How much does it cost to build an app like Instagram?


Instagram is a social media app that people use to share photos and videos. Like other social media apps, this also allows you to follow users, like, and comment on their posts that appear on your home page. This small app also helps you create stories, which allow you to viral a series of images and videos for the next 24 hours only.

Such apps have gained popularity in recent years. Millions of people have been using these apps to socialise. However, when it comes to creating an app like Instagram, it takes a different dimension to the technological world.

App developers strive to create such apps, giving a different experience to the user. Creating such an app is no picnic. It takes time, money and knowledge. The cost of an app depends on the features it offers. The more the features it offers, the higher the cost will be.

Before you develop an app like Instagram, you need to perform the following steps:

  • Research the market to gauge the level of competition.
  • Define your target audience
  • Consult a reliable team of app developers
  • Estimate your budget
  • Think about a unique feature that your app will offer
  • Test it before you launch it to fix bugs.
  • Never stop evolving

How much does an app like Instagram cost?

The cost of making social media apps vary due to the following factors:

  • The number of features
  • The complexity of features
  • The number of platforms supporting the app
  • Technology preferences
  • Design specifications

Technology to create an app like Instagram

Before you create an app like Instagram, you need to decide on the technology you will use. Instagram infrastructure is quite extensive. The type of technology you choose will decide how an effective app you can create.

Swift, C++, Java, HTML, and PHP are some of the popular technologies used to develop apps like Instagram. The rule of thumb says that you should consider hybrid mobile app development because of the following reasons:

  • It supports easy code across different platforms.
  • It helps you develop an app faster.
  • You can update the core of the app.

For front-end development, you will need:

  • Swift programming language for iOS
  • And HTML/CSS for admin panel

For back-end development, you will need:

  • Ruby programming language
  • Web servers
  • PostgreSQL database
  • Amazon web services

The cost of the app depends on the time consumed to develop a particular feature of the app

Must-have features to develop an app like Instagram include authorisation, social sharing, images and videos upload, photo editing and messaging platform.


The estimated time for the development of this feature is approximately 65 to 70 hours.

You will need to provide two features: create an account and login with an existing Gmail or social media account. You will need to have database on the server to store users’ data.

Image or video upload

The estimated time for the development of this feature is 75 to 90 hours.

Most of the social media apps are featured with this function. If you want to create an app comprising these features for Android, you will have to read into Camera API, MediaRecorder classes, and nad SurfaceView. If you want to create such an app for Apple, you will need UIImagePickerController.  

Photo editing option

The estimated time for the development of this feature is 65 to 80 hours.

Image modification is a must-have feature of an app like Instagram. You will have two options to integrate this feature into the new app. You will either use standard files or develop own filters.

You will need a ready source code if you use the former option, you will have to write the whole source code on your own if you use the latter option.

Messaging platform

The estimated time for the development of this feature is 140 to 160 hours.

You app will need a feature of messaging. It will require a notification option to make the user aware that they have incoming messages. However, you need HTTP or RESTful API to prevent the server from getting overloaded with messages. Therefore, you will have to establish connection with Apple/Google server that is possible with APN and GCM.

The bottom line

There is no doubt that you need time, patience and skills to develop an app like Instagram. If you consider introducing all features offered by Instagram in your app, it may set you back around $40,000 to $50,000.

You can see developing an app is no picnic, neither it is cheap. Before setting in motion, make sure that you have a budget. If you do not have enough money to invest in the development stage, you should seek funding sources from direct lenders. From personal loans to bad credit loans, various loan options are available on the market.

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