost of developing a photo editing app like Facetune?

To give you a brief idea, the photo editing app development costs can vary between $40,000 and $200,000, depending on various factors like the app’s design, tech stack used, location of the hired agency, and team size.

Now before discussing all these factors in detail, let us offer you a clear insight into the photo editing app market and how investing in the application is the right choice for your business.

Photo Editing App Development Market Outlook: Understanding the Photo-Editing App Ecosystem and Why Facetune App is Dominating It

Photo Editing App Development Market Outlook

The photo editing app market is projected to reach a valuation of $387.83 million by the end of the year 2027, growing at a CAGR of 3.57%. With the growing popularity of photo editing software all across the globe, the photo editing app market has seen rapid growth in the last few years.

Businesses of various levels now require high-quality photos and videos for their products and services for social media marketing. Typically, these businesses utilize various social media applications like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for sharing their content and boosting their demographic or audience engagement. This is the reason why most such businesses now rely on photo editing applications.

There are two other reasons driving this sudden high demand for photo editing software in the market:

  • Increase in the integration of photo editing features on social media platforms
  • A rise in the number of mobile-based photo editing software

Now, irrespective of what reasons are driving the growing market demand for photo editing software, the outcome remains the same – the rise in the number of entrepreneurs willing to enter the flourishing industry. And an even greater increase in people seeking the answer to how much does it cost to build a photo-editing app like Facetune or similar applications.

The market’s current state is such that the top players’ list is continuously shuffling, for many new brands are entering the market with the hope of taking a piece of the market pie.

If the current market scenario is giving you cold feet from the front of market interest, well, it shouldn’t. The interest for new innovation in the domain is still intact, not just from the investors but also from tech giants who are planning to enter the space.

Still not convinced? Well, you would be impressed to know that Lightricks, the makers behind the most popular Facetune app were able to bag $130 million in funding from investors in 2021 while the overall revenue generated by the app just in the last year stands at $141 million. The app has been able to get accolades from both iOS and Android platforms and has been awarded as the most downloaded photo-editing app multiple times.

Photo-editing app market

Now that you have a clear idea of how investing in a feature-rich photo-editing app can help put your business at the technological forefront and attract investors, let us discuss in detail the photo editing app development costs and the various factors that it depends upon.

Comprehending Photo-Editing App Development Costs

The photo editing app development costs can vary from $40,000 to $200,000, depending on the number of features as well as their complexity. The various factors that will further affect the overall app budget includes the UI/UX design of the app, its wireframe, coding, hourly rate of development, team size, etc.

Determining the exact cost of the development project is a complex task and depends on various aspects. One of the factors that can offer you an understanding of the cost range better is the hourly rate of the development.

Here is the formula to determine the exact development cost for the photo-editing app:

Photo editing app development cost

Here the total development hours are a sum total of the time taken to complete the app’s design, its code, testing, deployment, maintenance, etc.

Now, let us take a detailed look at the various factors affect the development cost of photo-editing apps.

Factors Affecting the Facetune-like Photo-Editing App Development Costs

The development costs for a Facetune-like photo-editing app varies according to several factors mentioned below. Understanding these factors effectively can help you make better budgetary decisions while making way for the cost optimization.

Factors Affecting the Photo-Editing App Development Costs

App Complexity

The overall complexity of the photo-editing app is one of the major factors that affect its cost. In general, the app complexity defines the total time as well as efforts required to complete various processes of app development. An app with a simple architecture can cost you less compared to the one with a complex structure.

For instance, if you wish to integrate complex functionalities like skin enhancement, teeth whitening, etc in the app, it will require you to integrate additional third-party APIs which will increase your app’s overall complexity and thus increase the costs.

Here is the summarized version of the photo-editing app costs as per the complexity:

Photo Editing App TypeEstimated CostTime Frame
Simple App$40,000 to $80,0003 to 6 months
Medium Complex App$95,000 to $150,0006 to 8 months
Highly Complex App$175,000 to $200,0009+ months

App Wireframe

An app’s wireframe allows you to understand the app’s architecture as well as the various functionalities implemented in the app. The cost of the app can further increase based on the various testing techniques employed by the hired organization to draft a seamless app wireframe. In general, the cost of a wireframe for a photo-editing app can cost between $10,000 to $15,000.

[Also Read: Wireframe: A Phase of Mobile App Design You Can’t Miss Out!]

App Platform

The underlying platform of the photo-editing app can increase or decrease the app development cost as per the project requirements. Even though the overall cost of iOS and Android development have negligible differences, it is usually recommended to have your app developed for a single platform at first. Once the app gains traction in the market, you can then switch to a cross-platform app.

To give you a rough idea, Android photo editing app development is more recommended initially considering the larger user base of the same. On the other hand, iOS is preferable if you wish to choose an uncomplicated development project that requires less extensive testing.

UI/UX Design

The user interface and user experience design is a fundamental factor that contributes to the app’s overall cost. The photo editing app development costs can increase or decrease based on the quality of the app design and the tools required for their completion.

[Also Read: Importance of UI UX Design in an App Development Process]

Offering your users a seamless experience while allowing them to navigate through the app easily are the few parameters that can offer you a guaranteed ROI.

Team Size

The team size finalized for the photo-editing app development process has a direct impact on its overall cost. For instance, there is a difference between the costs of the projects completed by freelancers and a dedicated app development organization.

Hiring freelancers can help you decrease your overall app budget but their lack of professional expertise can increase the chances for additional maintenance, technology upgrades, quality improvements, etc in the long run.

On the other hand, if you outsource a project to a dedicated team of designers, developers, quality analysts and a project manager, they will take complete responsibility for your project and will offer you quality work that is worth the costs.

An outsourced development team for building an app similar to Facetune will consist of:

  • A Project Manager
  • 2-3 UI/UX Designers
  • 2 Solutions Architects
  • 2 Developers
  • 1 Quality Assurance Specialist


The maintenance cost of your mobile app can affect your overall app development budget. Since it is necessary to get regular bug fixes while making way for app upgrades as per the market requirements, the app maintenance costs can sneak up at any time.

A highly maintained app is capable of getting constant traction in the otherwise competitive landscape. So, make sure that your app is integrated with the best tools and technologies and is capable of retaining users.

Tech Stack

Implementing the right technology stack for your mobile app is one of the foremost ways to ensure app’s success. The technologies integrated in the app further affect its overall costs. Therefore, you need to be more concerned about the right type of technical stack that you can utilize in your photo editing app development for Android and iOS devices. To begin with, one has to get in touch with a professional photo editing mobile app development company.

The hired team will then pick up the right technology stack to make your photo editing application feature-rich. For building a photo editing app for Android devices, developers should definitely choose Java or Kotlin. As for iOS app development, the most commonly used programming languages are Objective C and Swift.

Below is the list of the technologies and tools that we leverage to create an intuitive photo editing app. These technologies stack also influences the overall photo editing app development cost.

Technology stack in photo editing App


One of the most prominent factors that affect your app development budget is the feature list of the photo-editing app. A basic app with a simple feature list can cost you less as compared to an app with an extensive feature list. A photo-editing app with multiple features is capable of increasing the user engagement while increasing user retention rate.

Photo editing app development cost?

Features you can implement in your Facetune-like photo-editing app

Integrating a well-defined feature list can make your photo-editing app exclusive while at the same time increase the overall user experience. Here is a curated list of features that can help your mobile app stand apart:

Features on your Photo Editing App

A. Registration

The one thing similar between possibly every app active on the stores is user registration.

And keeping up with the tradition, you will also have to add in the feature of user registration in your picture editing app to make it easier to enter the application and ensure that their data is saved inside the app for they are not getting in as guests.

To make it easy on your users, add in the option of social media or Gmail login – this will expedite the whole process to a great extent.

B. Social Media Syncs

The relation of your photo editing app with social media will go much beyond easing logins. You will also have to enable your users to share the edited photo on their choice of social media.

Also, while not necessary, you can even give them the option to invite their friends and see their portfolio.

C. Photo Edits

The essence of your photo-editing apps would, by default, be the photo editing functionalities that you are offering them. In fact, this point here is what majorly determines what your cost to develop a photo editing app would be.

D. Photo Capture and Upload from Gallery

The next in our list of must-have photo editing app features is the option to take a photo. There are two ways to go around it – A. Capture the photo from the camera (your phone’s camera is connected with the application using SDK) and B. Upload the Image through the phone’s gallery.

E. Search

If your idea is to create an app like Adobe Spark, which allows you to make image changes by giving you multiple templates to choose from and edit into, you should give your users a search functionality to select their preferred category.

Also, you can give them the search functionality to look for any specific functionality of your application in case the list is extensive.

F. Shop

There should be a section within your application that has a list of every feature, functionality, and effect that you are planning to sell to the users. Ideally, it should be divided into sections of different things that you are offering to your users – simply for a clear and simplified UI.

G. In-App Payment

In addition to the shop feature, you should also integrate payment functionality in the app, giving your users the ease of purchasing the effect of their choice. To make it easy for your users, you should offer a variety of payment options like cards, online banking, or through platforms like PayPal and Stripe.

So, these were some of the must-have features that should be present in your photo-editing application to make it more efficient and valued. And now that you know what those are, let’s now discuss various advanced features that affect the overall app development costs.

Advanced Features that Influence the Facetune-Like App Development Costs

Advanced features of photo editor

By implementing a few advanced features in your photo app development process, you can make your app even more engaging. Let’s check out the list:

1. AR Filters

AR or Augmented Reality filters are quite popular in the Facetune app. This AR filter allows the users to add objects to the image. These AR filters hover over the user’s head as they tilt it. Other than that, if it’s a video, the image will move automatically with the user’s head synchronously.

2. Add Frames

It is now possible to add beautiful frames for any particular picture in Facetune-like apps. The users just need to choose the image from their phone gallery and opt for the frame of their choice.

3. Change Background

Users can choose the photo background of their own choice just with a few clicks. They need to cut a part of their photo and choose a new background.

4. Retouch

Retouch is quite a popular photo enhancement option through which the users can remove the imperfections from their images. For example, if the image is a closeup of a particular face, then they can clear up the blemishes and acne on their skin, make their teeth appear whiter, and make other enhancements.

Also Read- How Much Does it Cost to Develop an On-Demand Beauty Application?

5. Write and Draw on the Picture

This is another exciting feature that allows you to write and draw directly on the image. Users can choose their favorite color and add personalized text to the images. This function tends to make the photo appear more customized and exciting.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the various features that affect the app development costs, let us move ahead and briefly discuss the various steps involved in creating a photo-editing app like Facetune and how the app works.

How to Create a Photo Editing App?

Developing an app is quite a daunting task. With an experienced and skilled app development team, it is possible to build a scalable photo editing app. Here are the main steps of building one.

Step 1- Research the market and deeply analyze your competitors.

Step 2- Hire a custom photo editing app development company that can help you create your dream photo editing app.

Step 3- Select the basic and advanced level features for your photo editing app.

Step 4- Go for choosing the right technology stack for creating your photo editing app.

Step 5- Before developing your original application, go for launching your MVP.

Step 6- Create a marketing strategy and look out for ways to monetize your app.

Step 7- Plan to launch the original version of your app and implement advanced features that can make your photo filter app unique.

Step 8- Get the application launched on the App Stores and update it regularly.

How does a Photo Editing App Work?

Now let’s have a look at how a photo editing app mainly works for users. Let’s begin with the main steps.

Photo Editing App

Step 1- Upload a Photo

The very first step is to upload the image that the users want to edit. Modern photo editing platforms allow users to choose their preferred picture from the image gallery of their device and upload it for editing. Furthermore, they can also click a picture of themselves instantly and edit it.

Step 2- Choose the Desired Preset or Filter

After uploading the image, the users need to use the filter which they like the most. Also, apps like Facetune offer the feature of adjusting the filter strength. There are various other settings available for adjusting the exposure, brightness, and contrast of the image.

Step 3- Edit the Photo

The photo editing applications offer the users the option of enhancing or changing the photo in many ways. For example, the users can easily rotate, crop, trim, tilt, adjust saturation level, and avail several other similar editing features.

Step 4- Save the Picture

Once the user is done with making all the changes, then they can simply click on the save option and get the photo saved on their device.

Step 5- Sharing the Edited Images on Social Media

The last and final step is sharing the edited pictures on social media platforms. Apps like Facetune allow users to directly share their edited pictures into their social media accounts without even exiting the app.

Now that you understand the working of a photo editing app and how a feature-rich photo-editing application works, let us give you a brief overview of the most sought-after photo-editing apps in the market. Getting a good insight into your competitors can help you understand the photo-editing app ecosystem better.

What are the Top Photo Editing Apps?

While Facetune is one of the most popular photo editing apps among users, there are other players in the market too which can give your business a tough competition. Therefore, to gain the required competitive edge, it is important that you analyze not just Facetune but other competitors too. Here is the list of top photo editing apps that offer a high level of quality and a rich user experience.

the Top Photo Editing Apps


This is one of the most popular and classic photo editors that are readily available for iOS and Android mobiles.


This photo editor app is simple, yet; it offers powerful tools for editing pictures with fun filters with a touch of Augmented Reality (AR). This type of photo editor app is specifically meant for selfie lovers. It allows the creation of natural-looking, beautiful photos where the users can erase the blemishes on their skin with a special filter effect.

Camera 360

This photo editing application offers users dozens of unique effects which they can apply to their favorite images. With an intuitive and easy interface, the users can access all the features with just a few swipes. The users can rotate, tilt, blur, add texture, apply filters and do more just at their fingertips. Once the editing is done, they can immediately share the pictures on their social media platform.


This photo editor application is available on various platforms like Android, iOS, and even the web. One of the main benefits of this application is that it aims directly at the developers as it offers an SDK for customizing photo editors. Other than that, the SDK also helps in building functionality into other applications.

Now, how does Facetune differ from these applications?

Facetune is one of the best photoshop apps for mobile devices. It offers a wide range of features which includes editing photos and enhancing pictures like re-shaping areas, brightening the face and other body parts, removing gray hair or removing a red eye effect, etc. This app comes with a lot more advanced features than any other photo editing app.

Explore our Photo-Editing apps development services

The final thing that is now left is to know how to get back the invested money that you put under the segment of photo app development and grow it further. Let us get you an answer to that in the next section.

How to Earn Money on Your Photo-Editing App?

When it comes to earning money on a photo-editing application or setting its monetization model, businesses usually work around two modes –

A. In-App Advertisements

Under this mode, the app earns by showing advertisements of other businesses to their users. The more a user interacts with the advertisement, the greater are your chances of earning more money.

B. Paid Editing Features

The next most common mode of earning revenue on your photo editing mobile application is to offer features that the users would pay to use – it can be an effect or a filter, or even holiday-themed frames.

Now that you know what is the cost to develop a photo-editing app will be, you’re now practically ready to get started with your own business, there is just one last remaining thing for you to attend to – Getting in touch with one of the leading photo app development companies in India and the US that would help take your business ahead.

Trust Appinventiv as Your Photo Editor App Development Company

Photo editing apps are currently in huge demand owing to the widespread popularity of fast fashion in the world of social media. With crystal-clear photo effects, people can now enhance their pictures and share them with others.

Are you looking forward to exploring this industry? Are you in search of a top-notch social media app development company?

If yes, then you have just landed in the right place. Being the leading photo app development company, Appinventiv designs fully-customized mobile and web-based solutions for you. Right from the design to development and maintenance, we have got you all covered.

Our team of best developers will guide you to each app development stage and get it to all other needs and requirements for producing the best-customized solutions. If you want to know how much a Facetune app costs, then our development team will brief you about all the factors that influence the overall photo editing app development cost.

Furthermore, we also utilize cutting-edge technologies like Blockchain and AI/ML and integrate them with human-centric design for offering solutions that are result-driven and futuristic. Contact us today to initiate your dream project.


Q. How long does it take to create an app similar to Facetune?

A. For creating a Facetune like app, you first need to find the right photo editing app development team who can assure you a scalable app. The duration of building an app similar to Facetune depends on the app’s complexity. The time to build a mobile app also depends on the exact requirements, specifications, features, and functionalities you need to implement in your app.

Q. How to make a photo editor app for Android?

A. Here is the step-by-step process of photo editing app development for Android:

  • Research the market and get yourself familiarized with the competitor’s product.
  • Hire an experienced photo editing app development company to do the job.
  • Prepare design specifications for your photo editing app and decide with the development team what features you can implement in it.
  • Select the right technology stack for building your photo editor app.
  • Create an MVP version of your app, and then go for developing the actual mobile application.
  • Come up with a great marketing strategy and the best ways to monetize your app.
  • Prepare for app launch and ensure regular app updates.

Q. What languages can be used for creating a photo editing app for Android and iOS?

A. Different programming languages can be utilized for creating Facetune-like apps. For developing a photo editing app for Android, programming languages like Java or Kotlin can be used. In the case of ioS, programming languages like Swift and Objective C can be used.

Q. What monetization strategies can be used for photo editing apps?

A. The three most popular monetization strategies for photo editing apps include:

  • Advertisements
  • In-app purchases
  • Paid apps

Q. What are the basic Facetune features or similar photo editing apps?

A. Some of the basic Facetune features include:

  • Upload a picture
  • Browse and apply any filter
  • Use crop & rotate features
  • Remove unwanted objects
  • Create borders or collage
  • Save and share on any social media platform
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