How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App like Snapchat

How to create an app like Snapchat

Imagine you’re a college student who develops a photo messaging app like Snapchat with your frat buddies, everybody says that it is a terrible idea, and a couple of years later digital giants like Facebook or Google offer you from $3 to $4 billion to buy it, but you reject the offer. Another three years and your company are worth $20 billion. It might seem like a dream, but it’s a true story of Snapchat.

Snapchat is a mobile messenger with text, photo, video content that disappears a few seconds after it is received. This success inspires a lot of entrepreneurs, and we receive a lot of requests to estimate the cost to build an app like SnapChat.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Create an App like WhatsApp?

Essential features to Create an app like Snapchat

If you want to create an app like Snapchat, you need to learn what features it provides, so you’ll understand what your new app should include. Here is a small guide on Snapchat features.

Snapchat features
  • Taking and Sharing your snaps: The main feature you should consider to create a Snapchat like application your application also has the ability to take and send photos and videos that self-destruct in a few seconds. Snapchat provides a big number of filters, text captions, and drawings for photo/video editing for their users to use.
  • Lenses: Lenses are the most popular Snapchat feature, after snap sharing of course, which is often a goofy animation that users can overlay on the top of their pics. Lense uses the AR (augmented Reality) Technology for using lenses.
  • Geofilters: Geofilters are similar to the originals. You can overlay a design onto a picture or video taken in the Snapchat application, but the difference is that they are only available in distinct locations. Geofilters uses the location and AR technology for this.
  • Adding Friends: The Snapchat team is always providing new ways of adding friends. They use personalized and specific QR codes that users can scan with their cameras and start following other users. They are called Snapcodes. Also, users can add friends from their contact list and by searching their name in the search bar. So if you’re wondering how to make apps like Snapchat, you should analyze convenient ways of adding friends.
  • Chatting: No messenger app can exist without the Chatting feature and the same goes for Snapchat too. Snapchat is not only a snaps sharing mobile application since regular messaging is also used on Snapchat. Snapchat couldn’t ignore the obsession with the stickers. So they added more than 200 stickers with their recent update.
  • Video and audio calls: Snapchat also allows it’s users to do video and audio calls too and one of the great features is that users and do calling and send the picture at the same time. Also, users can now make small videos and audio clips, or as they call them notes.
  • Story: A story is a snap broadcasted to all followers so that they can view as many times as they would like for 24 hours. Users are also able to see who viewed their stories. Recent updates allow users to jump straight to their next friend’s Story by only swiping left in a Story, and once a Story finishes playing the next one from the list automatically starts. if you are researching how to make a Snapchat-like mobile application, then don’t forget to add Stories to the features list.
  • Discover: Discover is a feature that helps find stories from editorial teams. It provides recent news and promotions like offers or events that are going to held from big companies, such as Cosmo, People, CNN, Mashable and many others.

How Snapchat Create Money?

how Snapchat make money

1) Snap ads

The bulk of Snap’s revenue comes from advertising.

One of the most prominent ways for Snap to make money is by showing brand advertisements between your friends’ stories these advertisements are interactable too and you can simply swipe to go to their website or link that has been attached to it.

The appeal of these types of ads for marketers is

  • The high engagement since users are more actively looking at their screens than say on Facebook or Instagram
  • The fact that the ad captures 100% of your screen

2) Sponsored lenses

Following the acquisition of Looksery, Snapchat also added these fun augmented reality filters to make your face look cooler and to surprise your friends. Snapchat charges a flat-fee per day and also offers some on-demand filters that start at $5 depending on the duration and audience size users can purchase these charged lenses.

Do you remember the Taco Bell lenses? It was the most viewed/used advertisement in the history of Snapchat. Taco Bell spends about $750,000 and got 224M impressions on its lenses. Pretty sweet deal.

3) The “Discover” Section

Snapchat created the Discover section in their application in late 2015, three years after its original launch. The discovery section allows publishers to post on Snapchat to entice viewers to consume their content. This interactive form of content delivery has attracted many major content providers such as Buzzfeed, DailyMail, Esquire, and MTV and they do create content for Snapchat so often.

Although the company generates a portion of its revenue from the Discover section, the exact revenue numbers haven’t been released. Digiday reported a $0.15 CPV cost per view on Discover ads. (This number makes it a good alternative investment compared to SEO) 

4) Branded geofilters

Geofilters are filters that are contained in a particular geographical location. The branded geofilters can be accessed by left-swiping once you’ve taken a picture or recorded a snap.

Snapchat allows anyone to purchase a geofilter on-demand straight from their website which means any user can purchase them.

You can get paid geofilters for a wedding, a party and event, your company or produce free geofilters for your community or city (like a “Los Angeles” tag).

5) Sports Partnerships

Recently Snapchat has been partnering with various Sports organizations such as NFL, MLB, etc.

The idea behind it is to promote attendance to events from millennials and younger folks. We can see how these stories are also attractive to Adidas and Nike, as they can advertise their products to sports fans.

6) Selling spectacles (at a loss)

Another method of monetization by Snap was by selling overly-hyped glasses to their users.

These glasses referred to as “spectacles” were first introduced in November 2016. Delivered through a cute yellow dispenser machine that only carried a limited amount, the $130 Spectacles seemed like a hit for the first few weeks.

However, as soon as the early hype faded away, Snap found itself with over $40M in unsold spectacles.

Development Cost to build a multimedia messaging app like Snapchat

App Platform (Android, iOS (iPhone), etc.):

Snapchat like app development cost for iPhone differs from the Android platform, but not much difference.

Snapchat is available on every platform. It is your choice which you want to go.

App Design:Attractive and non-complex design plays a crucial role in the success of an app like Snapchat. The price of Snapchat will depend on requirements. The right plan will cost more but worthy.

Every part of your app like UI/UX design, Wireframes, App builders will take time to design based on your choice of requirements.

If you need a more complex design, you need to invest more money. It is vice versa.

App size:If you want to keep all the features that Snapchat has, it may be difficult for you at the start of the project. So you are recommended to concentrate only on the core features in version 1 of the application cause it will be easy. It can help you to bring out quality at an affordable cost.

Team size: The cost of your mobile app development will mainly depend on the team you choose for the development process. It also depends on the number of people involved in a single project.  1. Manager 2.Two Developers 3.Designer 4.QA Engineer.


Steps to make an app like Snapchat

Follow these simple steps to create an app like Snapchat of your own:

Step 1. Research the market to identify your competitors 

Step 2. Learn your target audience to understand their needs

Step 3. Create a list of features for your mobile application 

Step 4. Set your budget

Step 5. Define for what platform to build your app first (or maybe for both)

Step 6. Find a team or hire a software development company

Step 7. Craft a marketing strategy

Step 8. Release and don’t stop developing your product 

There is no need to create a pompous app at the very beginning. Keep in mind that the real Snapchat started as a small messaging app similar to Instagram where a minimum number of features were provided. The idea was all that Snapchat’s founders had.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Create an App like WhatsApp?

Do you want to make a mobile application like Snapchat of your own and show it to the world? We can help you! We at {TECHPATHWAY} has extensive expertise in developing messaging apps and social networks. {Hire our app developer experts} to ask your question and get a free estimate of your app.

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