Pro Mobile App Development 2023—Make An App Like Instagram

Pro Mobile App Development 2023—Make An App Like Instagram | OmiSoft

Do people need another Instagram? Looking at such a giant, it’s hard to imagine that the world will accept another social media platform. But we live in a year when people constantly want more, which results in the desire to build a mobile app like Twitter or Facebook. 

Some of them, like Tik Tok, become a wild success, while sadly around 90% fail. A bright recent example is Clubhouse, which was trying to have a minute of fame, but not many will even remember it now.

If you have a serious intention of building a new social media in 2023 and wonder how to build an app like Instagram, you came to the right place. In this article, we will cover how much effort you need to develop a social media app, what techs to use, what pros and cons, and the average development costs for 2022.

Read on and enjoy a step-by-step guide from our app development company with tips to help your “Instagram” succeed.

Why Develop a Social Media App like Instagram?

To understand the benefits of developing a social media app like Instagram let’s allow statistics to speak for themselves:

  1. IG has over 1 billion users worldwide
  2. 63% of the IG users in the US access it daily, while 90% weekly
  3. It’s among the top-5 most-used social networks worldwide

And by the end of the year, Instagram revenue is expected to reach $33.3 billion. But the social media app is not just a great way to make money, Instagram is a full-on social phenomenon, that changed the way people build relationships and brands do their business.

Hyped to start cross-platform mobile development to build the next Instagram? Hold your horses! It’s not as easy as you might think, as when developing a new bicycle you need to have a clear understanding of how it works and what you can do better. That’s what we are going to do. Read on!

Technology Stack for Mobile App Development 

Regardless if you are tech-savvy or have no idea how it works, it’s important to have at least some basic understanding of the techs used for Instagram mobile app development. Here is a current IG tech stack:

Must-have Components Of Instagram-like App in 2023

When you’re developing a social media app, it’s a good idea to do some research on your competition. This will help you build your own product. That’s why we researched Instagram—the first app of its kind—to see what features have been most successful for them. These findings can become the building blocks for your own app.

The core features of  Instagram are:

  • Authorization
  • Profile editing
  • Customization of photos (both profile and feed)
  • Follow, like, and comment features
  • Search and QR profile tags
  • Adding links to other social media 
  • Posting with description, tags, and geolocation
  • Multiple photo carousel 
  • Video posts
  • Saving posts
  • Tool for paid partnership
  • IG Stories with filters, stickers, etc.
  • Polls
  • Live streams
  • In-app chat with private stories

These are the core features that help Instagram to provide quality user experience, have an impact like no other social media app and keep a high engagement rate through years.

What’s the Instagram-like Mobile App Development Services Cost in 2022?

If you are thinking about creating a similar app to Instagram, there is no one price for doing this. It depends upon who you hire to help you with the project and what functionality you want in your app. 

App development cost =  Hours of development x Hourly rate

Time for each stage

Design 3+ weeks
iOS* Around 6-7 months
Android* Around 7-7.5 months
Basic Admin Panel 1+ month

Development cost

Design $5,000+
iOS* Around $50,000
Android* Around $51,000
Basic Admin Panel $7,000+

*back-end included

Hourly rate

  1. Big company—$75-150/h
  2. Middle-sized company—$30-70/h
  3. Small company—$15-30/h

Also, note that prices will depend on the country where your development team is from. For example, using mobile development services from Eastern European countries is cheaper than getting the same services from a US company. And you get the same quality of the product.

Want a sneak peek into the cost of other social media apps? Check out the rough estimates:

  • Facebook: $500,000
  • Twitter: $50,000-250,000
  • Tumblr: $1.65M
  • Pinterest: $120,000

However, when developing an Instagram-like app keep in mind the following:

  • Save costs by using cross-platform mobile development. Going cross-platform not only can save you a lot of development time as you don’t need to build 2 separate apps, but it also saves up to 35-40% of the budget. Yet, you should consider the scale of your project, as cross-platform development is restricted in a range of features, and has its own disadvantages. If you want to know more, we have a recent blog post you can read here.
  • Take care of a proper load balancer. Load balancing is a great backend solution, as it can help to distribute incoming traffic, optimize capacities, and also reduce costs. Instagram-like apps work 24/7, so they must be within your app budget.
  • More features = Higher cost. If you want to spend less on your initial launch, focus on MVP. Choose basic features and design, and later on, you can add to the user experience with updates. There is no need to break the bank, be smart about what your target audience needs and uses the most and tailor it to their preferences.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build an App Like Instagram

Development of an Instagram-like app should start with proper planning. But is it possible to build an Instagram-like app but not an Instagram clone? 

Yes! It’s totally possible, and we gathered a step-by-step strategy based on the best practices of Lean and Agile development methodologies that will help you.

1. Develop your creative idea

Starting a project is probably one of the hardest parts of the process. But developing a creative idea is the first step you must take to make an app like Instagram. You should be driven with your idea and think about such 3 core things:

  • What are the specifics of your future social media application?
  • What drawbacks of Instagram your app will fix?
  • What good qualities of IG do you plan to bring to your project?

Also, we recommend trying Design Thinking. This approach is understanding your target audience’s pain points and suggesting multiple ways to meet their needs with your app.

2. Analyze your competitors & Go through idea validation

When you have your idea ready, it’s important to validate it through market analysis. At this stage, it’s important to analyze your competitors, general situation, and trends in the social media market. This step will help you understand areas of improvement and allow you to tweak your initial idea to cover more needs of the TA, therefore boosting your chances of success. Also, at this stage developers are not yet creating anything, so changing specifications doesn’t result in a loss of money.

3. Create a prototype & Test it on a focus group

Some people skip prototyping and move on to MVP, just because they don’t know the difference between the two,

  • Prototype—not complex, and therefore the not expensive depiction of how your app will look like. It can be done in Figma, or similar programs and should convey the core idea of your future app.
  • MVP—minimum viable product. It’s basically an app that can be launched, but it has a minimum of the features to help it work.

To sum up, making a prototype is not the same as MVP, and it’s an important part of validating your idea in a focus group that allows you to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses that can be fixed in MVP later on.

4. Develop MVP

When you have a prototype of your Instagram-like app, it’s time to build an MVP. At this stage, it’s better to work with a mobile app development company to access their expertise and reuse the best practices. 

We at OmiSoft have a team of experienced top-skilled web and mobile developers who can help with social media solutions of different complexity. If you are interested in developing a native or cross-platform app like Instagram, just contact us here, and book a free consultation with a niche expert.

5. Launch & Maintain

If you want to make an Instagram-like social media app, there are several tasks that you need to complete before the launch:

  • Test and fix problem areas
  • Create a strong marketing strategy
  • Make a specific campaign that will aim at your target users

After that the only thing that left is growing and promoting of your product. Competing with popular social media and drawing the audience to your app will be challenging, but with quality products and proper marketing, the chances to succeed are really high.

Success Factors for App Development

So, what’s the secret behind Instagram’s success despite the fact that this app is still free to use? As you know, it was created by Facebook and perhaps this was the fact that made the community pay attention to Instagram. 

Then, Instagram contributed to the development of some strong trends (for example, those that define modern standards of beauty) and in response to the growing number of users, Instagram turned into one of the most winning platforms for social media marketing.

But if to single out the main factors of Instagram’s success:

  • There was nothing like it
  • High-quality of the product and optimized user experience
  • Constant development and updates
  • Keeping up with trends
  • Staying free to use
  • Rewarding users for creating content (influencers were paid for creating Reels)

How Does APP like Instagram Earn Money? 

That’s right—you can make money off of Instagram despite the fact that it’s free to use. As you know, Facebook owned Instagram at first and this is what made people pay attention to the platform; then Instagram contributed to the development of trends such as those that define modern standards of beauty, which led to its popularity on social media marketing platforms. But at first, IG was just a photo-sharing app with no revenue.

But how exactly Instagram is making billions in revenue in 2022? Here are some main streams of income on the app:

Sponsored Posts

One of the major revenue sources of Instagram is sponsored posts, which comes as no surprise. What’s a sponsored post? Well, it’s a regular post but with a “Sponsored” tag and a call-to-action button.

Stories

This feature is Instagram copied from another popular social media in the US, Snapchat. Stories also offer ads, that pop up when users watch the stories of the people they follow.

Facebook Ads

As both Instagram and Facebook are owned by Meta, the revenue models of both social media platforms are connected. You can post an ad on Instagram through Facebook.

If you are curious about what monetization option to choose, here are some ideas to help:

  • Brand and member post ads. It’s important not just to draw people to your social media app, but all business profiles, who will want to advertise themselves to gain more followers.
  • In-app purchase. There are endless opportunities for in-app purchases on Instagram-like apps. It can be anything from custom filters or profile highlights to a premium subscription.
  • Promo deals. You can provide your app users with special offers for certain exclusive services.

Conclusion

Even though Instagram is a strong competitor there are chances to beat it in popularity, as we can see from the rise of Tik Tok. All it takes is having a burning idea, the right momentum, and a professional mobile development team that can bring your Instagram-like app a reality.

If you are interested in creating social media platform, OmiSoft has the experience and the right developers for you. 

Just drop us a line and book a free consultation with our mobile developer, or just email us with your idea to receive an estimate and advice on the best tech stack for you.

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