“Hey there! I am using WhatsApp.”
A default status pops up when a user registers through this app. This barrier-free communication aids users in communicating anywhere, anytime. Hence, WhatsApp is famous worldwide. So, does the thought of creating an app like WhatsApp occur to you too?

You have landed here and we will make this worth a while. Know how to make an app like WhatsApp, what are some basic and advanced features, and get more help in brainstorming the way to go!

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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 create messaging app like WhatsApp and how much it would 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 has WhatsApp Created History & Achieved Milestones?

WhatsApp’s journey is a class apart from the other start-up stories. This instant messaging app was founded in 2009 by two efficient Yahoo employees, Jane Koum and Brian Acton.

Today, billions of people are using WhatsApp. Out of this, it is estimated that there will be 85.8 million app users in the USA by the end of 2023. It is the most comforting message tool available currently in the market. Besides, WhatsApp is still considered a better option for people to text conveniently amongst each other.

WhatsApp comes with multiple features that exactly portray every product’s mission and vision. The decision is their desire to make communication seamless for the other users out there.

Their vision is to connect with billions of people around the globe without any barriers. We are all familiar with it as WhatsApp is now a part of our daily routine.

Hence, building a robust chat application like WhatsApp is a convenient option for the business to gain profits in the industry. Let’s further move on to learn ‘How to make a messaging app like WhatsApp.’

How to Make an App Like WhatsApp?– The Process

Process to make a chatting app like whatsapp

Now, let’s move further to create a chat app with good iOS and Android development like WhatsApp:

1) Design a Business Plan

To start creating your app like WhatsApp, begin with proper research per these points. It is crucial to develop an appropriate alignment of business with its vision. And this step will lay the foundation of your app.

  • ‘First Things First!’ – Know Your Audience

The modern market is about knowing the target audience who will use your app at the end of the day. As it is a messaging app, the young generations and adults between 20 to 40 years will be most likely to use the app. Therefore, you can consider them to b your target market.

  • Know how your Competitor is Positioning itself in the Market

It is the rule to gauge how strong the competitor is. You will realize whether your efforts to develop an app like WhatsApp are more or less than required.

  • Create Your Own Space in the Market by Adding Value to Your App

It is fantastic to develop a messaging app like WhatsApp, but what’s the point of making an exact app with similar features? That is the main reason your market analysis will give you fruitful results and help you improve the app users experience.

This crucial step will help create a chatting app like WhatsApp.

  • Start Thinking About the App Promotions and Create a Strategy at This Point

When the app is ready to get launched in the market, at that point, it is essential to know the proper marketing strategy. And launching the app and directly getting its target audience.

For more user retention, getting the best promotional system to build WhatsApp like app is better.

2) Hire a Development Team

The developers with an efficient development team will help in designing the code. And the main reason behind hiring a fantastic group of developers is their efficiency will decide the efficient server connection.

In the future, a robust code will help you integrate the new features without any hurdles. However, there are many sources for a better and more professional approach.

It is always advisable to hire a dedicated in-house team for you to make a WhatsApp like app. As on-time delivery and professional expertise is the backbone of a dedicated in-house team.

3) Develop a Platform

It took a long time to build WhatsApp and its fully-functional core. It is better to understand its nature in a technical way to enhance the app users’ experience in the future through these points:

  • Erlang is the coding language that contributed to creating a chatting app like WhatsApp. And Ejabberd is the server used by the app to handle instant message transfers within a few minutes.
  • Whatsapp uses the XMPP method to transfer messages, so you can also use the same for your instant messaging app development.

Hence, these are some fantastic points to develop a platform core that puts you ahead in how to build an app like WhatsApp.

4) Integrate MVP Features

MVP Features to Integrate
The following MVP features are a must-have integral features with instant messaging apps that are necessary to get the best app developed in the market:

Registration & User Profile

The app users registration is the first step to accessing WhatsApp and integrating the mobile number then the code is sent to your respective mobile number.

It becomes very safe to communicate through WhatsApp as there is a high possibility of one-on-one chat. And it is directly linked to the
user’s mobile number, so there are fewer chances of account theft.

And build a two to three-step registration process like WhatsApp, which makes it easy for the user to generate a chat app creator.

Group Chats

WhatsApp comes with an essential feature that allows the app users to make a group for multiple people to do group chat and discuss with an instant messaging app.

Another option to send messages to multiple users simultaneously is called a Broadcast message. Hence, you can also integrate the feature for better user convenience.

Search Option

Search the numbers saved for better future communication, and the search option availability will help find the groups and one-on-one conversations with the other users.

This search option enhances the ease of the users while you are about to make a WhatsApp app.


WhatsApp always offers adjustable settings which help disappear the last seen for the user’s convenience in your own chat app development.

It also helps the users keep their stories and posts private so that this feature can be included as an MVP feature for an app like WhatsApp.


The user does not need to manually add any numbers as long as a person registers their account. Besides, the user asks permission about the contact syncing.

And when you press the allow button different integrations are necessary to create a chat app like WhatsApp to excel in the market.


For the new message to arrive, your fellow app users need to get the notification when they will know they have received it through this instant messaging app.

These are some mandatory features that must be included while developing a chatting app like WhatsApp.

Advanced features that you can include in your Instant messaging app:

  • HD Video Calls
  • Message Disappearing
  • Possibility of Collaboration
  • AI-powered Chatbots
  • Synchronize to the Cloud
  • Geolocation
  • Dark Mode
  • Schedule the Messages

5) UI/UX Design

The user experience has its value, so that is the reason UI/UX design plays a vital role to make a chat app like WhatsApp.

Ensure that fonts, colors, and icons are intriguing and at the right place where the users can access them quickly. Hence, intriguing design can make you win half the battle already.

6) Technology Stack to Create an App Like WhatsApp

It mainly includes Mobile app development, Front-end, and Back-end, so create a Tech stack for your business to integrate as per your requirement.

You need to adopt the tech stack as per your preference in addition to the answer,’ how to make an app like WhatsApp.’ For which the dedicated developers will help you maintain the proper user base of this instant messaging app.

Let us dive directly into the monetization strategy that you can integrate in such free apps and boost your business to soar high.

Looking to develop a WhatsApp-like messaging app?
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How to Monetize Your Instant Messaging (IM) Application Like WhatsApp?

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

You could apply multiple monetizing models in your chat app. For instance, Apps like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat follow different monetization methods.

Let us briefly guide you through some of the most popular methods.

  • Advertising

Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and many more generate primary revenue from the different ads 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 advertiser’s page. The app gets some percentage of commission on one of these clicks.

WhatsApp and Telegram don’t prefer to advertise on the chat platform. But you can integrate it into your social media app if you are planning to create the same. Here is the complete guide to ‘how to make a social media app.’

  • Value-Added Service

Some messaging apps implement in-app purchase models to generate revenue for their apps. Many instant messaging apps offer paid games and strikers, which users can buy from the app. Consider having this model for monetizing your chat application.

  • Payment Systems

WhatsApp payment service is free for the users, but it cuts 3.99% processing fees from the merchant. So you can also earn a handsome commission by developing chat payment services.

You can also implement a sponsorship or subscription model while you create a chat app. But they are less valuable than the models mentioned earlier.

Now, let’s discuss the approximate cost of developing a chatting app like WhatsApp.

Know more about: How Does Snapchat Make Money?

What Is the Approximate Cost to Create an App Like WhatsApp?

The cost to make an app always relies on multiple factors. You have to consider the features, platforms, the county in which your app is being developed, the per-hour rate of the company, and more.

While figuring out this instant messenger app development, you must consider all the needed features and their development time. Knowing their hourly rate and multiplying the total time by an hourly rate is essential.

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 Cost (In USD)
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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Wrap Up on How to Make an App Like WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s success inspires many entrepreneurs interested in WhatsApp-like app development who want to start their app business but are still looking for the proper solution. Hence, here is the full article suggesting and guiding you toward how to make an app like WhatsApp.

Though we know that you might have two thoughts about creating an app like WhatsApp over the years, many rivalries have formed. And we know you can surpass them all and create an app that makes a discrete space in the instant messaging app market.

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The duration to create a chat app like WhatsApp with minor features is around 3 to 6 months, while building a fully functional messaging app takes about 9 to 12 months.

If you want to make an app like WhatsApp, it is quite an easy process. With the help of the best development company, you can also create a cross-platform app with the support of React Native and Flutter. And it becomes easy to develop an app like WhatsApp if proper care is indeed taken.

WhatsApp is a fully functional app written in Erlang programming language that further helps in achieving optimal server performance.

Paresh Sagar

Article By

Paresh Sagar

Paresh Sagar is the CEO of Excellent Webworld. He firmly believes in using technology to solve challenges. His dedication and attention to detail make him an expert in helping startups in different industries digitalize their businesses globally.