How to Make an App like Instagram: Statistics+ Features+ Cost

Social media is the first contact with the outside world these days. Over 3.9 billion people are on social media, which is more than half of the world’s population. More and more people are joining this group with each passing day.

Do you want to be the next big sensation in the social media app world? Well, congratulations! You have found the right blog. We provide mobile app development services and we have developed over 40+ social media platforms like Instagram for photo-sharing as well as dating apps. We put together our experience in order to give our readers detailed information about how to make an app like Instagram. To find out everything you need to know about creating an Instagram clone app, you just need to read this content. Here, you will read about-

  • Important facts and numbers regarding social media platforms
  • How to Build an App like Instagram [5 Simple Steps to Follow]
  • 7 Basic Features of Instagram to Create a Photo-sharing app
  • How Much Does it Cost to Build an App Like Instagram?


Everyone is an Instagrammer. Everything is about content.

These days, people click a picture, and the first thought that crosses their minds is – Is it Instagram-worthy? Yes, Instagram-worthy is a common adjective now. Before going out to dine or even buying a house, millennials wonder if it is insta-worthy or not. We are not making this up. According to an article by Forbes, “a lot of younger consumers admit that they specifically seek out a decor product that would look good on social media.”

The best part about social networking applications like Instagram is that they can be used as an eCommerce app to sell a product or a content business platform as well. Instagram is a strong platform to reach millennials and drive business results with success. From major brands to local, family-run shops, businesses around the world are driving proven results for their product with their content on the Instagram app.  With 20 million businesses present on Instagram, it is hard to estimate even roughly how much success and revenue the platform gets.

Narendra Purohit

Do you have an app idea like Instagram? I have 16+ years of experience in the photo-video apps, lifestyle apps, and dating app industry.

Photo sharing applications like Instagram (by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom), Snapchat, Facebook (by Mark Zuckerberg)are leading in the race of the best social networking apps. Before we answer the burning question of how to plan social media app development, let us see how these social network applications are faring in the market, and if they have success.

Market Statistics Of Socail Media Apps

  • According to Emarketer, 90.4% of millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby boomers use some sort of social media.

social media users by age

Credit: Emarketers

  • According to Statista, Facebook is the top social network in the US, with 169.76 million mobile users.
  • Instagram and Facebook Messenger ranked second and third with 121 and 106 million users respectively.

popular social media apps

Credit- Statista

  • According to Instagram’s official website, it currently has 1 billion monthly active users, 60% of which log into their profiles every day.
  • Instagram was created by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom in 2010.
  • Facebook bought Instagram photo-sharing app in 2012 after its success in a $ 1 billion deal.

In order to answer the question- how will you make an app like Instagram, we have a simple 5-step explanation. 

Let’s begin.

How to Make an App like Instagram [5 Simple Steps to Follow]

We will bust the myth that it is too difficult to create an app like Instagram. We have compiled 5 steps that are easy to follow for successful development. By the end of this process, you would have an Instagram clone at your disposal. Here is how to create an app like Instagram.

  • Step 1. Define your objective
  • Step 2. Market research
  • Step 3. Decide the features of your MVP
  • Step 4. Hire social media app developers
  • Step 5. Promoting the app
  1. Define your objective

  2. Define your objective

    As we mentioned, Instagram is not just a photo share app but it is also an eCommerce portal and app for influencers and brands for their marketing campaigns. Before you jump into the development part of your app like Instagram, you must contemplate on your objectives. Be sure about what exactly is it that you want to accomplish when you make app like Instagram.

    You can decide on a name and a budget range for the project of your app like Instagram as well.

  3. Market research

  4. Market research of app features

    We need to be blunt. You are not the only one who wants to be successful by making a social networking app like Instagram. There are many already trying and there are many who will soon join the race of making an app like Instagram.

    You need to research your competitors. You need to know about what are the features and functionalities these competitors have, you might download them and study them. You must also find out what you need to do differently to set yourself apart from the others.

    Most importantly, do not compromise on the needs of the users. You must know exactly what your future users want from you and cater to their wants. During this step, you also decide if you want an Android app or an iOS app or an app like Instagram that runs on both the platforms.

  5. Decide the features of your MVP

  6. Decide the features of your MVP

    After defining your objectives, researching the competitors, and contemplating the needs of your users, you must have an idea about what does an app as Instagram looks like to you.

    Just make a list of the features you think are uncompromisable. Of course, there will be changes in the actual product but it is always better to have a reference for your final product.

  7. Hire socal media app developers

  8. Hire mobile app developers

    Now that you have a brief idea about your project, it is time to hire the best app developers for your project.

    It is preferable to hire a mobile application development company over freelance developers as the company would provide a dedicated team for your project. This team comprises of-

    • Project manager
    • App developers
    • UX/UI designers
    • Quality analysts

    You must go for an experienced development company and also check out their previous work and client testimonials before making your final decision. The company will take care of the development tools and deployment of your app like Instagram on different app stores. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions before signing a contract. you can also make the coders sign an NDA to keep your app idea safe at every level.

  9. Promoting the app

  10. Promoting mobile app

    No business prospect can succeed without people knowing about it. Even if your app like Instagram is better than your competitors, it is of no use if people are not aware of its existence.

    This makes it mandatory to market the app like Instagram at every level. You do not need to promote it everywhere. Use your resources in the right places and promote your app like Instagram wherever your target audience is. You can use various marketing tools as well. Whether it is in the news, TV advertisements, other social media networks or take the help of the young influencers who have a good following. You may also get it reviewed from the app reviewers, bloggers, and critics.

    To help you out with the third step of the process, we have listed 7 basic features that you need in your app like Instagram.

    7 Basic features of Instagram to Create a Photo-sharing app

    7 Basic features of Instagram

    1. Signup

      The first screen that any user encounters is the signup screen. Any app like Instagram for Android or iPhone has this same screen despite the OS.

      The signup functionality requires a new user to register using a verified email id or phone number. One thing that you must make sure of is that you must not extract complete information in the beginning.

      You can create an Instagram-like app that works without much information and later ask for the phone number for security purpose or alternative login credential.

    2. Posting photos

      Best photo-sharing apps like Instagram have access to phone cameras and enable the users to click photos with the app itself and share photos. In fact, you must create a photo-sharing app like Instagram that has photo editing features.

      This allows users to customize images by cropping, rotating, adding filters, stickers, and text on it. Before posting a photo, the users may tag other users in the photo, add location, and write a caption with hashtags for the image on the timeline.

      Instagram app design is such that it lets the user like and comment on the posts. The users must also be able to edit any post after uploading it.

    3. Messenger

      Your app like Instagram must also act as a social media app that can be used to send messages to other users. This feature helps the users to stay connected with each other without even having access to their contact details.

      messenger feature of instagram

      Credit- Instagram

      When you make an app like Instagram, you must integrate this functionality. We will advise that this functionality is of the latest version and the users can easily send text, photo, audio, video, stickers, gifs, and any other media files.

    4. Push notification

      You do not want your users to miss out on important updates and services- whether it is the response on their posts or a new post by their favorite user.

      If you want then to keep coming back to your app and ensure that they spent a good amount of their digital time using your new app like Instagram, push notifications are your way.

      Send a push notification to the users for any updates and services that they would be interested in. This functionality is a must for you when you create an Instagram app clone.

    5. Stories

      This is the feature that has gained a lot of popularity among Instagrammers. If you are to believe statistics as shared by Instagram’s business website, 500 million accounts use this feature every day.

      This is the most engaging form of user-generated content that helps the users to improve their social media skills on the account as well. They can be used as an invite-to-engage feature by Instagram like app.

    6. Search Option

      The search lets users search for profiles, places, and tags. In fact, the app may also provide suggestions in the search bar to make it easier to find the right people or a similar account.

      When you create an app like Instagram, this feature must be in your MVP part. This feature will also help you leverage the search results to know the followers for a particular account. These people might be interested in getting updates from this user.

      search option instagram

      Credit- Instagram

      This is another way of providing personalized feed to the users that will keep them coming to the account and your app.

    7. GPS integration

      Your target audience, millennials love to travel to places. More importantly, they love to show off where they have been traveling. You can use this to your advantage when you create an app like Instagram.

      You can go for GPS integration in your photo-sharing app. Being dynamic in nature, users can automatically fetch the location they’re at or add it manually when the internet connection is poor.

      These were 7 features that you must integrate into your app like Instagram. There are others that you can consider but just tried to give a glimpse of Instagram software architecture and interface.

    Using Instagram-like Apps

    1. Photo Sharing App Like Instagram

      As per the trends, most people use Instagram to share their pictures with their fans and friends. Users can use a range of filters to enhance their pictures. There are other new features like image resizing, adding text, geotags, masks, settings of contrast, and brightness.

      Instagram has recently come up with many unique and interesting face filters. From guessing the age to finding what street food the user looks like, the filters are extremely innovative. Instagram also has voice filters that can make the user sound like a kid or even a robot. This makes users really interested in making creative videos.

      Other people like, comment on content posts, and even send direct messages using the messaging feature. Instagram is a video and photo-sharing app with all the features of a social media app. If you plan a social media app or photo-sharing app like Instagram, you need to integrate such unique features to make the content interesting.

    2. Influencer Marketing

      ‘Influencers’ is the new buzz word in the market. These days, users see more posts from social media influencers on their feed, whether it is like Facebook or Instagram. Branding and marketing agencies hire influencers from standup comics to fashion bloggers and YouTubers to promote products and services.

      The brands whose target audience in on social media platforms utilize this tactic to get a better reach via Instagram content. You should also make it possible for influencers to advertize like on Instagram app.

    3. Promoting Talent and Skills

      Instagram has given a platform for people to show their talent and skills to the world using their account. Many celebrities are celebrities because of Instagram. Users can sing, dance, make a funny sketch, write a poem or a story, and post it on the account on an application like Instagram. If it is good enough, the post will get traction and the users will be able to showcase their skills more.

      There is a feature of insights on Instagram that helps the users to track views, likes, comments, shares, profile views. This helps them to take the required actions and getter better reach. Other features like Reels and IGTV videos are also great for new upcoming artists.

    4. Social E-commerce App

      People are not only using the Instagram application like a photo-sharing app but also as an app to buy and sell stuff. Users all over the world have created business pages for marketing their business. Users sell their products by posting a photo or video of it. Interested people comment or DM the poster on the Instagram account and buy directly or can be directed to the website of the company. This enhances user experience.

      Want to Develop an App like Instagram?

      Get your free consultation now.

      Let us now move on to the other important aspect- the cost to build an app like Instagram.

    How Much Does it Cost to Make an App Like Instagram?

    The cost of developing any app is different. There are various factors that determine this cost. The number and complexity of the app, Instagram like features, and the per hour charge of the developer are the main factors.

    Here is a simple formula that will help you calculate the price or cost to make an app like Instagram.


    The number of hours depends on the features that you need to include while the developer’s hourly charge depends on the mobile app development company.   

    Suppose it takes 226 hours to develop an app.
    Now you can use the formula to calculate the estimated development cost.

    Application development cost= Estimated hours*Developer’s hourly cost

    For example, we charge $35, based on the requirements.

    So to develop an app, it will cost

    226*35= $7910

    Again, the developers’ charges vary, but it is up to you to choose the best and experienced developers who have already worked on such applications.

    If you want to know the estimated hours, you can use this table.

    Estimated Man Hours
    DevelopmentGraphics DesignQC/TestingProject ManagementTOTAL
    (I) iOS Application1. Business Analysis & Communication162.42.41.622.4
    2. Base Code & Architecture243.63.62.433.6
    3. Screens:
    3.1. Sign Up/Log In243.63.62.433.6
    3.2. Tab Bar60.
    3.3. Home:
    3.3.1. Feed182.72.71.825.2
    3.3.2. Photo324.
    3.3.3. Comments4066456
    3.3.4. Stories253.753.752.535
    3.3.5. Videos304.54.5342
    3.3.6. Direct60.
    3.4. Search:
    3.4.1. Photos152.252.251.521
    3.4.2. People121.
    3.4.3. Search223.
    3.4.4. Search Results101.51.5114
    3.4.5. Hashtag20.
    3.5. Capture:
    3.5.1. Camera182.72.71.825.2
    3.5.2. Editor: Editor121. Filters162.42.41.622.4 Manage Filters101.51.5114 Tools60. Lux, Brightness, Contrast, etc.101.51.5114 Adjust304.54.5342 Tilt Shift121. Cover Frame81.21.20.811.2
    3.5.3. Share To Followers162.42.41.622.4
    3.5.4. Share Direct324.
    3.5.5. Tag People2033228
    3.6. Activity263.93.92.636.4
    3.7. Profile:
    3.7.1. Posts182.72.71.825.2
    3.7.2. Map284.24.22.839.2
    3.7.3. Photos Of50.750.750.57
    3.7.4. Followers/Following81.21.20.811.2
    3.7.5. Edit Profile243.63.62.433.6
    3.8. Options:
    3.8.1. Options60.
    3.8.2. Follow People304.54.5342
    3.8.3. Liked Posts30.450.450.34.2
    3.8.4. Feedback60.
    3.8.5. Help, About, etc.101.51.5114
    3.8.6. Share Settings2033228
    3.8.7. Notifications81.21.20.811.2
    3.8.8. Video Options101.51.5114
    3.8.9. Story Settings101.51.5114
    3.9. Tip Popups243.63.62.433.6
    4. Business Logic & Data Model:
    4.1. Data Model355.255.253.549
    4.2. GPUImage Integration142.12.11.419.6
    4.3. Video Recording182.72.71.825.2
    4.4. Video Playback81.21.20.811.2
    4.5. Filters Engine304.54.5342
    4.6. Adjust Straighten152.252.251.521
    4.7. Adjust Perspective101.51.5114
    4.8. Tilt Shift253.753.752.535
    4.9. Lux, Brightness, Contrast, etc.
    4.10. Photo Filters (2 x 24)487.27.24.867.2
    4.11. Video Filters (1 x 14)
    4.12. Web Service Interaction6099684
    4.13. Social Networks:
    4.13.1. Facebook Integration152.252.251.521
    4.13.2. Twitter Integration182.72.71.825.2
    4.13.3. Tumblr Integration121.
    4.13.4. Flickr Integration152.252.251.521
    4.14. Address Book Interaction81.21.20.811.2
    4.15. Push Notifications162.42.41.622.4
    4.16. Appirater Integration50.750.750.57
    5. Graphics Design Integration253.753.752.535
    6. NameTag2033228
    (II) Android ApplicationAndroid considered as 120% of iOS development1910.16
    (III) Web Services (API)1. Business Analysis & Communication162.41.620
    2. Base Code & Database121.81.215
    3. Web Services (API):
    3.1. Auth81.20.810
    3.2. Social Networks Integration40.60.45
    3.3. Recommendations81.20.810
    3.4. Hashtags/Likes-related Functionality81.20.810
    3.5. Posts / Comments81.20.810
    3.6. Flag50.750.56.25
    3.7. Followers50.750.56.25
    3.8. Profile81.20.810
    3.9. Search60.90.67.5
    3.10. Direct40.60.45
    3.11. Push Notifications81.20.810

    Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How does Instagram make money?

    There are two types of revenue model for Instagram: Advertisements and Commission.

    Advertisements: Targeted ads are shown to the users on the basis of their search history on the browser as well as Instagram explore section. Many brands also show sponsored ads on feed, stories, IGTV, Reels, and carousel ads. Brands spend money on advertising on Instagram as they need more engagement from the users.

    Commission: This monetization strategy is fairly new. you can use your app like Instagram and get a commission on every purchase made by the social e-commerce section of your app.

    Which are the best Instagram alternatives?

    These are some of the best Instagram alternatives with a good user base:

    • SnapSeed
    • Facebook
    • 500px
    • Vero
    • VSCO

    What is the cost to hire developers for making a social media app like Instagram?

    The cost to hire an expert developer for photo and video sharing app is in the range of $20 to $200 per hour of developing an app. At Space-O technologies, we have developed various photo editing and social media apps and we charge $35 per hour. Feel free to contact us and get a custom quote to develop your own app.


    We hope that after reading this blog you are fully prepped to be the next sensation in the social media platform market.

    For this, you need a trustworthy technological partner who has experience in developing apps just like Instagram. We have developed social networking apps of different kinds including an app called Carco and TopIt.

    TopIt The App

    TopIt App

    • Generate video and image-based private and public competitions
    • Create challenges against friends, rivals, and celebrities.
    • Over 5000 downloads on Google Play Store

    Carco App

    • Social media and car marketplace for car lovers
    • Post on feed about various topics or ads for selling car accessories
    • Chat with nearby drivers and send messages, emojis, and stickers

    We are an app development company. We are known for our user-friendly and fully-equipped apps. Our developers are experts who know how to make an app for iOS, web as well as Android platforms. For solving any query or doubts, you can contact us by just filling the form given in the footer. We also provide a free of charge technical consultation from our expert. You can ask about the application development process of Instagram, cost, and development time, or anything else.

    Feel free to ask for your free quote for the project.

Author Bio
Narendra Purohit
Narendra Purohit
Designation: Vice President (Products)

Narendra Purohit is Vice President (Products) at Space-O Technologies. He has in-depth knowledge about software delivery and 14+ years of experience in the web and mobile app development industry. He has expertise in the photo-video apps, lifestyle apps, dating app industry.