How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App like Snapchat? (Complete Cost Bifurcation)

Want to build an app like Snapchat? Not sure about the cost of Snapchat clone app development?

The cost to develop an app like Snapchat starts from $25,000. This price includes the basic features only and the final cost depends on your requirements.

However, this blog has complete bifurcation and everything you need to know about the cost of developing an app like Snapchat.

As the market of the Snapchat app developed by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown is expanding; you should not miss the opportunity to create a clone.

In fact, according to Statista, in 2020, Snapchat counted more than 85 million users in the United States. And in 2023, Snapchat users in the United States are forecasted to grow by 18 percent i.e. 89.5 million users. So, it can be considered the best time to build a Snapchat clone.

Here’s a screenshot that shows the number of Snapchat users from 2020 to 2023 in the USA.

Snapchat users in the United States

Being a leading mobile app development company in the USA, we know what can be the cost to build clone apps.

So, here, in this blog, we have provided a detailed breakdown of the cost to build an app like Snapchat.

By the end of this blog, you will know:

  1. Quick cost to build a simple, medium, and complex Snapchat clone
  2. Factors that impact the cost of app development
  3. 5 Ways to reduce the cost of app development

Let’s get started

How Much Does it Cost to Create an App Like Snapchat? [Quick Answer]

Since we have developed 4400+ app solutions, we know what features and how much cost can be incurred to develop simple, medium, and complex Snapchat apps. In the below table, we have discussed the features and provided a rough estimate of the cost of creating a simple, medium, and complex social media app like Snapchat.

Snapchat TypesMust-have FeaturesFinal Cost of Development
Simple App (Basic Features)
  • Photo and Video Sharing
  • Image Filters
  • Stories
  • Fun animations
  • Integration with Bitmoji
  • Contacts Integration
  • Registration
$25,000 – $35,000
Medium App (Slightly advanced features)
  • Augmented Reality Filters
  • Live Video Streaming
  • Group Messaging
  • Location-Based Filters
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Real-time Messaging
  • Admin Panel
  • Video and Audio Call
  • Disappearing Messages
$35,000 – $45,000
Complex App (Highly advance features)
  • Advanced Data Analytics
  • Virtual Gifting
  • Social Commerce
  • Advanced Image Recognition
  • Audio Recommendations
  • Song Syncing
  • Deep Linking
  • Video/Audio Notes
  • Integrating ChatGPT and Whisper APIs
Starts from $50,000

The cost of creating an app like Snapchat can vary greatly based on several factors, including the complexity of the app, the experience of the development team, and the location where the development is taking place. The cost may go down; if you plan an MVP for a social media app like Snapchat, it takes less time compared to the full version of the app.

For developing a Snapchat app, you will need to hire dedicated developers with expertise in developing photo video sharing apps or social media apps, or entertainment apps.

Now, you know the basic cost of Snapchat app development. Let’s understand the factors that impact the cost of app development.

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Which Factors Impact the Snapchat App Development Cost?

The cost of app development can vary greatly depending on several factors. Some of the most significant factors include the platforms it will be developed for, the development team, the design, the use of third-party tools and APIs, the location of the development team, and the ongoing maintenance and upgrades required to keep the app functioning properly.

Understanding these factors is crucial in accurately budgeting for app development.

Let’s take an in-depth look at all these factors and how they impact the overall app budget.

  1. Snapchat App Development Platform – iOS/Android/Cross-platform

    The cost of developing an app will also depend on the platforms it is being developed for, as well as any additional hardware requirements. Development costs depend on the total hours spent building the Snapchat app and the hourly rates considered.

    However, you may also want to know how long does it take to develop an app?

    For the below table, we have considered a minimum rate of $15 per hour and a maximum of $25 per hour.

    PlatformApp Development TimeApp Development Cost
    iOS900-1300 hours$13,500 to $32,500 per platform
    Android (Basic features)800-1200 hours$12,000 to $30,000 per platform
    Cross-platform1000-1350 hours$15,000 to $33,750 both the platform

    iOS: Developing an app for iOS typically requires a higher level of expertise and can be more expensive than other platforms, as Apple has strict app store guidelines and review processes.

    Android: Developing an app for Android can be less expensive than iOS, but it can also be more challenging as there are many different types of Android devices with varying screen sizes and hardware specifications.

    Cross-Platform: Cross-platform development involves creating an app that will work on multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android. Cross-platform development can be more expensive than developing for a single platform, as it requires a higher level of expertise, specialized tools, and knowledge of cross-platform frameworks.

  2. Features to Integrate Into Snapchat Clone Development

    As discussed earlier, the basic Snapchat app costs less than advanced Snapchat apps with current technologies. The features within this messaging app can make a difference in determining the cost of the application. We have discussed the different features and the time taken to build them, and how they impact the cost of developing popular social media apps.

    You can also go through our post to find out more Snapchat app features to add in your app and make it more useful.

    Note: The per-hour rate has been considered $15 for developing a Snapchat app.

    Snapchat-like App FeaturesDescriptionDevelopment Timeline
    Contact integrationIntegration of a user’s contacts or addresses book with a Snapchat app30 – 45 hours
    Real-time messagingInstant communication between users80 – 100 hours
    Disappearing messagesSending messages that disappear after they have been viewed.40 – 70 hours
    Video-audio notesRecording of short audio and video messages to share with friends.30 – 60 hours
    Video-audio callsMaking video and audio calls to friends within the app90 – 120 hours
    StickersOffers a variety of fun and playful stickers to enhance photos and videos50 – 90 hours
    StoryPosting of photos and videos to their story, which can be viewed by their friends for 24 hours70 – 90 hours
    Snap MapSee where their friends are on a map and what they’re up to.60 – 90 hours
    Group ChatCreate and participate in group chats with friends120 – 180 hours
    DiscoverExplore a variety of content from a range of media publishers50 – 80 hours
    MemoriesSave photos and videos in a private archive, and access them later.40 – 60 hours
    GeofitterAdd location-based filters to their photos and videos.40 – 60 hours
    Location SharingShare their location with friends within the app.50 – 60 hours
    Admin PanelA control panel that allows administrators to manage and control the app’s features and functionality.150 – 220 hours

    The above features will help the entrepreneurs or businesses understand the costs involved in the app development process to develop an app like Snapchat or WhatsApp. To get a better understanding you can also read our post about the costs to make an app like WhatsApp.

    This can help you make informed decisions about your app development budget and ensure that you have the necessary resources to create a successful app.

  3. UI/UX Design Needed for Your Snapchat Mobile App

    The design of this messaging app can impact the overall cost. If your app designer needs to detail the designs and create complex screens, they may take more time. Again, the prototype development costs vary from the actual visual design cost. Let’s look at how design impacts the overall cost of an app like Snapchat development.

    ComponentsDescriptionApprox TimelineDevelopment Cost
    WireframingCreating a basic visual representation of the app’s user interface and user experience, without focusing on the finer details such as color and styling30-80 hours$450-$1200
    PrototypeA prototype is a rough model of the app’s user interface and user experience, which can be used to test out different features and interactions before they are finalized30-100 hours$450-$1500
    Visual DesignRefers to the overall appearance and aesthetic of a Snapchat-style mobile app, including elements such as color, typography, imagery, and iconography.120-140 (hours per platform)$1800-2100

    The above is the basic cost to design an app like Snapchat. The visually-appealing design is what differentiates Snapchat from the other app. One of the most unique and visually appealing UI/UX features of Snapchat is the use of augmented reality (AR) filters and lenses. These filters and lenses allow users to add digital animations and effects to their photos and videos, creating a fun and interactive experience.

    Incorporating such features can make any app engaging to users. For example, a fitness app could use AR to create interactive workout plans or tutorials and users could see virtual trainers guiding them through exercises. This adds to the development cost of a fitness app, but it may be worth it to provide a unique and engaging experience to users. And the same applies to the Snapchat cost as well.

  4. Cost-Based Location You Hire App Developer

    This will depend on the hourly rates for the particular country. The hourly developer rates are higher in countries like the USA and lower in countries like India. Based on the survey by GoodFirms, here’s a table indicating app developer’s hourly rates in different countries:

    RegioniOS Avg $/hrAndroid Avg $/hrCross-platform Avg $/hr
    Canada90-120 hours80-140 hours90-120 hours
    The USA60-120 hours60-120 hours60-130 hours
    Latin America28-90 hours28-90 hours40-160 hours
    The UK60-75 hours60-75 hours55-75 hours
    Europe35-55 hours35-55 hours30-50 hours
    Ukraine40-78 hours38-60 hours40-78 hours
    South Africa45-80 hours40-80 hours40-80 hours
    India22-90 hours15-25 hours20-30 hours
    Southeast Asia23-55 hours30-45 hours30-45 hours
    Asia23-55 hours20-30 hours25-35 hours
    Australia25-35 hours100-120 hours90-120 hours

    The hourly rate of app developers vary depending on the years of experience, location, and technical expertise.

    So, if you hire a junior app developer for your project, it will cost you less compared to a senior software developer. Whereas, if you hire a senior app developer, the hourly rates will automatically be high as he will be in charge of the project and handle the overall progress of the entire software project.

  5. Hiring Approach You Choose for Snapchat App Development (App Development Company or Freelancers)

    The hiring approach you choose for messaging app development will have a significant impact on the cost and timeline of your project. There are two main options: hiring a mobile app development company or hiring freelancers.

  1. Hiring an App Development Company: This is a good option if you need a full-service solution, including design, development, and testing. App development companies typically have a team of professionals with a range of expertise, including designers, developers, project managers, and quality assurance specialists. They can handle the entire development process and provide support and maintenance after the app is released. The cost of hiring an app development company will depend on the size of the team, their level of experience, and the scope of the project.

    When you hire an app development company, choosing the right hiring model also affects the app development cost. Being a reputed mobile development company, we offer three hiring models for hiring app developers that include, hourly developers, full-time, and part-time.

    Let’s understand each model in detail.

    When you choose

    • Part-time developers – Developers work on your project on a daily basis for part-time hours. So, you will need to pay for part-time hours for the time the developer team works.
    • Hourly-rate developers – Developers who work on your project based on hours previously decided. The cost of this model varies depending on the developer’s work for your project.
    • Full-time developers – Developers dedicatedly work on your project and this will cost you more compared to the above two models. Because developers will work on your project only.
  2. Hiring Freelancers: Hiring freelancers is a good option if you have a specific project or a specific need, such as development or design. Freelancers typically specialize in one area and can provide high-quality work at a lower cost than an app development company. However, finding experienced app developers and managing multiple freelancers can be time-consuming, and it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is working together effectively.

    Here’s a brief bifurcation of hiring an app development company or freelancers.

    ReasonsApp Development CompanyFreelancers
    ExperienceUsually have a team of experienced developers, designers, and project managersVary in terms of experience, some may be highly skilled, others not so much
    App SecurityA reputable firm acts and works according to the signed NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and also offers reliability.It is challenging to find a trustable freelancer. However, you can check reviews and feedback to know their authenticity
    CostCan be more expensive than freelancers, but the cost will depend on the size and complexity of the project.Generally less expensive than app development companies, but the cost can vary greatly depending on the freelancer’s experience and skill level.
    QualityUsually a higher level of quality on control and delivering more polished products.Quality can vary greatly, depending on the freelancer’s experience and skill level.
    TimeframeCan have longer development timeframes, but they have the resources and manpower to handle large, complex projects.Can be quicker to complete a project, but may have limited resources to handle large, complex projects.
    CommunicationUsually has a dedicated project manager to handle communication and ensure the project stays on track.Communication can be more informal and less structured, and may not always be as reliable as with an app development company.

    Since you have an idea about the factors impacting the complete process and cost of developing this messaging app, let’s check the tips to reduce the development of an app like Snapchat.

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How to Reduce Snapchat App Development Cost (5 Tips)

Here are a few ways to reduce the cost of developing a Snapchat-style app:

  1. Choose to Develop a Minimum Viable Product

    A MVP is a compact version of the app that includes only the essential features and functionality. By focusing on building a Minimum Viable Product first, you can validate your app idea and test the market without incurring the full cost of development.

    In addition, an MVP allows you to get feedback from users early in the development process. This feedback can then be used to refine the app and add additional features as needed. By using an MVP approach, you can focus on delivering the most valuable features first, reducing the overall cost of development and ensuring that the app meets the needs of users.

  2. Clearly Define Requirements for the App Development Company

    One of the main reasons for cost overruns in app development projects is unclear or incomplete requirements. By providing a clear and detailed specification of the app’s requirements, entrepreneurs can avoid scope creep and reduce the need for additional development work. This can help keep the project within budget.

  3. Choose the Right Provider for Snapchat App Development

    Choosing the right app development company can have a big impact on the cost of the project. An experienced company with a proven track record is more likely to complete the project on time and within budget. You should look for a company with relevant experience and a portfolio of successful projects.

  4. Opt for Fixed Price Model

    A fixed-price model provides you with a clear understanding of the cost upfront. This reduces the risk of cost overruns and helps ensure that the project stays within budget. In a fixed-price model, the development company provides a quote for the entire project, and you pay a fixed amount for the entire project.

  5. Use an Agile Development Methodology During App Development Process

    An Agile development methodology helps to reduce the cost of app development by allowing for flexible and iterative development. This means that the app can be developed in stages, and changes can be made as needed without incurring additional costs. An Agile approach can also help ensure that the app meets the needs of your users, reducing the need for costly changes later on.

    By following these strategies, you can reduce the cost of Snapchat app development when outsourcing while still delivering a high-quality app that meets its users’ needs.

How to Create an App Like Snapchat in 7 Steps

The process to make an app like Snapchat can be broken down into the following steps:

  1. Conduct Market Research and Gather Requirements

    Before starting the development process, it is essential to understand the target audience, their needs and preferences, and the current market trends. This information can be gathered through app market research and competitive analysis.

  2. Contact an App Development Company

    This can be done by reaching out to app development companies through their websites, social media platforms, or professional networks. It’s essential to find a reliable and experienced app development company that can turn your vision into a reality.

  3. Create a Roadmap

    Based on the market research and requirements, the app development company helps to create a roadmap that outlines the key features and functionality of the app. This will serve as a blueprint for the development process.

  4. Design the UI/UX

    The next step is to design the user interface and user experience of the app. UI/UX design team conducts wireframing, prototyping, and visual design for your messaging app. The goal is to create a user-friendly and engaging app that meets the needs of the target audience.

  5. Develop the App

    Once the design is complete, the actual app development process begins. App developers build the backend and front end of the chat app, integrate the necessary features and functionality, and test the app to ensure that it works correctly.

  6. Launch the App

    After the photo messaging app has been thoroughly tested and all bugs have been fixed, it is time to launch the app on the app stores. This involves submitting the chat app for review, promoting it through various channels, and gathering feedback from the app users.

  7. Maintenance and Updates

    Once the app is launched, it is essential to continuously maintain and update it to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the target audience and stays competitive in the market. This includes fixing bugs, adding new features, and making any necessary improvements to the app.

Here you have an idea of the complete cost of developing a social media app. If you still have questions, let’s quickly check a few frequently asked questions about Snapchat-like app development.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Cost to Develop an App Like Snapchat

Is it possible to develop a Snapchat clone app with a smaller budget?

Yes, it is possible to develop a Snapchat clone app with a smaller budget by compromising on some of the features and functionalities, outsourcing to a cost-effective region, choosing a minimum viable product (MVP) approach, and opting for a simpler design. However, this may not give you a full-fledged app like Snapchat and may not have all the features that the app users expect.

How much does it cost to hire a developer for Snapchat app development?

The cost to hire a developer for Snapchat app development depends on various factors such as their location, experience, and expertise. On average, the chat app development cost can start from $20 per hour for a single developer, with the cost going higher for senior and experienced developers.

This can add up to a substantial amount, depending on the number of developers you need to hire and the duration of the project. It’s important to research and compares different developers to find the one that fits your budget and requirements.

Let’s check on how Space-O Technologies can help you to create this social media app.

How Space-O Technologies Helps You to Build Snapchat like App

If you are looking to develop a Snapchat clone or own chat app, you first need a leading app development company like Space-O. We have experience in developing clone solutions as per your business requirements.

If you get in touch with us you will get:

  • Validation of your idea feasibility from an experienced consultant
  • 30-minute free consultation and strategies with roadmap
  • Cost and timeline of your Snapchat clone development
  • Signed NDA to protect your idea

Additionally, Space-O Technologies has a dedicated team of experts who works with you every step of the way to ensure that the final product meets your expectations. With their expertise and experience, you can be sure that your Snapchat clone app will be of high quality and will meet the needs of your target audience.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.

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