“ In this article, you will know about how to make a messaging app that could be an instant hit among your audience”

Communication is the key, no matter what kind of communication it is. Whether it is a matter with friends, family, relationship, business, or any other aspects of life, you would want that interaction to be continued. In fact, it is the communication that has kept us sane and joyous in the lockdown imposed due to COVID-19.

We can’t deny the fact that messenger apps and video conferencing apps came out as blessings especially in this nerve-wracking time. It helped us to keep our daily life fun and sparkling. Guess what! The investors who have invested in messaging apps are the happiest soul on the earth right now. The reason is quite clear. The excessive usage of chat or instant messaging.

Popular Chat Apps Statista

As per the TechCrunch’s latest report, Whatsapp- the ubiquitous messaging app which is owned by Facebook- has witnessed about a 40% surge during the pandemic. Along with WhatsApp other chat apps like Facebook messenger, Telegram, Wechat, & Snapchat had seen a considerable amount of growth in its downloads and usage.

This article is a detailed guide for those who want to leverage the benefit of current trends and jump into the business of chat apps. Read it and understand how to build a messaging app like WhatsApp and how much would it cost you.

Let’s proceed and know the inside out of the messenger app like WhatsApp and create a framework that could help you create a chat app.

How to Make a Messaging App like WhatsApp?

Put the Feature List at the Forefront in Your Research

When you take inspiration from any reputed and successful mobile app for creating your mobile app, you first dig into the features of that particular app. Because features and functionalities are the prime aspects of any mobile app. You don’t want to miss out on any vital functionality in your chat app. It will decide who your audience is going to be and whether they would like the app or not. Check out this feature list, study them, sort them according to your need. You can also add other feature ideas if you have.

Essential Features For Creating a Chat App


People appreciate a smooth onboarding experience when they sign up for any kind of mobile app. Allow your app users to register through their mobile number, email, or other social media platforms. For security purposes, you can also send a one time code to their phone number for verification purposes. When building an app like Whatsapp, keep certain things in mind. You don’t want the registration process clumsy; it has to be a simple process.

Don’t ask for irrelevant information such as their family details or their marital status or what they have eaten in the morning (pun intended!). If in case, they forget the password, let them change the password by sending them a code to their email.

Contact List

You don’t want to give your users a load of adding their phone contact list manually. Because that would be the biggest let down in any chat app. Therefore, add functionality that would update users’ contact list as soon as someone installs the chat app. Even they should be able to access your app through their phone contact list, just like you can access WhatsApp from your list.

Show them who is using your app from the contact list and allow them to send the request for downloading your app through the phone list. You can also provide login with an Email ID, social media, or other parameters.

Instant Chat Through Text

When you make a chat app, Text chat is the essence of it. So, before you think of anything this has to be on the top of your priority list. Your users should be able to conveniently message their phone’s contact list through your mobile app. That too, free! Note that your app will need internet connectivity to send and receive the texts from family and friends.

Your chat app’s success would depend on two things: how seamlessly your users can send the text and how easy your typing interface is. Add emojis, stickers, and memojis so that your audience could better express what they want to convey. Don’t forget about security concerns. Any kind of information leakage or eavesdropping in your app could damage your app’s brand value. You may want to secure your messages with end to end encrypted through the https protocol.

Group Chat

Groups allow your audience to share information with selected people for specific purposes. The purpose could be anything; They could create a group for gossiping with friends, sharing important information to employees, sending jokes or funny memes to family members, or even bitching about the management.

So, group chat is an essential feature if you want to create a chat app like Whatsapp. Your user should be able to create a group, add people, and interact with each other whenever they want.

Apart from creating a group, your app should have an option for uploading profile photos, giving names to the group, and describing the purpose of the group. The main admin can add, remove, or even make other members the admin of the group.

Voice Chat

Integrating a voice message feature in your chat app could work as an alternative to text messages; Especially, when someone is driving the car or busy at work. In fact, there are many people who are not a fan of typing and believe in a more straightforward way of communication. For such users, you have to create a voice message tab or button that allows them to instantly send the noise-free voice messages.

Audio and Video Call

While you make a chat application, just ask yourself, can you think of any messenger app without audio or video call in current times. If a user is searching for a chat app or messaging app in the app store or play store, certainly he would be willing to download the app which has audio and video call features. He would find an app that has a complete package. So, having an audio call and video call feature in your chat app is imperative.

Just ensure that these calling features must be secured like other messaging features. Also, you need to make sure you provide an exceptional video and audio quality to your user otherwise your user may find an alternative to your app. Ask your app development company to use proven technology for avoiding sloppy quality audio and video quality.

File Sharing Options

Today, gazillions of documents are shared online. Be it company documents, resumes, or other important documents, people prefer to share their docs as fast as possible. And these kinds of chat apps along with email are really their first choice. It gives them convenience and instant access. Your user should be able to send photos, videos, from the camera and gallery.

Your app should have an option for allowing users to share or upload files directly from google drive and Dropbox. Initially, you can include some common file formats that are majorly being used by people. Later on, when your app gets a wide acceptance you can go further and add new file formats in your texting app.

Advanced Features You Can Add in your Messaging App(Once MVP Gets Acceptance)

  • Security Features
  • Fleeting Stories
  • Dark mode
  • Profile Customization
  • Self-destructing messages
  • On schedule Messages
  • Stickers
  • Games
  • Invisible Ink
  • Location Sharing
  • Web-version
  • In Chat Payment Service

Technology Stack Requires in Creating A Messaging App

Technology plays an important part in any messenger app’s success. When the right technology meets the right idea, the end product is bound to be victorious. Before you set a foot in the chat app market, you must know the idea about the suitable technology for building an instant chat app. Read iOS vs Android development Platform comparison for more clarity.

Let’s bifurcate the technology stack of messaging apps like Whatsapp through this Infographic.

How to Monetize your Chat app like WhatsApp?

How do messaging apps make money? This would be the first question in your mind when you think about creating messaging apps like WhatsApp.

Well, there are multiple monetizing models you could apply in your chat app. Apps like Line, Facebook messenger, and WeChat follow different monetization methods. Let me guide you through some popular methods briefly. For a deep understanding of app earning methods, you can read our article on how do free apps make money?


Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Line, and WeChat generate their primary revenue from the different ads placed on their chat. The in-app advertisement model allows marketers and businesses to be present in front of relevant users. As an app user clicks on the in-app ad, he is redirected toward the advertisers’ page. The app gets some percentage of commission on each click.

Whatsapp and Telegram don’t prefer to advertise on the chat platform.

Value-Added Service

Best Value Added Service

Some messaging apps implement in-app purchase models for generating revenue for their apps. Line and WeChat offer paid games and strikers which users can buy from the app. You can also consider having this model for monetizing your chat application.

Payment Systems

Top Payment Systems

Whatsapp payment service is free for the users but it cuts 3.99% processing fees from the merchant. Line Pay and Wepay are also gaining popularity for faster transactions. So you can also earn a handsome amount of commission by developing chat payment services.

You can also implement a sponsorship model or subscription model in the chat app. But they are not as useful as the above-mentioned models.

What is the Cost to Develop an app like WhatsApp?

The cost to develop mobile apps always relies on a plethora of factors. You have to consider the features, platforms, county in which your app is being developed, per hour rate of the company, and more.

While figuring out about the chat app development, you will have to consider all the needed features and their development time. Once you get the development time of your app, you just need to select a suitable app development company, know their hourly rate and multiply the total time with an hourly rate.

Based on the above-mentioned MVP features and our past experience, we have curated a list of total hours.

Work Type Estimated Time (In Hours) Estimated Time (In Hours)
Android App 682 $16,368
iOS App 682 $16,368
Backend 633 $15,192
UI/UX design (One Platform) 72 $1728
Total 2069 $49,656
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Yes! There are many chat app competitors out there who have their presence globally. Competition is also high, but all these apps were also at the idea level at one time. If they wouldn’t have taken a risk of developing MVP for their app, they wouldn’t have been able to win the race. Sometimes local users prefer to use local chat apps rather than their global counterparts. Maybe they don’t want to expose their data to the other county’s apps due to the security level.

If you want to know how to make a social media application for messaging then you have to take a different path and add some unique features in your chat app for having a competitive advantage. Ensure that your requirements must be clear before the project. If you have any queries, let us know.

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