Published: April 25, 2017
9 min read
Last updated: May 2, 2022
To snap or not to snap: what should you know about Snapchat?
Top 10 features that made Snapchat popular
How does Snapchat generate revenue?
Your step-by-step guide to creating a Snapchat clone app
What would be the estimation for a Snapchat clone app?
Which team do you belong to? Fans? Haters? Actually, it’s not so important because today’s article is about how to benefit from creating an app like Snapchat and how much it would cost for you. Follow me and we will find out!
Snapchat may be one of the most contradictory apps for now. Some people are not great fans of filters and lenses (just like the guy who is writing this article, but work is work so I’ll try to be impersonal) while others use it almost round-the-clock for chatting and sticking dog noses, flowers and rainbows on their faces.
Image by Bennie B
In addition, Snapchat recently got a doubtful glory after its founder, Evan Spiegel, had frankly said that the app is “only for rich people”. Not the best way to get fans. Since thousands of people sharing #UninstallSnapchat and #BoycottSnapchat you have good chances to take the niche by developing a similar app with less shady history. Don’t wanna miss this opportunity? Read on!
Snapchat is a mobile messenger that lets users share videos and pictures, edit photos and chat with others. Nothing miraculous, isn’t it? So why has it become so popular?
That’s all your potential users (image from statista)
The app achieved its first major success due to the self-destructed videos and images that disappeared some time after they were viewed. Back then the idea was off the beaten track. And it really boomed on the market. A few years later we knew it as Stories and could see how other giants like Facebook, Instagram stole adopted this social mechanics to their apps.
“What about a bunch of other well-known Snapchat’s features?” you may ask. They were devised a little bit later and kept the app popular all this time. Let’s take a closer look at the features Snapchat has brought to the world.
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Did you know, that just in 3 years Snapchat managed to triple the number of daily active users? Take a look:
Snapchat shows a great growth during the last several years (image from statista)
How did they manage to do that? By constantly developing the app and improving it with fresh features. Which ones? It’s a good question if you are planning to create an app like Snapchat, so read on.
Snaps are photos and videos taken in the app. Their ability to self-destruct is the feature that made Snapchat so popular. The modern app also has a great diversity of tools that can be used to edit your content (e.g. filters, text captions, drawings and others).
If you have ever heard of Snaphat you definitely heard about lenses as well
This is definitely the most distinctive Snapchat’s feature for now. Lenses are the funny and a bit goofy visual effects you can overlay on your photo or video. Who hasn’t seen photos or videos with dog noses and ears or sweet flower halos just like the one above? That’s it!
That’s where guys showed creative approach. You can add new friends using their phone number or username but it’s so worn-out. Snapchat offers you 2 more ways to update contacts:
We may know Stories from other apps but it was Snapchat who has invented it
While snaps and lenses seem to us like an essential of Snapchat, this feature went much further. Stories are the videos and photos that remain available for you and your followers only for 24 hours. When time is up, the carriage turns into a pumpkin - stories disappear.
Sounds similar enough, doesn’t it? Of course, because nowadays stories are used by Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and others as well.
On the Discover screen you can find collections of Stories from different editorial teams (like CNN, National Geographic, MTV or others). However, hurry up, because these news are going to disappear in 24 hours just like ordinary Stories.
Stickers are a usual part of our communication now
Stickers are the catchy and engaging images that people add to their photos and videos or use while chatting. It may seem like an unimportant feature, however, we advise you to include it in your chat app development scope.
The update Chat 2.0 made it possible for users to make video and audio calls. Moreover, it allows you to send your friends voice and video notes just like usual snaps.
It's another way to customize your snap
This feature is something similar to stickers and lenses. It offers you to create graphical overlays depending on a certain location or ongoing event.
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If you want to make an app like Snapchat you should remember that the last one was conceived as a messaging app. Guys did really great, providing chatting with a set of fascinating features (like snaps and a bunch of others that we are going to review right now).
Snapchat regulary comes up with surprising solutions
It’s a financial addition to the original Snapchat app that allows users make payments and send money to their friends.
If you are interested how to make an app like Snapchat then you may also be curious about its sources of income.
Snapchat's team has done a really good job and came up with several ways to monetize the app.
So, to generate revenue Snapchat uses:
All of the above is the Snapchat story. We may like this app or not, use it or not but we can’t deny it is the success story many want to follow. Read on and you will find out how much does Snapchat cost and what should you do to create a similar app.
I propose to start with a four-stage process.
Count it as done cause you are already on our blog :)
Speaking seriously, not only the success but also costs of your app significantly depend on the team you choose. While the rates of companies from the USA and Western Europe are from $60 to $200 per hour, teams from Eastern Europe can do the same job for $30-60 per hour.
As rule of thumb, a team consists of:
If your project scope is too large, you will have to hire more people
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MVP stands for a minimum viable product. What is it? It’s a product with a minimum set of features that solves a definite problem of users. It allows you to spend as little resources as possible to engage your first users and get useful feedback.
At this stage you should decide which features you consider as the most important ones. We advise you to start from small and scale properly in order to reduce risks and save your time, money and efforts.
Choosing the right platform to build a chat app like Snapchat is a half of success. Think of your potential users and your own goals. Here are a few useful hints for you.
If you want to get more insights about differences between these 2 platforms, you can check our article “Android vs iOS Development: Which Platform is Better?”.
Another point that directly influences chat app development cost is the contract type.
Fixed Price model is based on rigid planning. To have a deal both parties (a client and a vendor) should agree on the predetermined price of a project and explicitly define each other’s responsibilities before the work begins. However, it’s not the best choice for startups. Why? Because it’s almost impossible to get the perfect scope, especially if we are talking about big projects.
When using Time & Material approach you pay the actual cost of the work, which is usually measured in hours. The development process length is not so predetermined and the whole project planning is not so strict and immutable. And you don’t overpay, among other things.
You can also check our article “Time and Material vs Fixed Price Contracts” where we compare both models and share some useful tips on choosing between them.
Snapchat clone app estimate in hours
Thus, the FrontEnd part would cost you about $16.775 for iOS and/or $17.775 for Android. The BackEnd which will be necessary will cost around $15.600. And not to forget the UI - here we have around $1.200.
However, this is only a rough estimate that can’t fully cover all possible expenses. But if you share your idea with us, we can prepare a more precise estimate exactly for your app idea.
If you are a tech-guy you may be interested in some development insights about building an app like Snapchat. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of tools that will come in handy for you. Take a look:
Usefl hint: We also suggest you checking out this tutorial on integrating a chat in your app
At the time of its inception, Snapchat was something innovative. It has definitely changed the way of online communications by enhancing user'’s capabilities. Since you can’t literally copy the path and success of Snapchat, you can develop your own chat app. And we are ready to help you!
You already know an approximate Snapchat clone cost, but we can provide you with a more detailed estimate if you contact us!
Take your chance and good luck!
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