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How To Create The Most Trending Social Media App Like Instagram

App Development

May 2021
1190 Views 12 Minute Read
how to create the most trending social media app like instagram
With the advent of technology and digitalization, people have gotten closer as the world has become a small globe. Although people often criticize mobile phones and social media apps as the cause of distance, the truth remains that our social circle has grown, and our ability to interact with others has too. Social media sites such as Facebook, Messenger, Skype, and many others soon transformed into mobile apps.
With mobile apps trending tremendously, social media apps like Instagram & Snapchat gradually came into the picture. The owners of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, sold the company to Facebook for 1 billion back in 2012. Instagram has since then been an ever-rising platform and has not ceased to slow down.
Instagram initially started a photo and video sharing platform, but today, it is a next-level social networking app. Instagram inspired several businesses to start photos and videos sharing apps such as Flickr, Snapchat, Swipe, Vine, etc. They all have one common functionality to share photos and videos, although they vary in their core functionality. Hence, if you plan to build such an app, making its exact copy won't make it successful, instead users will prefer sticking to Instagram only. You must add a unique element to your app as well.
Topics to be Covered
- Facts & Figures of Instagram Social Media App
- How Instagram became the Number 1 Platform?
- Instagram is a Versatile Platform; why?
- Must-Have Features for an Instagram-like Social Media App
- The App Development Process for an App like Instagram
- Monetization Model Of Instagram-Like App
- The App Development Cost of Instagram-Like App
- Final Words
Facts & Figures Of Instagram Social Media App
- Instagram generated USD 20 billion in ad revenue alone in 2019. 
- There are over 1 billion active users/month.
- Of all Instagram users, 49% are male, and 51% are female. 
- Users below 25 spend 32 mins/day on the platform. 
- 130 million users tap on shopping posts each month.
- 500 million people use stories every day.
- 81% of users use the platform to research products & services
How Instagram Became The Number 1 Platform?
how instagram became the number 1 platform
Do you ever think about how youngsters left using the popular Facebook platform and started using Instagram?
The thing is that youngsters are always on the lookout for something new and unique. No doubt, Facebook did bring many changes to its outlook, but underlying features didn't really change.
Whereas Instagram emerged into the social media world with a new design and style. Formerly, it was a platform to share photos. With time, it formed new content sharing from videos, stories, image filters, and reels. Nowadays, Instagram has also promoted its shopping platform.
TikTok was ruling the market with its videos and indeed did get banned due to political factors. However, soon after, Instagram got the reel feature to fill the space and boost the user base. Constant updations and innovations are what keeps Instagram alive and booming.
In recent years, Instagram brought several innovations; some of the major ones are as below:
- Story Highlights: Instagrammers can import their previous and existing stories in a story highlight, giving it a unique title that would be viewed by other users any time.
- IGTV: This gave a breakthrough to the platform, as before that Instagram videos were restricted to one minute only. 
- Shopping Feature: This feature works like an eCommerce app where business accounts can now sell their products through their posts.
- Explore Page: It was an old feature, but it was redesigned in a unique & user-friendly way. 
- Reels: Since the ban of TikTok across many countries, Instagram has proved to be a savior for those addicted to making videos with a 15-sec video posting feature.
2020 has been an incredible year for social media platforms like Instagram. Most people are getting home quarantined, which gives them ample time to browse the web and social media. Instagram has ensured to make efficient use of its platform by introducing new filters and algorithms for users to keep them engaged.
Instagram Is A Versatile Platform; Why?
Instagram is a diverse platform that can be used for different purposes; a few of them are discussed below:
1. Photo & Video Sharing & Editing
Instagram originally gained fame due to its photo sharing and editing feature. The app has multiple tools used for adjusting pictures, such as vivid filters and elements. This will enable users to adjust the picture size, contrast, image size, structure, and elements.
2. Communication
Communicating is a core part of any social media app. Apps such as Instagram can also be used for chatting. This feature enables the user to share messages, memes, highlights, stories, etc., to connect with other users. The users can also form a group, do video or audio calls to interact, besides texting.
3. eCommerce
Today, social media platforms play a significant role in reshaping the eCommerce business as well. Brands find Instagram-like platforms more engaging than any other platforms. Companies find it beneficial to share their product and service images on this platform. Moreover, the app also gains a commission from the businesses that display their products on the platform.
Must-Have Features For An App Like Instagram Social Media App
must-have features for an app like instagram social media app
For building a social networking app like Instagram, you should know the features & functionalities that make it one of the widely-used apps. Some of the major ones are as follows:
1. Registration
Of course, like every app, Instagram also requires you to sign up. It allows you to sign up conveniently using your phone number, email id, or other social media accounts.
2. User Profile
After the account is created, users should be able to start with the registration of their profile. The user can edit the profile picture, name, gender, contact info, or bio. Suppose it is a business account; they can edit the account details such as location, name, contact info, etc.
3. Uploading Photos And Videos
The essential feature to be included while building an app will be uploading pictures and videos on the app. Keep in mind to render particulars such as downloading existing content, previewing the show, saving, commenting, & clicking photographs.
4. Picture Editing
Insta is famous for its image filtering. People like modifying their look on the pictures, like making it bright and shiny from dull and dark. Hence, if you want to create an app like Instagram photo-editing app, customization is an essential feature. Rotation, zooming, straightening, and other editing options shouldn't be neglected.
5. Social Media Integration
Instagram is famous for connecting with other users from various social media platforms such as Facebook, and that is even convenient for users. You can integrate several social media platforms into the app.
6. Stories
The story function enables users to share their life moments on their profile for a maximum of 24 hours, after which it disappears, whether pictures or videos. Users can add stickers, text, live face filters, etc., as much as they want.
7. Search
This feature is one of the most important features that can be incorporated into an app like Instagram. Search feature enables users to find any specific thing that they are looking for.
8. Settings
This functionality should be adjustable and easy to use for the users. They should be able to pick the theme, language and adjust the privacy of their profile. Moreover, they should be able even to disable the notifications if it distracts them.
9. Geolocation
This feature will expand your app's functionality and make it more engaging. App users enjoy displaying the locations where they take photos & videos. You can even integrate a location tagging option for the picture.
10. Messaging
People often search for someone to talk to. Incorporate a message sharing option to provide users the option. Ensure it's set up for them to talk in real-time. Enable users to leave comments on each other's photos. Integrate push notifications into your mobile app to notify the users of any feedback or message.
11. IGTV And Reels
IGTV and reels have changed the face of this social networking app. You must consider this feature for your app and allow users to upload long videos and short entertaining videos.
12. Turn Posts Into Sponsored Ads
All you need to do is hit the Promote tab, and your post will be visible to those outside your follower's list. This feature is used by most businesses to boost reach, likes, followers, and conversions.
13. Live Video
Live video is not the same as Instagram Video, as it is in real-time. This is how it works:
- The video doesn't get saved once you decide to end it. 
- Followers of your account get notified, telling them you are going live.
- Followers can also like or comment on your Live Video to create engagement. 
This is an awesome feature for marketers and businesses to build transparency and interactivity.
14. Push Notifications
Well, of course, this feature is required in every app. If you are building an app, this is a crucial feature, where you notify users if they received a text, like, comment, or any other updates. However, they can also choose to disable notifications if it bugs them.
Below are the features that Instagram introduced in the past 3-4 years. This is for those who genuinely want to contribute to society by creating a unique app that will engage the users and boost the business's revenues.
- Superzoom: 3-sec clip zooming to the object the lens is pointing at.
- Boomerang: 1.5-sec looping videos.
- Nametag:This allows users to recognize other users with their nametag.
- Insta Shop: Brands can put up their products on shoppable posts.
- Hashtags: Users can have hashtags & profile links in their Insta bio.
- Question Sticker: An immersive sticker to ask questions to the community.
The App Development Process for an App like Instagram
the app sevelopment process for an app like instagram
1. Establish your Target
Besides being a photo-sharing platform, Instagram is also an eCommerce app. Instagram is also used for running ad campaigns of influencers and brands. Before beginning with your app's development basics, you must be clear about your goals regarding the app. You should be sure about who you wish to target and what you want to attain with a social media app like Instagram.
You must be able to answer the following questions-
- What is your target market?
- Is your app the right fit for your location?
- Will your app meet the latest user demands?
2. Conduct Market Research
The mobile app is a very competitive industry these days. Several mobile app development companies wish to be successful, and with that aspiration, they constantly bring up innovative and unique concepts to their apps. Therefore, if you are one such app developer, it is wise to conduct thorough market research. Researching your competitors will help you know what strategies and technologies they are using for their mobile apps.
The market analysis will help you discover what you need to do differently to make your mobile app stand out and give you an edge over your competitors. You should know the demands of your target users and cater to their needs. You should, first of all, consider which platform you want to choose, iOS or Android. It all demands on the platform you choose. If you wish to target only the cream crowd for your premium app, you can even consider choosing an iOS platform.
3. Determining Your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) Features
After you have established your targets and done market research about your competitors and understood your users' needs, it's the correct time to contemplate your Instagram-like app's functionalities. You should create a list of features that you think would be perfect for your app while discarding those you feel are overused and outdated.
4. Team Structure
Now that you are all set about your project, you must choose the apt company for your mobile app development project. The company that you choose should have a talented pool of developers and designers. The team must involve a project manager, UI/UX designers, app developers, quality assurance engineers, etc.
Before choosing the company, you should make sure they have experience dealing with similar projects and have good client testimonials. The mobile app company will manage everything from programming resources to app distribution through various app stores.
5. Marketing
How will your app be successful if no one knows about its existence? Therefore, you should focus on not just app development but also app promotion. Especially if your app is superior to your competitors, the whole process becomes futile if nobody knows about your unique app. Hence, an app like Instagram requires marketing at all levels.
Contemplate all the platforms that your users are using and promote your app there. You can use various marketing methods, whether TV commercials, print media, social media networks, word-of-mouth, whatever works for you!
Monetization Model Of Instagram-Like App
Even since Instagram got acquired by Facebook for USD 1 billion, it made drastic progress. And today, it's worth $100 billion, all due to its monetization model. Just like Facebook, Instagram generates most of its income from ads. At present, Instagram ads are rising better than Facebook. The amount spent on advertisements on Insta has increased by 177% in 2018's second quarter, while it was 40% on Facebook, as per reports.
The monetization model of Insta-like app is as follows:
- In-app Purchase: You can sell several things from your app, such as effects & filters.
- Ads: App users might use photo-sharing software to make a business profile, market themselves, and captivate followers.
- Exclusive Deals: Your social networking app can offer exclusive discounts to its users.
- Stories: This idea was taken from Snapchat. When users are viewing people's stories, commercial videos or images appear.
- Facebook Ads: Insta's business model is based on FB's ad model. Marketers use Facebook to place ads to show up on Insta. 
- Carousel Ads: A carousel post is similar to a standard post where it includes several pictures that marketers use to display a message.
- Sponsored Posts: A standard post with a sponsored tag & a call-to-action tab is known as a Sponsored post. Instagram's primary income comes from funded Facebook videos.
The App Development Cost Of An App Like Instagram
the app development cost of app like instagram
The cost to develop a social media app depends on several factors, and giving an accurate figure is not a practical thing unless the exact specifications are provided. Various factors involved to determine the cost of your app development are as follows:
- Number Of Platforms (iOS, Android, or Windows)
- Framework (React Native, Flutter, Ionic, etc.)
- App Features
- App Complexity (Low, Mid, or High)
- App Developers' Experience
- App Category
- Mobile App Development Location
Location is one of the biggest factors to evaluate the cost of your app. Developers in some countries like North America charge around $150/hour, whereas, in India, the charges go lower, approximately $30/hour. Can you imagine such a drastic difference? And yes, the companies in India are as skilled and qualified as companies in North America, yet the difference is massive.
Speaking of the UI/UX design of the social photo-sharing app:
- UI takes around 50-70 hours
- UX takes about 65-100 hours
Besides, additional design features can extend the number of hours depending upon the complexity. If your app's complexity is high, so is the cost and vice-versa. Therefore, if you want to create a budget-friendly app, you need to consider that aspect.
Although it's not possible to give you guys an exact cost for your social media app like Instagram, we can give you a rough figure based on which you can make your decisions. It would cost you around $60,000 to develop your app on one platform.
Final Words
The most trending app currently, Instagram has tried its best to offer its users something unique all the time. With one tap, you can create different styles of videos & photo posts. Remember that setting expectations for the pictures that users want to post is essential to guarantee that the profile gallery & feed look good. Instagram was able to solve this issue by Squaring images.
Several businesses have understood the scope of building an app like Instagram, as it integrated exciting features and is admired by billion users. If you plan to create such a social media photo-sharing platform, you should definitely go for it, for it will be successful provided you follow the right strategies as mentioned here. You can get in touch with our efficient team to help you create a unique 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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