Do you remember how a few years back, people were always online on Facebook, they still are very active on social media, but Instagram has become the ruling platform now. Lots of Babyboomers are still on Facebook, but all the other generations from Gen Z to Millenials and everyone in between have mostly shifted to Instagram.

Today everyone is an Instagrammer, and this reason is that platform is very easy and fun to use. Facebook is for older people; Instagram is where the present gen crowd is at. However, Instagram is owned by Facebook, so indirectly, all the profits end up with the big guy, Facebook.

Statistics on Instagram:

  • In 2019, Instagram generated $20 Billion just in advertising revenue.
  • According to the latest estimates, Instagram has 1.3 billion users worldwide in 2022 and is used by one out of every three social media users.
  • 70.8 percent of the billion monthly active users on the Instagram app are under the age of 35 (Statista, 2022).
  • Instagram statistics show that an average Instagram post contains as many as 10.7 hashtags.
  • Most-followed demographic influencer demographic is females aged 25-34, with nearly 25% of Instagram influencer followers.
  • 73.5% of content on Instagram is images, 13.7% is video, and 12.7% is carousels.

Today we’ll be running an in-depth study on how and when Instagram became the best social media platform in the world. It’s the perfect example of a social media app business model to follow if you wish to build an app like Instagram.

Why Did People Move On To Instagram?

The pertaining question here is why did the younger generation leave such a long-time proven platform like Facebook for Instagram?

One of the main reasons is that the younger generation of app users are always on the lookout for something new and exciting. Facebook brought many new changes in its app periodically, but the underlying features were the same that were being used for several years.

Instagram brought a whole new design and style as a social media app. The original format of Instagram was sharing pictures. From then on, they explored more and more forms of content sharing from videos, stories, image filters, and now recently 15 seconds reels.

The reason why Instagram is the top social media app platform at present is that it kept learning and innovating from its competitors.

TikTok was a dominant competitor, but many countries are banning the Chinese app due to recent political shifts. Instagram made sure to fill its vast market by introducing the Instagram Reels feature. Such steadfast thinking and regular innovations keep Instagram alive and thriving as the best social media app platform.

According to Instagram’s official website, they currently have more than 1 billion monthly active users, 60% of which come online every day. This level of consistent user engagement is because of the app’s features, design, and User Interface are second to none.

The Evolution of the Instagram App

Burbn started as a simple app idea in 2010 with initial funding of $500,000, which helped them how to make a social media app for three major app platforms of that time: iOS, Android, and Windows. Later with two more successful rounds of fundraising, Burbn became worth $57.5 million.

You must be thinking, why am I talking about Burbn? Well, Burbn is the former name of Instagram. In 2012, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (Founders of Instagram), sold their startup to Facebook for $1 billion. At present, Instagram is worth more than $100 billion.

Once Facebook took Instagram under its vast portfolio of social media apps, there were several new features introduced that helped in raising Instagram’s user base and engagement rates.

In the past three years, Instagram brought many innovations. Some of the prime Instagram features are:

Stories Highlights — Instagram users can import their current and past stories in a unique title so that others could see them at any time in the user’s profile.

IGTV — IGTV was a big-game changer because previous to that, Insta videos were limited to only a minute’s length. IGTV has directly rivaled against YouTube with its portrait videos (now offers landscape mode).

Shoppable Posts — This feature was a direct challenge to eCommerce apps like Amazon and Alibaba. Business accounts on Instagram are now able to sell their goods via their posts.

Explore Page — Although not a new feature, it was redesigned in a very unique and user-friendly way.

Instagram Reels — With TikTok being banned across several countries, Instagram took hold of the short video content market by introducing Reels, a 15-second video posting feature.

The upcoming years have been fantastic year for social media apps. The majority of people are giving them a lot more time to surf the internet and social media for became influencers or to get fame, want to viral on it.

See Also: Video Editing App Development Guide

How Does Instagram Work?

Instagram is really easy and fun to use. Some would say that it’s just like Facebook, but you write less and post photos more. As an app user, all you have to do is download the app from your app store. Create your Insta account with a unique username, and you’re ready to go.

When you open the app, right away, you have three options to post:

Photo – To take pictures and post online

Gallery – To upload images already on your phone

Video – To shoot short videos and post online

Your friends and followers can search your account by your unique username and follow you to see your posts in their feed. They can like your posts, tag others, and comment on it. It’s a great social media platform to use with a lot less hassle.

There are fun filters you can add to your photos (Dog filter, B&W effect, morphing faces, mustache filter, add stickers, etc.) If you are a shy camera person, then you can also post with just textual content.

If you wish to rank high and let unknown people around the world view your posts and like them, you can use popular hashtags. Upload a photo or video, type # sign with your text next to it. For instance, if a trending hashtag is Trump, you can post your pic with “#trump,” and anyone who searched #trump around the world can see your post.

You will learn how to use several more features as you go through the app more. So, keep exploring Instagram.

How to Make an App like Instagram?

how to make an app like instagram

Now comes the question you have been waiting for, how to create a photo-sharing app like Instagram? Building an application like Instagram is simple yet challenging, and you can’t do it alone. You need a technology partner to realize your social media app idea like Instagram.

Let me simplify the plan of how to make an app like Instagram by breaking it down into steps.

Here are the steps to create an app like Instagram:

1. Research The Market – Conduct market research to define your target audience and its preferences.

2. Study Your Competitors – Evaluate competitive photo-sharing apps.

3. Come Up With An App Concept – Finalize your unique and outstanding app concept.

4. Build a Foolproof Plan – Define your further strategy in terms of your goals with the project, budget, timeline, and technologies. In short, create a foolproof mobile app business plan to get the best end results.

5. Find The Perfect App Development Company – Select a capable development agency to design, develop, test, and launch your social photo-sharing app.

6. Promote Your App – Prepare your marketing and PR strategy and start promoting the app from the early stages, even before the app is launched. Building a brand value with your target app users before launching it will help you gain quick growth in the initial phase.

7. Keep Innovating – Keep up with the competitors and evolve the project further with additional functionality, design elements, and reach out to new user groups.

This is just a brief version of a business plan to launch an app like Instagram. If you wish to learn more about developing and launching a social media app like Instagram, you should talk to an app development expert.

Instagram App Features

An app is only as amazing as the features in it. You can either create a sub-par social media app, or a blind rip-off of Instagram, or even something better. It all depends on which app features you choose to integrate into your Instagram like app.

Here are the most popular app features that are a must-have in a social media app like Instagram:

  • Search Option
  • Likes & Comments
  • Geolocation Integration
  • Profile Editing
  • Endless Scrolling Feed
  • Custom Designed Filters
  • Basic Photo Editing Features
  • Signup & Login
  • Social Platform Integration
  • Push Notification
  • Stories
  • Messenger
  • Posting Pictures & Videos
  • Shoppable Posts

Instagram Technology Stack

You don’t need to know how to code your social media app, but you should know what technology stacks are used to create an app like Instagram. Here we define the technology stack that you can use for your Instagram-like app development.

Instagram Tech Stack: iOS Application

  • Language — Swift
  • Networking — Alamofire

Instagram Tech Stack: Android Application

  • Language — Kotlin
  • Networking — OkHttp 3, Retrofit

SEE ALSO – iOS vs Android Development Which Is Better?

Instagram Tech Stack: Back-end Development

  • Language — Node.js (JavaScript)
  • Framework — Express 4, Django
  • Database — MySQL, Memcached, Cassandra, PostgreSQL
  • Messaging —
  • API documentation — Swagger
  • Web Server — nginx, Gunicorn

Instagram Tech Stack: Third-Party Services

  • Push notifications — FCM
  • Geolocation — Google Maps
  • Storage — Amazon S3
  • Emails — Elastic Email

Create An MVP App like Instagram

After learning the whole process and the level of features needed for a complete Instagram like app development, it may seem that a complete app development may be costly and time-consuming. A better way would be to reduce the cost and time by developing an MVP version of your application like Instagram.

There are several photo and video-sharing apps available in app stores. So, making another similar app will not do much good. If you have one shot at developing your best social media app like Instagram, you better be sure that you are in the right direction.

One such way to make sure is by first developing an MVP of the Instagram like app. This way, you reduce the risk of wasting much time, money, and other resources. An MVP app will help you get valuable user-feedback on it.

With an MVP, the stakes are lower so you can try new features and approaches in developing an app like Instagram.

What is The Cost to Build an App like Instagram?

Cost to build an app like Instagram

Several factors affect the cost of developing an app like Instagram, factors like:

  • Type of App Features
  • Number of App Features
  • App’s Design Complexity
  • Number of App Platforms
  • Experience of App Developers
  • Location of App Development Company

It’s tricky to find out the exact cost of app development for an Instagram-like app. One of the big factors as listed above is the location of the app development company. Developers in some countries charge $100+ for hourly development rate, while there are other countries that charge as low as $10 per hour.

App development companies in the US are very skilled but also quite costly for many entrepreneurs. Still, there are a few skilled mobile app development companies like Excellent Webworld who have found a way to offer cost-effective price points at great development services. We provide Android developers with $15-$30/hr hour rates and iOS developers with $18-$35/hr.

Here is an app development formula Excellent Webworld follows to calculate the app development cost.

App Cost Calculating Formula

Estimated Development Hours * Developer’s Hourly Cost = Total Mobile App Development Cost

Here’s the best possible cost breakdown for developing an app like Instagram.

Features Hours in Development iOS Application Android Application App for All Platforms
Backend 400 $14,000 $12,000 $16,000
Development 1800 $63,000 $54,000 $117,000
Design/UX 100 $3,500 $3,000 $6,500
Web/desktop 1000 $35,000 $35,000 $35,000
QA/PM 100 $3,500 $3,000 $6,500
Total cost (approx.) 3400 $119,000 $107,000 $181,000

To sum up the cost estimate of developing an Instagram like app, it would cost around $110,000+ to make such a photo-sharing app (that’s for a single platform.) For a multi-platform (iOS and Android) app development, the price could go anywhere around $181,000 or even more depending on all the factors mentioned earlier.

There is a possibility that this custom app development from scratch approach would seem very costly for you. But, there are two alternate solutions that are cheaper and less time-consuming:

(a) Instagram like MVP App – $18000- $22000

(b) Instagram Clone App Solution

The MVP app will have only the basic features with a minimal design. This way the development is shrink to bare minimum, reducing the price and time but also the app’s features.

If MVP is not what you are looking for then perhaps Instagram Clone App Solution will interest you. By going with a clone app development option, you can reduce the price and the development time to almost 1/10th of the custom app development approach.

Know more about: How Does Snapchat Make Money?

Build Your Own App like Instagram

The most popular photo and video app, Instagram, has always tried its best to serve something unique to its users. Within a single tap, the Instagram app allows you to create different styles of video and photo posts.

Several companies and individuals have understood the scope of developing an app like Instagram, incorporating such exciting features and being admired by billion of users. If you are thinking of building a photo-sharing app like Instagram, Excellent Webworld is one of the best social media app development companies that can help you.

Contact our top mobile app developers at Excellent Webworld, and ensure your app is built with the latest trends and technology to make it popular and long-lasting in the market.

Mahil Jasani

Article By

Mahil Jasani

Meet the web tech lover and COO of Excellent Webworld. Mahil is an expert in drupal web development. He's the complete package skilled in design, development, and deployment of exceptional websites. His blogs are helping lots of start-ups to understand how to improve website performance and how to enhance web designs.