How Much Does It Cost to Make an App Like Instagram

Author: Abuzar M. | July 15, 2024 -
  • Technology
  • |

Instagram has quickly become the top choice for users, with more than 2.35 billion active users. The app’s remarkable growth and popularity has set a high standard within the industry, making it a valuable platform for businesses and individuals alike. In addition to socializing, Instagram is also commonly used by brands and companies to promote their offerings.

If you are considering developing apps like Instagram, you may be wondering about the associated costs. Factors such as keeping the app up-to-date, secure, and appealing to users can all contribute to the overall expense of app development. The cost to build an app like Instagram typically ranges from $30,000 to $500,000, with various factors affecting the final cost.

These factors can include the number of features included in the app, the app’s complexity, the UI/UX design, the location, and the hourly rates of developers from the mobile application development company hired for the project. In summary, the cost of developing an app like Instagram can vary significantly depending on multiple factors.

usage of famous apps

This blog post will guide you through the history and business model of Instagram, as well as the cost associated with developing a similar app. Additionally, we will explain how an iOS and Android app development company like us will create an app like Instagram, including the features required for an Instagram clone app. Finally, we will conclude by discussing potential revenue streams for an app like Instagram.

Understanding the progress of Instagram over the years

Instagram is considered to be one of the most popular social media platforms. The app has come a long way since its launch in 2010, and its success can be attributed to its unique features, intuitive design, and ability to evolve with changing trends and user preferences.

According to Statista, Instagram is the fourth most widely used social media platform with 2 billion active monthly users.

Instagram over the years

It is estimated that by 2025, Instagram’s monthly user base will grow to 1.44 billion, accounting for 31.2% of all internet users.

all internet users

The Development of Instagram

Instagram was launched in October 2010 as a photo-sharing app for iOS devices. It quickly gained popularity among users, and within two months, it had over a million registered users. In April 2012, Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, which helped the app expand even further.

Development of Instagram

In the years that followed, Instagram continued to add new features, including the ability to upload short videos, stories, live streams, and reels. The app also introduced various filters and editing tools, allowing users to enhance their photos and videos before sharing them. These features helped to keep users engaged and attracted new users to the platform.

In 2016, Instagram launched its Stories feature, which allowed users to upload photos and videos that would disappear after 24 hours. This feature was similar to Snapchat’s Stories, but Instagram’s version quickly surpassed Snapchat in popularity. Instagram also introduced IGTV, a video-sharing platform in 2018, and Reels, a short-form video feature in 2020, allowing users to create and share content in new and exciting ways.

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Why is Instagram Successful?

There are several reasons why Instagram has been so successful. First and foremost, the app is incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. Its simple design allows users to navigate the app easily and quickly, and its various features are easy to understand and use. Additionally, Instagram’s filters and editing tools allow users to enhance their photos and videos, making them look more professional and polished.


Instagram Successful


Instagram is also successful because it has managed to stay relevant and adapt to changing trends and user preferences. The app has introduced new features regularly, keeping users engaged and attracting new users to the platform. Instagram has also integrated well with other platforms, allowing users to easily share their content on other social media channels.

Another reason for Instagram’s success is its strong community of users. The app fosters a sense of community, and users can interact with each other by liking, commenting, and sharing each other’s content. Instagram has also made it easy for users to discover new accounts and content through its Explore page, which suggests content based on users’ interests and activities.

Comprehending the Factors: Estimating the Expense of Creating an app similar to Instagram

When it comes to developing an app like Instagram, the cost can vary significantly. Some factors that can influence the cost include the complexity of the app, the number of features it offers, and whether it integrates augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) capabilities. The app’s aesthetic and overall design also play a role, as does the location of the developers creating the app. Developers’ hourly rates can also be a significant cost factor.

If you’re aiming to create an Instagram-like app that offers a unique user experience, you can expect the cost to increase to around $500,000. This is because creating a distinctive user experience typically requires a more extensive and complex set of features and functionalities. Moreover, it can require more time and resources to design and implement such features. As a result, the overall development cost increases. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is just an estimate, and the actual cost can vary depending on a range of factors.

The estimated cost of creating an app like Instagram depends on its complexity, feature list, wireframing, design, and development process. To simplify the cost estimation process, we can provide you with a formula that is considered a reliable method to determine the overall expense of developing an Instagram-like app.

Cost to develop an Instagram

Creating an app like Instagram involves several steps, such as analyzing requirements, designing the app, coding, launching it, and maintaining it.

Typically, the estimate cost of developing an app includes various factors, such as the number of functions it offers, product management, native app development, backend development, quality assurance, and mobile app design. Now that we have provided you with a reliable formula for estimating the cost of a social media app, we can move on to discuss the different factors that can affect its overall cost.

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Variables that impact the expenses of developing an Instagram-style application

In today’s digital world, social media has turned out to be an essential part of our lives. With the rise of Instagram, it has become one of the most popular social media platforms globally. Many businesses and individuals aim to create an Instagram-like app that can cater to specific needs and provide a unique user experience. However, developing such an app can be a complex and expensive process. In this article, we will discuss the factors that affect the cost of developing an Instagram-like app.

app development process

App Complexity

One of the most critical factors affecting the cost of an Instagram-like app is its complexity. The more features and functionalities you want to incorporate into the app, the more expensive it will be to develop. Features like image filters, video editing tools, and real-time engagement require more advanced technology and programming skills, which can significantly impact the overall development cost.

App Design

The design of an Instagram-like app is another critical factor that can affect its cost. Creating an app with a visually appealing and user-friendly interface requires specialized skills and expertise. Investing in an experienced app designer and developer can ensure that your app’s design is intuitive and consistent, which can ultimately enhance user engagement.

Platform Compatibility

The compatibility of an app with different platforms like iOS and Android can also affect its overall cost. Developing an app that works seamlessly across different platforms requires additional resources, programming, and testing, which can increase the cost of development.

Integrations and API

Integrating additional features and APIs into an app can increase its functionality and enhance user experience. However, integrating these features can also increase the cost of development. APIs like Google Maps, Facebook Connect, and other third-party services require specialized programming skills and additional resources, which can impact the overall cost.

Development Timeframe

The development timeframe of an Instagram-like app can also affect its overall cost. A shorter timeframe means that developers have to work more intensively, leading to higher costs. However, a more extended timeframe can also lead to additional expenses as developers might charge more for the extended development period.

App Maintenance and Support

After the launch, Apps maintenance and support are essential for ensuring its seamless operation. The cost of maintenance and support is an ongoing expense that should be factored into the overall cost of development. Regular app updates, bug fixes, and security updates are essential for ensuring user satisfaction and engagement.

Location of the development enterprise

The geographical location of the app development company can significantly influence the cost of developing a social media app. For example, companies located in regions such as Asia or Africa tend to offer lower development costs compared to those in the US or UK. Nonetheless, when selecting an app development company, it is important to remember that cost is not the only aspect to consider. The quality of their work and their capacity to meet your specific requirements should also be taken into account.

Developing an Instagram-like app can be a complex and expensive process. Understanding the factors that affect the cost can help you estimate the expenses accurately and create a budget that suits your needs. By investing in experienced developers, incorporating the right features and functionalities, and planning for ongoing maintenance and support, you can create a high-quality app that provides a unique and engaging user experience.

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What should an Instagram-styled app features and development hours would be?

An Instagram-style app should have the essential features to provide a seamless user experience. The development hours required for each feature can help you estimate the overall cost and timeline of the app development process. However, it is crucial to remember that developing a successful app requires a lot of planning, research, and execution, and partnering with an experienced app development company can help you achieve your goals.

This app has a unique visual identity and offers a wide range of features that enable users to share photos, videos, and stories with their followers. If you are planning to develop an Instagram-style app, you need to ensure that it includes the following essential features:

User Profiles and Authentication

Users should be able to create profiles with their basic information, such as name, profile picture, and bio. The app should also provide an authentication system to ensure the security of user data.

News Feed

The app should have a personalized news feed that displays content based on the user’s preferences and interests. The content can be sorted by popularity, location, or relevance.

Photo and Video Sharing

The core feature of an Instagram-style app is the ability to share photos and videos with other users. The app should enable users to upload media files, apply filters and captions, and share them on their profiles and news feed.

Direct Messaging

The app should include a messaging feature that allows users to communicate with each other privately. This feature should support sending photos, videos, and text messages.

Search and Discovery

Users should be able to search for other users, hashtags, or content based on their interests. The app should provide a discovery feature that recommends new accounts or content based on the user’s activity.


The app should provide notifications for new followers, likes, comments, and mentions. This feature keeps users engaged and updated with their social activity.

Development Hours

The development hours required for an Instagram-style app can vary depending on the complexity and functionality of the app. Here is a rough estimate of the development hours required for each feature:

  • User Profiles and Authentication: 50-100 hours
  • News Feed: 100-200 hours
  • Photo and Video Sharing: 150-250 hours
  • Direct Messaging: 150-250 hours
  • Search and Discovery: 100-150 hours
  • Notifications: 50-100 hours

These are just rough estimates, and the actual development hours may vary depending on the specific requirements and features of the app. Additionally, the development hours can be impacted by various factors, such as the experience and expertise of the development team, the development tools and technologies used, and the app’s platform (iOS or Android).

MVP Development for Instagram-styled app – comprehending cost optimization

If you are planning to develop an Instagram-styled app, one of the best ways to minimize your costs is by developing an MVP, which stands for Minimum Viable Product. An MVP is a basic version of your app that includes only the most essential features needed to make the app functional.

By developing an MVP, you can launch your app in the market quickly and with minimal investment. This approach allows you to receive valuable feedback from your users, which you can then use to enhance the app’s features and functionality.

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when developing an MVP for an Instagram-styled app:

  • Focus on the core features: Your MVP should only include the most essential features required for your app to function. It will aid you in cutting cost and time.
  • Optimize the user experience: Your MVP should offer a smooth and intuitive user experience. This means that your app should be easy to use and navigate, with clear instructions and prompts.
  • Use off-the-shelf solutions: Instead of building everything from scratch, consider using off-the-shelf solutions to minimize development time and costs. For example, you can use pre-built templates for the user interface or integrate third-party APIs for features such as photo editing.
  • Prioritize functionality over design: While design is important, it should not be your primary focus when developing an MVP. Instead, prioritize functionality and ensure that your app is functional and meets the needs of your target audience.

Developing an MVP for an Instagram-styled app is an effective way to optimize costs while launching a functional app in the market. By focusing on core features, optimizing the user experience, using off-the-shelf solutions, and prioritizing functionality over design, you can develop an MVP that meets your users’ needs and sets the stage for future enhancements.

  • For more information about MVP Development, please refer to the article below:

Developing an Instagram-Styled App

If you are looking to develop an app like Instagram, there are several key steps to consider.

Developing an Instagram-Styled App

Developing an app like Instagram requires careful planning, design, and development. By following the following steps and staying focused on your users’ needs, you can create an app that stands out in the crowded digital marketplace.

  • Define Your App’s Purpose: The first step in developing an app like Instagram is to determine its purpose. Will it be a photo-sharing app, a social media platform, or a combination of both? Knowing your app’s purpose will help you determine its core features, design, and functionality.
  • Identify Your Target Audience: Once you have defined your app’s purpose, you need to identify your target audience. Who will use your app? What are their interests and behaviors? Understanding your target audience is essential for creating a user experience that meets their needs and expectations.
  • Choose the Right Platform: Next, you need to decide which platform to develop your app on. Will it be a native app for iOS or Android, or a hybrid app that works on both platforms? Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.
  • Develop a Prototype: Before you start developing your app, it’s a good idea to create a prototype. A prototype is a basic version of your app that helps you visualize its design and functionality. This can save you time and money in the long run by identifying any potential issues early on.
  • Design and Develop Your App: Once you have a clear idea of your app’s purpose, target audience, and platform, you can begin designing and developing your app. This involves creating wireframes, developing a user interface, and coding the app’s functionality. You will also need to ensure that your app is optimized for speed, security, and reliability.
  • Test and Launch Your App: Before launching your app, it’s important to test it thoroughly to ensure that it meets your users’ needs and expectations. You can use beta testing to gather feedback from a small group of users before releasing your app to the public. Once you are satisfied with your app, you can launch it on the App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Maintain and Update Your App: After launching your app, it’s important to continue maintaining and updating it to ensure that it remains relevant and meets your users’ changing needs. This involves fixing bugs, adding new features, and optimizing your app’s performance.

Wrapping it up

The current era is dominated by social media apps, and having an app like Instagram can give your business a significant advantage. Providing users with a new and improved social media experience can help your app stand out and potentially lead the market. Starting with a simple approach and gradually adding more features can help you establish a strong user base and grow your app over time.

It’s essential to keep in mind that users are always looking for something new and unique, and staying ahead of the competition is crucial for long-term success. Therefore, continually updating and enhancing the app’s features can help maintain user interest and engagement.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

The cost of building an app like Instagram can vary depending on various factors, such as the number of features you want to include, the complexity of the app, whether you want to integrate AR/VR capabilities, the hourly rate of developers, and the location of the app development company.

Building a basic Instagram-like app can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000, depending on the location of the development company and the hourly rate of the developers.

An Instagram-like app typically includes features such as user profiles, image and video uploads, a newsfeed, a messaging system, hashtags, filters, and more.

The time it takes to develop an app like Instagram can vary depending on the complexity of the app and the team’s experience. On average, it can take anywhere from 4-12 months to develop an app like Instagram.

One way to reduce the cost of developing an app like Instagram is to start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and gradually add features over time. Additionally, choosing an app development company in a location with lower hourly rates can also help reduce costs.

Author : Abuzar M.

Abuzar is a tech writer, content strategist, and mountaineer with a passion for exploring new heights in both writing and nature. With 8 years of experience covering the latest trends in technology and digital marketing, Abuzar brings a fresh and innovative approach to his writing. With his passion for writing as well as excellent research skills, he shares valuable knowledge on various IT trends.

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