People spend more and more time on social media. People spend their money there, play games and buy goods, plan trips and discuss books. In 2020, social media websites turned out to be the only way to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.
The COVID-caused global pandemic pushed people towards confusion, apathy and even fear. Locked in their homes, smartphone users worldwide devoted their time to social media. And app like Instagram multiplied its revenue.
Instagram demonstrates great results and keeps attracting new users. This is the most popular social media app with more than 1 billion users.
Inspired with Instagram statistics, you may think about launching a similar app and get your piece of market share. In this article, you will find everything you need to launch a viable MVP and grow your product. Discover how to build your product, find out the price to build an app like Instagram, and check the tips to launch a successful solution.
Before we start…
Define your priorities.
Instagram is a huge social media app. The founders on Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, have been working on it since 2010. First, the idea was to launch a check-in app. Several months later, the founders decided to focus on photo-sharing functionality. And for more than ten years, a huge team of professionals has been contributing to the most popular app of our age.
Starting your business, you should focus on validating the idea and making sure you have enough resources and potential to attract users to your app.
Once you are sure there are users who want to install your app on their smartphones, you can keep on moving to your goals and invest in your business. But proper planning and idea validation should be your initial steps.
First of all, take a closer look at the Instagram app. In includes four types of functionality:
- Photo-sharing features
- Photo-editing features
- Messaging features
- eCommerce features
Using Instagram, people can edit and share their photos, enhanced with filters and visual effects that make them even more attractive. A simple messenger is a handy communication channel. At the same time, Instagram is a huge platform for online businesses: here, online retailers can find a huge number of potential customers, sell and advertise their products and services.
Decide what features you would like to prioritize. This choice will define the cost to build an Instagram clone.
But how to choose wisely?
Focus on the target market
Entering an industry where such a powerful company successfully operates may be challenging. However, if you focus on a defined region, a city or even a single organization, you may succeed.
Remember how Facebook started? It was just an app for Harvard students. Now, it’s a huge social network app.
Try to employ this strategy, too. Watch after a local community, college, or school. Would it be interesting for potential users to try another app similar to Instagram? Or they may need a new messenger. Or, for example, a photo editing app for students who study art. Brainstorm and decide how to attract them with unique features developed for specific needs.
Study users’ demands
But what if none of the local institutions comes to your mind?
Consider entering the eCommerce market with your app. Once again, build it for local community specifically. But in this case, you should build an app for retailers and buyers, not just for users who post their photos online.
While COVID-19 and global isolation makes offline businesses disappear, online shopping blooms and blossoms. Analyze your local market and think about sellers who suffered from social distancing the most. Consider developing an app that will heal their pains.
Pick essential features
Befor you start the development process, you should see clearly what you want to build. Take your time and build a list of must-have features.
- If you focus on a photo-sharing app, let users create profiles, add and delete photos, tag other users, comment photos etc;
- If you focus on a photo-editing app, allow users create profiles, edit, crop, and modify their photos, apply visual effects, add texts on pictures etc;
- If you focus on a messenger app, except profile creating and editing, allow exchanging text and voice messages, send files etc;
- If you focus on an eCommerce app, allow more customization and let users promote their content, launch paid advertising features and add some analytics tools etc.
Enhance your app with some unique functionality. Then, find out how to make an app like Instagram.
How to build an app like Instagram the right way?
After you’ve analyzed the local market and came up with an idea of a highly demanded product, start the development process.
Build the MVP of your Instagram clone
MVP, the minimum viable product, is a simplified version of your app aimed at attracting first users. As we’ve mentioned several blocks above, you need to evaluate your idea before investing in its implementation. And here the MVP saves the day.
MVP includes basic features only; there’s no need to invest time and money in complex functionality or expensive tools. With minimum budget and maximum ambitions, you build a software product to collect users’ feedback and pivot if the product doesn’t satisfy their needs.
After presenting your idea to a development team, you may need to answer a significant question: what technology stack would be the best for your product?
You may browse tons of websites; you may want to follow the trends and use the most popular software development tools and technologies. But don’t waste too much time.
Working on MVP, prioritize development price over certain tool’s popularity.
Instead of building two separate apps for Android and iOS platforms, choose a cross-platfrom approach. This method allows building a software product that looks and works good in any browser, any device and any OS.
Your engineering team may choose between Ionic, Cordova or React Native for cross-platform development and build a high-quality software app.
Grow user base and raise funds
On the initial stage of your product growth, it is essential to attract as many users as possible.
Create an informative landing page. Provide information about your idea and offer users to sign up and become the early adopters. It sounds pretty easy but you may need to offer bonuses as well. For instance, offer coupons or unlimited free trial to a user who signs in and shares the refferal link in social media.
Provide value to the users and constantly ask for their feedback. The more impressions they share, the more ideas you can generate on how to improve your app.
Employ marketing techniques and promote your product. Use existing social media channels to share information about it.
With a ready-made, simple MVP and users who enjoy using it you can reach out to investors. Get ready to answer questions. Get ready to provide real numbers and proofs that your product is worth investing in.
If your product satisfies local users’ needs, try to apply for a government grant. Participate in startup accelerator. Meet your angel investor on Linkedin. You have multiple ways to attract investments.
Never stop improving
With investments and support behind your back, you may feel much confident about your product’s future. But don’t lose focus and keep on working on your product. More than 20% of startups fail during the first year. Build a development plan and invest raised funds in product improvement.
Costs to build an app like Instagram
There are three main factors that impact your app’s price:
- Feature’s complexity
The simpler product you build, the less it will cost you. Pay attention that talking about compexity, we don’t mean the product’s quality: your product should look and work impeccably to survive in the competition. But you don’t need to add complex, advanced, expensive features in your MVP.
- Time invested in development
The simpler features your prioritize – the less time you need to build them – the less you pay for development.
Typically, the MVP development takes four to sixteen weeks but if you’d like to add some extra features, the team will need more time to build them. And it will cost more.
- Team’s location
We analyzed prices for development services in different countries and here’s what we found.
The price for MVP in the US is the highest while outsourcing software development to Europe or Asia may considerable cut your cost.
Here’s the avarage price for an entire MVP in different countries:
- US – $140,000+
- Ukraine – $35,000+
- India – $15,000+
On your way to a successful Instagram clone app, start with MVP development. The minimum viable product is your chance to validate an idea, get acquainted with users’ opinions about it, and raise funds. Another significant fact is that MVP development is much more financially affordable than full-feature app development.
Cost to create an app like Instagram depends on features’ complexity, time invested in development, and the prices for development services in a particular country.
With all that in mind, polish your idea, plan a budget and start working on a successful product!