Social mobile networks are taken to new heights with photo and video-sharing apps like Instagram. The idea for this simple but distinctive Burbn (Instagram’s former name) app received funding worth $500K, which enabled it to be built on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone platforms.In addition, the project attracted ten investors and $57.5M in total after two additional funding rounds. In 2012, Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, sold their startup to Facebook for $1 billion ($300 million in cash, the rest in Facebook stock). In the current state of the app, Instagram has a net worth of over $100 billion.

As a result of Instagram success, many businesses were inspired to start their own accounts. But there is a general question among businesses regarding how to build a social media app like Instagram and its cost.

This article provides a detailed guide for business owners looking to build an appsimilar to Instagram. Let’s get started and proceed with the entire journey.

Instagram: Features & Functionalities

Instagram: Features & Functionalities

Before diving deep into the topic, let’s have a short discussion on the features and functionalities of Instagram, the popular photo and video sharing app. It will help you make an idea of your desired app and its cost estimation.

At the very initial stage, Instagram was introduced as a video and photo sharing app along with added content. Then, it allowed users to filter and make some edits as well, tag it with geographical location. But in the last few years, Instagram has evolved to become the best platform for sharing content, messaging, and uploading multiple images and videos in a single post just like other popular social media networks.

Moreover, it also allows users no matter whether they use iOS or Android to interact with other users on Instagram through commenting, liking, tagging, and messaging. Simply put, it provides enough features to satisfy the needs of the businesses. So, if you are planning to build a similar app like Instagram, make sure you get a clear understanding of how to build a social media app with every crucial step. But, it is always recommended to hire a leading social media app development agency to get a potential social media networking platform similar to Instagram.

Trending Features of Networking Apps Like Instagram:

Social media apps are effectively driving the digital conduct of businesses across various categories. If you have ever used apps like Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, Paytm, and GPay, then you can easily understand how these apps are applicable and suitable to meet the demands of the people.

On the other hand, there are some social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp that are also highly-responsive platforms. So, while developing an application, make sure your app is featured with all the latest functions and functionalities that can offer a seamless experience to the users. Now look at some attractive features that your networking app must include:

Instagram Reels:

Social media reels are a new emerging trend that enables users to create 15-second long videos along with background music. So, now businesses can create their short stories and promotional videos to attract customers without any hassle.

Instagram Checkout:

This will help users purchase products without leaving your app. It will enable you to open a shop with eCommerce platforms.

Live Shopping:

This is the latest feature that enables businesses to add products up to 30 from their store through live streaming.

Instagram Direct:

This exciting Instagram feature allows users to chat with friends, family members, and clients through the private messaging option.

Instagram Stories:

It allows users to take photos, add filters and finally add them to their Instagram story tab.

For Advertisements:

Instagram proves to be the best platform when it comes to promoting products and services in feeds enabling enterprises to share photos and video ads between stories.

Facebook Pay:

It is a highly secure and smart payment gateway like Amazon Pay. It enables users to make payments by authenticating unique PINs, touch, or face IDs.

SEE ALSO: Cost to Develop a Voice Chat App like Clubhouse

Estimated Cost to Make An App Similar to Instagram:

Estimated Cost to Make An App Similar to Instagram

It is quite possible to give you the exact estimation of social media app development as the cost varies depending on several factors. Generally, the cost of building an app like Instagram depends on the time it takes to develop the various basic features of the application.

Developing Features & Functionalities:

When it comes to developing a similar app like Instagram and wondering how to build a social media app, the first thing that you need to do is to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) with some features that can satisfy the needs of early customers and provide feedback for future product development. It can also come in the form of a demo video, landing page, pilot version, or preliminary release.

Account Authorization Feature:

Account authorization is a necessary step while creating a social media platform that deals with user data and privacy. The entire Account Authorization process to build an Instagram-like app may take up to 70 hours that include several features like password reset, password recovery, detailed account activity logging, locking out accounts in case of several unsuccessful login attempts, 2-factor authentication, registration through emails and phone numbers, sign-in or sign-out process and many more.

Profile Setup:

Then it is the time for profile setup that deals with designing an option for creating an editing profile to help you display your name, profile picture, education, and other information that you like to share in your account. To do this, developers need to develop an interaction between the client and the server-side of the application and the entire process may take 50 hours to complete.

Implementation of Photo & Video Upload Feature:

The integration of Photo and video upload features is indeed crucial for developing a social networking app like Instagram. It makes a social media platform more interactive and interesting. Hiring a leading Social Media App Development Company can help you complete this task in around 100 hours.

Photo Editing Features:

Photo editing plays a significant role in Instagram-like social media apps. It will help you showcase your products and services in the form of photos, and videos blended with art and creativity. It takes around 60-70 hours to develop this feature.

Messaging Option:

Make sure your app has a real-time messaging option along with a notification system. So, if you want to facilitate this for your customers with a real-time messaging option, it may take 120 hours to complete the task.

Social Media Connectivity:

There is no denying the fact that a social media app should connect or link your other social media platform to reach a wider range of audiences. It simply means that you need to provide your users with a variety of options to connect with you. The process requires linking up your app account ID with the social media account ID that usually takes 8-10 hours especially when you Hire Mobile App Developers from a professional company.

The Search Feature:

The search option will allow you to search for friends, groups, trending news, the latest gadgets, and services, etc. The backend server will help you get the desired results through this feature that may take around 60 hours to complete.

Integrating Location (Geo):

This particular feature requires different social media api Integrationapproaches for Android and iOS. The estimated time required for this specific development is about 25 years. It is because the process includes various crucial steps ranging from frontend to backend development.

The App Design:

After the development of the app features and functionalities, comes another important part which is designing the app. It helps an app begin to manifest into a real app. Experts recommend that a mobile app design should be simple and elegant enough and provide a name and a status to the platform. But make sure the name of the app is fascinating, appropriate, and precise and it should have appeared with a decent logo. Social media app development cost largely depends on the way the app is designed and it takes around 50 to 60 hours depending on the designers.

Developing Additional Setting:

There are several additional features that you may include such as enabling or disabling the push notifications, setting the preferred language, setting account privacy, limiting the audience, and many more. All these activities may add more than 80 hours to your app development time.

Extra Costs:

When it comes to creating a social media app, it does not end with the deployment. Instead, it is an ongoing process and many add extra costs for app testing, maintenance, updates, publishing, etc.

The App Development Team You Hire:

While planning to develop a social media app, you may not go with the company that offers you much less app development cost as compared to others. It is because they may lack the quality that your app needs to stand ahead among thousands of other apps. So, make sure to go with a well-experienced and skilled app development team including the project manager, backend developers, App Designers, Analysts, Content Writers, and others. By looking around, you can find a professional social media app development company in your budget.


Calculating the Total Cost:

Now is the time to calculate the total cost to make a social media app similar to Instagram. As already mentioned, the formula for calculating a social media app development cost is multiplying the hourly development cost with the approximate development hours. For instance, if your app development takes 300 hours to complete with the hourly charge of $25, then your app development cost would be 25*300=$7500. Note that the hourly charge largely varies based on location, experience, and the expertise of the company you hire. When it comes to app development time, it depends on the complexity of your application. Now you can easily estimate your app development cost by applying the above formula.

SEE ALSO: How Much Does It Cost To Make A Mobile App?

Instagram: Top Technology Stacks


Now, look at the critical components and tools that make Instagram tick. Instagram utilizes a wide array of technologies no matter whether you are looking to develop the app for the very first time in your startup or updating your existing one. The technology stacks of Instagram include:

  • Python/Django
  • JavaScript/ React.js
  • React Native
  • PostgreSQL database
  • Amazon S3 and other Amazon products
  • Webpack

When it comes to the front-end development of Instagram, it is written in React Native and Android Operating System. Again, for the back-end, Instagram uses Python and HTML5. Instagram utilizes JavaScript and React.js for the website user interface, Amazon S3, and other Amazon products for cloud computing services. Webpack is mainly used for DevOps tasks for developing Instagram.

But if you hire an experienced mobile app development company, it can offer you numerous other options for developing an Instagram-like app. For instance, Node.js or PHP for server-side development, Angular or Vue.js in the place of React.js, React Native or Ionic for building mobile apps, and many more.

This is how a professional social networking app development company can help you develop customized, high-quality apps at a more affordable price. This is the reason why Instagram is considered a great project infrastructure as it utilizes several other tools for server management and compilers, monitoring services, etc.

Wrapping Up:

So, there is no denying the fact that using a social media network like Instagram can help businesses promote their business in the most effective manner. It can offer businesses an all-around edge. But it is also important to hire the most trusted social media development company with a team of highly skilled Android and iOS app developers, UI/UX designers, and an excellent QA team that can help you make a social media app with custom functionalities.

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Some of FAQs

  • There are several steps that can help you create your own social media app as mentioned below:
    • Connecting with existing social media networks
    • Opportunities for self-expression
    • Creating a network
    • Arranging the newsfeed
    • Interaction with other services
    • Private communication

    There are five development strategies for a social media app:

    • Analyzing the requirements and finding a unique niche
    • Design the social network App’s workflow
    • Development & quality assurance for both iOS and Android
    • Publishing and marketing the app
    • Maintenance and support
  • There is no fixed app development cost. The cost depends on several factors like features, functionalities, complexity, design, and several other factors. The cost is calculated by multiplying the hourly development cost with the total app development time.
  • The mobile application development services industry makes a huge profit. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have a large user base that helps businesses reach potential customers. It is because audiences help you make your page, content, and business get the highest ROI.
  • A social media platform is an application or website that is critical enough to build. It requires good ideas, experience, and a strong professional team of social media makers.