Instagram is world popular photo sharing app and many startup would like to build similar mobile app with a unique idea.  Instagram is ideal platform for many photo & video startups. Because Instagram gain enormous popularity in last few years. Instagram is not only a photo & video sharing app but it is an effective marketing tool with ‘Social Commerce’ concept.  Through this blog, we will find out together on how to make a social media app like Instagram. If you really want to build an Instagram similar clone app, you need to know what is trending on Instagram and what are the new features launched. It would be great if you understand the Instagram business module.

The following checklist will help you to build Instagram similar robust and user-friendly mobile app.

Look for competitors

App Stores are fully loaded with Photo & Video sharing apps.  Before finalize anything, you must go though the competitive photo sharing apps to see how they are providing service to users. What activities user is enjoying while using the app? What is trending on these apps?  This quick research will help you in finalizing your app features and services you will be proposing to users.

Finalize Your App Concept, Strategy and Design

This is very crucial part of the project. A mobile app with unique concept and design goes popular and featured on the app store. You should strictly use paper and pen to work out on concept and vision of your business. Building photo sharing app is very common but making app with different concept will bring success and value in the market. After finalizing functional and non-functional requirements, defining vision and app development goal, you should prepare some sort of wireframes. It would be appropriated if you use software tool like Balsamiq or Microsoft Presentation to create wireframes of the app. Design is key success of photo sharing app, if you can not create user friendly responsive designs, you should contact a design agency to create intuitive user experience for your app.

Prepare Monetization Strategy

Being a social startup company, you should be focused on revenue generation and app monetization. Before you jump into the development with a company, you should prepare app marketing and monetization strategy. This would work as a motivation and you should start marketing with a launch date of your app. This is best way to engage people with your app. While working on monetization strategy the following options you would to consider from:

  • Advertisements: Instagram business model generates its big part of revenue through advertisements. Carousel ads, Video Ads are very popular features for business to promote their product and services. You must include this in your business model.
  • Sponsored Post: Sponsored post is simple as normal post with description and photo/video but it has a tag ‘sponsored’. Business creates sponsored post that reach out to thousands of targeted audiences in selected region. It is more popular on Instagram that Facebook.
  • Stories: Story is also very popular feature on Instagram. Business creates story and their followers watch it to know what is new.
  • In App Purchase: Your social app can have premium features like photo filters, effects, membership to sell and generate revenue.
  • Social Commerce – Deals/Coupons: Your app can allow business user to post deals and coupons for users.

Evaluate How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App Like Instagram

Being a startup company, it is important to evaluate the cost of app development. App like Instagram take more efforts in terms of time and cost. There are several modules of app development and each one need a different set of technical skills and they cost accordingly. You might need a creative designer, iPhone or Android App Developer, Web Developer, Backend Server Developer and Testers. A well-funded startup or established company also hire a CTO who monitors the quality of project. You should look at some of the points below to evaluate the cost of the project:

  • Compare quotes from onshore and offshore teams.
  • Number of development hours and hourly rates proposed by different vendors. Hourly rates may vary from $60-$150/hour in case of onshore team. If you work with an experienced offshore team, they may charge $25-$60/hour.
  • In the initial stage, your goal should be building a minimum viable product (MVP app) with set of defined features. Strict the budget for MVP.
  • It is appropriate to start with one platform like iOS or Android and get some user feedbacks and work on those in future versions.
  • Also, check the cost of native app verses hybrid app development. Hybrid app will not take high cost and you will have app on both iOS and Android platform.

Find Social Media App Developer

There are several companies who are specialized in social media app development. You would like to review their portfolio and go through the social media apps to find out if they have developed similar mobile app. It is recommended to partnered with an expert mobile app development company because Instagram clone is not a simple app to build in month or so. Building Instagram clone app needs years of expertise in mobile domain. If you are in USA, you will have following two choices:

  • You can hire in USA: Hiring an onshore development team is appropriate solution. There are several expert app development companies in USA. A local team will support you throughout the project. There are several benefits of hiring an onshore development company. They will provide you excellent support and communication. You can meet them in person and discuss the progress of the project. You should request quotation from multiple team to evaluate the cost of onshore development. It may not be too high and within your budget.
  • You can hire Offshore Team: If you have strict budget and looking for highly expert team, you can hire offshore team from India, Europe or China. Offshore team who also have office in USA is much better option. You can communicate with their project managers, BA and sales team in USA. Also you will not need to compromise with the quality of code and they can complete your photo sharing app within the budget.

Instagram Business Model

Before building Instagram similar mobile app, you must know the business model of Instagram App. Instagram has bought by Facebook in 2012 and they are the backbone of this business. Other than Facebook, there are several big investors who have invested in Instagram. Instagram is available on major platform and it has vast network and user base. The app is now more popular since it has introduced several new features like Story, Messaging, Business Promotion, Product Selling, Live TV and Advertisement.

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