Social media apps have revolutionized the world of marketing and business. It started with the insight that people are drawn to sharing precious moments with friends, family, and the world. This same social hub of interaction and community is used by businesses for advertisements and by young entrepreneurs and content creators. The vast potential of social media applications is endless, and it keeps growing day by day. This is why, if you want to develop an app like Instagram, now is as good a time as any!

Why Develop an App like Instagram?

Instagram is a giant that’s proving to be one of the fastest-growing social media applications, crossing the 1 billion user mark as of 2020. In terms of downloads, this application is second to Tik Tok on the Apple app store. This platform consists of users predominantly aged 35, and under. According to reports of ‘Statista,’ these users are known to be the most active with regards to how frequently they log in to the app.
It’s this addictive nature, the need to be in the know and discover what people, celebrities, and brands are up to, making marketers spend a good portion of their budget on Instagram ads and influencer marketing. This is the reason why so many millennials and Gen Z users are drawn to this app. It’s the ability to create aesthetic posts, from stories to exciting polls and videos. All while being able to follow other like-minded users, brands, and conversations. It makes the young global audience feel like they are a part of something – a place where they can express themselves. 

How to Develop an App like Instagram?

So, how to develop an app like Instagram? What exactly are the criteria and insights that any developer needs to keep in mind before starting? The following list includes all the steps necessary for creating a social media application.

1. Define your Objective

Before you start anything, you need to decide what the main objective of the app is. What is your goal with this app? Is it purely a social media app that’s a subscription-based model? Or do you aim to earn revenue via ads? 
For example, Instagram is no longer just a photo-sharing app. Its main objective is to increase growth and revenue via advertisements. In this way, besides the app’s primary service, its real product is the massive database of users that advertisers and brands take advantage of. If your app has a similar objective, you need to figure out how your platform can be user-friendly and attractive to brands, businesses, and consumers alike. Based on your objective and revenue model, the social media app needs to be designed accordingly. 

2. Market Research to Develop an App like Instagram

This goes without saying. You can’t develop an app like Instagram without thorough market research that involves understanding your target audience, the current market, competitors, the real value proposition of your app and its key features, etc. For example, your audience could include young millennials, brands, businesses, entrepreneurs, etc. 

3. Basic MVP Features

Next, you need to decide the basic MVP features your app requires. To do this, refer to your market research and value proposition. What are the main problems your app aims to solve? How does it compare to the competitors, and what’s different about the app? Does it have a better performance than Instagram? Does it offer additional value in terms of use and content? 
Once you have all these answers, you can work on some basic MVP features. To develop an app like Instagram, some prerequisite features are:

a. Authorization

You get verified users to sign in or log in to the app based on credentials like phone numbers, email ids, passwords, etc. It allows you to accumulate a primary database of the users. 

b. Editing the Profile

This feature enables users to change their profile pictures, add bios, essential information, and details to personalize their account. 

c. Uploading Posts

If you want to develop an app like Instagram, you must include a feature that allows users to upload content in pictures and videos. How the raw format of this app differs from the uploading style of Instagram is where you need to try and differentiate yourself. However, the basic premise of sharing pictures and videos needs to be a primary feature.

d. Image Customizations

Focus on new filters or features to help users enhance their content. The easy way out is using ready-source code but developing your customizations is a better way to build hype and a better UI.

e. Messaging and Commenting

Enable a seamless messaging and commenting experience, as the entire premise of this app, is built on social connectivity. Include features like editing/deleting comments, using push notifications to get reminders about posts from accounts, sharing, saving posts, linking posts to other social platforms, etc. 

f. Settings and Search Features

Implement additional settings where users can adjust the interface experience as per their preferences. This includes privacy settings, language, and even typography, messaging backgrounds, etc.

In fact, in the ongoing agitation against data privacy concerns and persistent ads ruining user experience. You may even consider including a paid option where users can opt for an ad-free experience or only a few targeted ads. Besides this, implement a good search browser to help users navigate content and find different accounts easily.

g. Stories and Additional Features

Developing an app like Instagram involves adding many features that help users and businesses interact with their followers. Instagram stories prove to be one of the most effective ways to grow accounts as it isn’t affected by any algorithm limitations. Marketers use stories, videos, and carousel posts as their primary go-to marketing strategy. So, ensure your app includes a daily story upload in some form and experiment with other exciting features like polls, geo-tags, stickers, filters, etc. 

4. Budget Estimation to Develop an App like Instagram

Before hiring developers, decide the budget for this project. This involves finding the hourly rate of development of the app. Define the stages of development, from designing the platform to integrating a basic admin panel. Multiply the hours of development into the hourly rate to get the estimated cost. 

5. Hire Developers and Specialists

Once you have established a realistic budget, it’s time to bring specialists on board. A good team of developers from a professional company is always best. You will need project managers, a mobile developer, UX/UI designers, Quality Analysts, QA engineers, DevOps, etc. 

6. Testing the App

No app is complete without testing the key features. Certain essential parameters need to be considered when testing. The first is attracting new users and then analyzing the active users. This involves an effective marketing strategy to promote the app a good 3-6 months before the launch. 
A great way to increase visibility is to soft-test the app with a few influencers who can talk about it on other social platforms. Analyze the number of hits you get from these promotional tactics and adjust the market accordingly.
Next, focus on increasing user involvement which means getting the users to stay on the app by offering multiple features and activities they can browse through. Finally, analyze the user retention over some time. Focus on better app development, bug fixes, and promotional events to keep users coming back for more. 

7. Launch, Evolve, and Adapt

Make sure your marketing strategy involves innovative promotion tactics before launching the app. Paid promotions, online PR, targeted ads are necessary to create the buzz needed for a new launch. 
After launching the app, even if it’s successful, the process never stops. With the nature of social media’s dynamic technology, you need to constantly monitor the market environment, look for potential changes, or create new opportunities to maximize growth. Continuously adapt to the changing landscape online.


Now that you know how to develop an app like Instagram, it’s essential to focus on the specifics and the specialists you bring on board.
Professional software and app development companies like Supersourcing is an ideal platform to find the best resources for your development needs. It’s a user-friendly platform that allows you to find the top agencies and partners to work with. It simplifies all the outsourcing requirements and streamlines the entire development process.
Platforms like Supersourcing ensure that your developers’ team is legitimate and experienced enough to take on the task. So, if you’re in the hiring stages, definitely consider professional platforms to lessen the load.
Social media applications are always changing, and many apps come and go due to the relentless competition and inability to adapt. It’s essential to find one or two main differentiating factors that set your app apart. Keep an eye on the trends and continue developing features for your users.
While implementing your vision of an app like Instagram, make sure you evaluate every parameter, leaving no stone unturned. Focus on innovation and a seamless user experience, and the hype around the next new app will surely follow. All the best!