Instagram began as Burbn in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Ten years of developing and tweaking to meet users’ expectations, now have over 1 billion active users, with 500 million daily users.
Additionally, compared to other platforms like Facebook, the Instagram network comprises young users, with the majority being between years 25 and 34.
Maybe you have been thinking about how to make an app like Instagram where you can share photos. Today, you will learn how to create a social media app like Instagram from scratch without paying a dime for it.
What is an Instagram App?
Instagram app has evolved over the years. Through the lens, now it’s more than a photo-sharing app but also an e-commerce platform and messenger. Social commerce is growing at an exponential growth with an estimation of $34.5 billion by 2021.
The new Instagram version gets designed for Direct Messages, Videos, and E-commerce. Here are some of the Instagram key features:
- Stories – A great feature that highlights a short 15-second video or photo that usually disappears after 24hours. It was launched in 2016 and now has over 500 million daily users. A third of IG stories are from businesses.
- DMs (Direct Message) – It’s used to send and receive messages both private and generic.
- IG TV (Instagram TV) – This vertical video sharing feature allows you to share video content up to 60 minutes in length.
- Explore page – The section gives you updates on new content or those accounts going viral.
- Shoppable posts – You can buy directly from Instagram newsfeed with a shopping button attached to a photo post.
Instagram has sponsored posts that appear on the newsfeed, and recently on IG stories. You need to update your email address on Instagram if you are using an old account to use a single email for all social accounts. After you create an app like Instagram, you may want to monetize it. Here are some ways to do it;
- In-app purchases – You get to put a range of products up for sale on your own or enable users to post their products, and you receive a percentage of the sale.
- Offer special deals and promo codes to active users.
- Use sponsored advertisements where users and businesses can create profiles to promote their products.
How to Create an App Like Instagram?
When you decide to make an Instragam alternative, you want to stand out from the competition by considering some of these critical factors:
1. Number of active users
A photo-sharing app without users will not grow and scale. You need to figure out how to keep the number of active users engaged and growing.
Having high profile users like Instagram influencers who are active on your app is excellent. But how do you get them to use your Instagram alternative app?
Good marketing and PR programs can help you attract users. Invest in some of the communities you are targeting to get users.
2. User involvement and retention
After you get some users, how you retain them and build a loyal community?
- Provide high-quality editing tools for your audience to play with and continuously work on improving them.
- Send push notifications to remind them of any app updates; maybe they follow posts, new content, or engagements( likes, or comments) of their content occurs.
- Encourage monetization by users selling their products on the Instagram app. Let them have some ‘skin in the game.’
You don’t want to build the next Instagram ( copy & paste), but a unique Instagram app focused on design, branding, and it’s differentiating factor.
Here are some development features you want to include from the start;
- Personalized feed
- Clear UX/UI design
- A well-function application
- Intuitive- user navigation
- Impressive and eye-catching graphics like logo
Features every app like Instagram should have:
- Photo customization ( editing & filtering features)
- Messenger for both text and photo.
- Ability to post photos( uploading, add hashtags, tag other users).
- Timeline for comments likes, and follow.
- Push notifications and notifications.
- Feature to search for the username, hashtags, names, etc.
- Authorization to sign up and create a new profile.
- Ability to edit the profile.
- Location tagging where the photo was taken
Instagram App Development Process in 5 – Steps
- Write down the objective.
As we mentioned above, the original Instagram app has evolved to be more than just a photo-sharing app. Before you begin development, define the objective of your Instagram-like app. If you think of adding extra features( e-commerce, video) in the future, write them down.
- Do comprehensive market research.
The competition is asleep at the wheel. You need to do your market research well to understand how your app like Instagram will differentiate in the market. Which version will be the best to start with? Android or IOS version? For some context, the Android version has an 87% market share, according to Statista.
- Decide on the features for your MVP.
Your minimum viable product needs to have the essential features you aim to build your Instagram app upon.
- Hire the right development team.
You may not have programming skills like most people. But to bring your app to life, you need these skills. In your team, you will need people skilled in:
- App development
- UI/ UX design
- Project Management
- Digital Marketing
5. Promoting your Instagram App
Here the digital marketing specialist comes in handy to help you attract users. You need to hire the most qualified marketer to succeed. You can also use referrals and special deals to attract new users by using the existing users.
How Much Does it Cost to Make an App Like Instagram?
The cost depends on what kind of Instagram app you want to build, and it’s functionality. On average it costs between $50,000 to $60,000
To hire a UI/UX designer alone on Upwork it will cost up to $150 per hour. Imagine if the task takes weeks.
How to Create an App Like Instagram for Free
Without a background in coding, you can make an app like Instagram for android for free.
A free app builder by AppsGeyser enables you to create an android Instagram app from your Instagram account profile link for free in 5 minutes or less. With AppsGeyser’s free app creator template, you get to make an app like Instagram wit apk file features like;
- Push notifications;
- Social Media tabs;
- Any URL support.
Here are the simple steps to make your social media app like Instagram for free with AppsGeyser.
- Copy and paste your Instagram URL;
- Add other social media tabs;
- Name your app;
- Choose or upload an icon;
- Use the keywords in the name and description to tell about features;
- Localize the app into your home language;
- Preview your website app before building an apk file.
The Bottom Line
To create an app like Instagram needs more than a plan of action but also resources. The cost will vary depending on the functionality of your Instagram app.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Open AppsGeyser.com;
2. Choose an Website template;
3. Enter Instagram or its alternative link;
4. Name the app;
5. Upload the icon;
6. Click the ‘Create‘ button. Your Instagram app is ready.
With AppsGeyser, you can create your Instagram app for the android version for free in 5 minutes or less.
To make an app like Instagram, you first need a minimum viable product with basic features of the Instagram app and get a limited number of users to test with it. You then use the feedback to tweak and develop your Instagram app further. But with AppGeyser, you need features for your Instagram done for you for free. All you need is to follow a few steps, and your Instagram app for android is ready in minutes.