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An Ultimate Guide To Create A Multimedia Messaging App Like Snapchat

App Development

Apr 2021
2462 Views 12 Minute Read
an ultimate guide to create a multimedia messaging app like snapchat
Mobile apps have helped us connect with our close ones and make new friends as well. In this socially-driven world, where people love connecting with friends and family, they can express their emotions through videos, images, emojis, etc. Thanks to social media apps, such as Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, etc., the world has become a small globe.
Amongst all, Snapchat, a multimedia messaging app, has gained its popularity in the past 5-6 years and is a captivating platform widely used by Americans. Millennials love to show the world what they have actively been doing or what's happening around them. This is why Snapchat is a great platform to allow them to do that.
Considering the extensive usage of Snapchat, it's a great idea to develop an app like Snapchat. That doesn't mean copying their concept; however, you can always add some uniqueness to your app.
Topics To Be Covered
- Introduction To Snapchat App
- Snapchat Facts & Figures
- Core Technologies Used In Snapchat App
- How does Snapchat Make Money?
- Snapchat's Popular Terminology
- How to Build a Snapchat-like App?
- Top Snapchat Features You Must Know
- Technological Aspects to Consider while Creating Snapchat like App
- The Cost to Create a Snapchat-like App
- Snapchat: A Lucrative Creation!
Introduction To Snapchat App
Snapchat is an iOS & Android-based mobile app founded in September 2011 by Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy. The unique thing about this app is that the media such as text, image, or video sent to someone else via this platform gets disabled in a few seconds. This app concept was to motivate natural interaction and was built by Snap Company, which is famous as a camera company.
You must know that people using Snapchat can't stop Snapchatting! Snapchat knows Gen Z very well. It creates a sense of FOMO as the stories expire within 24 hours, which creates a sense of urgency & importance. Maintaining streaks feels like an achievement & forces users to use the app each day. Now, other apps like Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram also have story functions, but of course, they have been inspired by Snapchat.
Snapchat has indeed been one of the major successful apps in the tech field with its features and functionality. The filters that it offers are so incredible that people are obsessed with keeping the app to click pictures with different filters.
Snapchat' Facts & Figures'
- Snapchat had 46 million active users in 2014, which spiked to 229 million in 2020.
- Most Snapchat users belong to North America; Canada alone has 7.65 million Snapchat users, as per Statista.
- The app makes a whopping USD 33 billion in revenue.
- The average estimation is over 4 billion snaps posted each day.
- For the entire 2020, Snapchat revenue rose by 46% to USD 2.5 billion.
These figures are the reasons why you should absolutely plan to develop an app like Snapchat.
Core Technologies Used In Snapchat App
- Geolocation: A Snap Map feature in Snapchat allows you to view your friends' location, but only if they have granted permission. 
- Machine Learning (ML): ML is implemented in several Snapchat operations. 
- Augmented Reality (AR): Snapchat offers AR filters to its users to make them look more charming and creative. 
- Face Detection: Face detection is Snapchat's vital feature. It plays a significant role in image and video framing & editing.
How Does Snapchat Make Money?
how does snapchat make money
1. Discover Section
You must consider this section to create a Snapchat-like app. Discover is combined with friends' stories on one screen, making it unmissable. Snapchat's algorithm displays curated content as per the user's location & preferences. This content is marketed by companies such as People, ESPN, BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, and CNN.
2. Sports Partnerships
Sports companies such as MLB and NFL have recently collaborated with Snapchat. Millennials and youngsters love to be part of sports, and Snapchat uses this as an advantage to increase attendance in sports events. Nike & Adidas market their products to sports fans on multimedia apps such as Snapchat.
3. Branded Geofilters
Brands are permitted to make Snapchat filters of their own. Based on the geolocation, app users can locate fun AR filters that are free for 30 days. Brands can avail of an on-demand Geofilter for a calculated cost.
Snapchat Charges For 2 Things:
- The area size that the filter occupies on the screen.
- The time for which the Geofilter is available.
4. Advertising
Most of Snapchat's revenue comes from ads. How does this work? They showcase 6-10 seconds full-screen video ads created for vertical smartphone screens. Snapchat ads are also engaging as snap chatters can swipe up & access blogs, videos, or app downloads.
5. Sponsored Lenses
Big brands quickly realize that Snapchatters adore the lens filters. They went ahead and introduced their sponsored lens filters. KFC & Taco Bell are two good examples of this.
Sponsored lenses make a profit for Snapchat filter app, being dynamic & interactive. They even play sound clips when active. Companies can showcase their messages for what they want to market. App users can click selfies with these filters and send them to their buddies.
Snapchat's Popular Terminology
- Snap: All images, videos, or messages are known as 'snap' in the Snapchat app. 
- Snapback: Snapback means to reply to a snap, as the name suggests. It means to respond to a personal message on a one-on-one basis. 
- Lenses: Snapchat can be more fun by adding AR sounds and effects. This feature is called lenses. One can activate this feature by long-pressing on your face while facing the camera. The lenses will then emerge right beside the capture button.
- Story: You can click & share as many snaps you wish and broadcast them. All the broadcasted & linked snaps will emerge as a story reel. Your followers can click and view them to know about your life. The Story is visible for only 24 hours; however, your users can even save them if they wish.
- Snapstreak: You must have observed the emoji next to the name of your Snapchat friends. The users can use this streak feature and are called on a streak with you. 
- Filter vs. Geofilter: After taking a snap, you can swipe right/left to change the colors of your photo. You can also add time, speed overlays to your photos or videos. While Geofilters can add your location with your snap. 
- Bitmoji: This is an avatar created through the Bitmoji app linked with your Snapchat account. These Bitmoji stickers can be used in chats as your avatar and are created to encourage more interaction.
- Snapcode: This is a code to help users make new friends. Your friend can move his camera to your Snapcode and add you to their friend's list.
How To Build A Snapchat-like App?
how to build a snapchat-like app
This stepwise guide will help you develop a Snapchat-like app. We have mentioned all the essential steps here; let's go through them.
1. Market Research
This is the first and foremost step to consider for your business. Study the market and find more about your nemesis. There are many things you must look through in this step, such as:
- Who is your target audience?
- Who are your competitors?
- What are your business needs?
- What are your app needs?
- What's your budget?
- What features do you want to include?
These are the questions you must ask yourself and do a thorough analysis on it,
2. Choose Your Platform
This step needs you to focus on the platform where you want to launch your app, whether iOS/Android/both. This step takes into account your budget & your target audience. But it is highly recommended that you always select your platform to make your app available to a massive audience. You can also consider a cost-effective way to develop your app by choosing a cross-platform development strategy.
3. UI/UX Design
This is where the designing part begins. It's the focal point for the app development process as it is how your users will view your app. Here, you must ensure to create an app that is user-friendly, attractive, and engaging.
4. Coding
After the designing process comes the coding part, it's time to integrate the features you want to have in your app. As the development steps move forward, your app developer might ease specific demands towards the design functionality.
5. Prototyping
Here, app developers develop a rough mockup that displays how your app looks and how your app performs. This prototyping helps experts know how they can improve to eliminate any errors or bugs.
5. Testing Is Mandatory
Testing your app before the launch is super-duper essential to find out any bugs or errors. This process allows you to correct any mistakes and enables you to add or remove any function as needed. The app testing can be done by the development team and randomly selected users as well to know what they expect from your app.
6. Launch Time
Now your app is prepared for the big launch. Release your app on the platforms you have chosen and start heavy marketing on social media from the launch day to know about your app from the beginning. You can also begin the promotion before the launch to create hype in the market and create a curiosity for the users.
Top Snapchat Features You Must Know
top snapchat features you must know
1. Audio Or Video Calls On Snapchat
This was a significant update Snapchat made in March 2016. The audio or video call function resides within Snapchat's chat feature. So, you need to open up a chat with someone to send to do an audio/video call.
You can send a 10-sec voice or video message as well. All you need to do is long-press the voice or video icon, and it will start recording instantly. And when you release the icon, the recording will stop. Ensure you are ready to record and send the video or voice message before you start.
2. Turn On 2 Filters At Once
You cannot pick between giving a black and white edit to your photo and letting your friends know the location of your place? Lucky you! You don't need to choose. You can use both filters simultaneously.
3. Recognize Music Playing Around You
We all know Shazam as the music recognition app. But don't waste your data with more apps. Snapchat has your back with this feature as well. Just hold your finger down the cam screen to recognize a song playing around you.
4. Find Stories Worldwide
You can search for stories all over the globe. Machine learning tech allows users to search for more than a million stories on the app and experience an event like they are physically present. All you gotta do is tap the search bar on the cam screen to view trending stories of the day, filter stories by topic, & find specific events or locations' community stories.
5. Attach Emoticons/Stickers To Objects In Your Videos
You can pin emojis or stickers to different objects in your video. This enables emojis to naturally rotate, move, and scale with whatever object you attached them to. To attach a sticker/emoji, start by recording your video in Snapchat first, and then tap on the folded paper on your screen's top. You can scroll through different stickers or emojis until you come across the one you want.
6. Create Your Videos In Slow-motion, Fast-forward Or Rewind
This was a recent feature to allow users to make them go in rewind, fast-forward, or slow-motion mode. This feature works like a filter, so to access it, record the video and then swipe sideways to find them.
7. Change Your Text's Size, Color & Orientation
First, take a picture or video, type the message, and tap on the T icon at the screen's top to make your text larger and open the color scheme. You can also use your fingers to rotate it or resize it. You can move the text wherever you want.
8. Geofilters
Snapchat introduced this function in Feb 2016 for businesses or individuals to create custom 'On-demand Geofilters.' Users can add these filters when they click pictures and videos from particular locations. There are 2 kinds of Geofilters: Business GeoFilter and Personal Geofilter.
9. Awesome Lenses
Lenses are the most exciting part of Snapchat. The lens is primarily a funny real-time effect you can add to your picture. Here, you have various lens options available each day, and this provides uniqueness every day.
10. Snapcash
This feature will allow users to send money to their buddies and spend it with a debit card via Snapchat. However, you must be above 18 to use this feature.
11. Cool Stickers
These days, communication has enhanced with the usage of cool stickers. Hence, Snapchat also uses these stickers to help users interact with their friends using stickers. Therefore, if you are considering developing a Snapchat-like app, you must not think twice before including these stickers.
12. Add Music To Your Videos
This will add a unique touch to your video. As claimed by Snapchat in June 2016, 2/3rds of Snapchat's 10 billion daily videos are watched with music on. All you must do is play the song you want via your music player app and later record the video on Snapchat while the music is playing.
13. Include A Link In Your Story
This is the answer to every marketer using Snapchat as a platform to promote the brand. They can use their snap stories to ignite interest in their content, and if users swipe up, they can smoothly deliver them a video/article via the link.
Technological Aspects To Consider While Creating Snapchat Like App
It is not easy to develop an app like Snapchat. However, it can be made easy by getting yourself familiar with the technical aspects that are required to create such an app.
Database: Snapchat needs to manage massive structured data. To handle this flexibly to maintain the app performance, NoSQL is used as the primary database.
Programming Language: Several languages are used to code Snapchat-like apps. Objective-C is used widely to develop Snapchat-like apps for iOS. JavaScript & Bootstrap are used for front-end developers. Python, PHP, and Cocoa Touch are other Snapchat development languages.
Cloud Hosting: Snapchat uses Google Computing Engine to enhance automatic extensibility based on the no. of users to handle overall data temporarily. Primarily, Amazon Web Service is used for hosting.
The Cost To Create A Snapchat-like App
the cost to create a snapchat-like app
As simple as this sounds, estimating the cost of such an app is broad and subjective. It is impractical to provide an accurate price for the Snapchat-like app development since it is loaded with manifold features. Several factors determine its cost.
The app development cost for iOS would be different than that of the Android platform.
The cost will be tremendous if you consider adding advanced technologies such as face detection, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and geolocation.
Time & Feature
Well, the time taken to develop an app depends upon the type of feature you add and the number of features as well. However, it's not necessary to have all the features in your app like Snapchat. You can give a unique touch to your app over other similar apps. The time and cost for your app vary accordingly.
Location plays a significant role while planning to build an app like Snapchat. The company's location determines the cost of your app development. For instance, the cost to build an app with the same quality and time would be a lot less in India than in North America or any other country.
App Complexity
The complexity level of your app is also an important consideration to make while estimating your cost. The higher the complexity, the higher is the cost.
Now, just to give you an estimated rate of Snapchat-like app development, its approx. cost falls between USD 40,000 to 100,000.
Snapchat: A Lucrative Creation!
Snapchat is trending among young users as it allows the images to disappear instantly. Moreover, the users are in control of changing their privacy settings as well. Hence, this is another great functionality of this app.
Snapchat has plenty of features that make it the top multimedia messaging app. This also makes it an excellent marketing tool, as mentioned earlier.
If you already have an app idea, don't wait for too long, as this is the perfect time to find the right app developer and get on with it. You can even research other apps like Instagram, Facebook, Cluster, etc., to get an idea of the features and functionality you must include in your app and the current user demand.
You must make an app that matches user requirements and is innovative at the same time. Now, since you know everything to create a great app, get in touch with us and share your unique app ideas to help you build your app!
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Harnil Oza is the CEO & Founder of Hyperlink InfoSystem. With a passion for technology and an immaculate drive for entrepreneurship, Harnil has propelled Hyperlink InfoSystem to become a global pioneer in the world of innovative IT solutions. His exceptional leadership has inspired a multiverse of tech enthusiasts and also enabled thriving business expansion. His vision has helped the company achieve widespread respect for its remarkable track record of delivering beautifully constructed mobile apps, websites, and other products using every emerging technology. Outside his duties at Hyperlink InfoSystem, Harnil has earned a reputation for his conceptual leadership and initiatives in the tech industry. He is driven to impart expertise and insights to the forthcoming cohort of tech innovators. Harnil continues to champion growth, quality, and client satisfaction by fostering innovation and collaboration.

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