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A Complete Cost Breakdown Of Developing An App Like Snapchat
In this blog, we will walk you through the key factors impacting the Snapchat app development cost along with the integration of key features, monetization strategies, and much more.
Mohit Mittal

Mohit Mittal

May 20, 2024

A Complete Cost Breakdown Of Developing An App Like Snapchat

In the advanced technological world, social media apps have revolutionized the way people communicate, share content, and connect with others. With its unique features, like disappearing messages, filters, and stories, Snapchat has become one of the most popular social media platforms globally. 

According to Statista, the number of Snapchat users in the United States was forecast to continuously increase between 2024 and 2028 by 5.7 million users (+5.3 percent). That means, building an app like Snapchat can upscale your business at an unprecedented rate. 

With that being said, investing in a well-established mobile app development company can help you meet your expectations. However, before hiring professionals, you must consider asking the most important question – how much does Snapchat app development cost? 

To give you an average, the estimated cost of Snapchat app development ranges between $20,000 to $45,000.

In this blog, we will walk you through the key factors impacting the Snapchat app development cost along with the integration of key features, monetization strategies, and much more. 


Factors Impacting the Cost of Snapchat App Development

App development like Snapchat includes various factors that can significantly impact the overall cost. 


Here are the key factors that influence the cost of Snapchat app development:

App Features


One of the first and foremost factors that can dramatically affect your Snapchat app development cost is the integration of app features. The number and complexity of features included in the app can make the change in development cost. 


Features like photo and video sharing, messaging, filters, stories, and discovery content will require more time and resources to develop.

Platform (iOS/Android/Both)


If you are hiring a social media app development company to develop an app like Snapchat, which has expertise in both iOS and Android, be ready to spend a good amount of money. 


Developing the app for a single platform (iOS or Android) is generally less expensive than developing for both platforms. However, developing for both platforms ensures a wider audience reach but increases development costs.

UI/UX Design


Another major factor influencing the Snapchat development cost is the app's UI/UX design. The cost of an app is directly impacted by the intricacy and originality of its user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design. 


Because they take longer to create and demand more resources, implementing bespoke designs, animations, and interactive elements will raise design expenses. 

Integration with Third-Party Services


Integrating the app with third-party services such as social media platforms, cloud storage, and analytics tools adds to the development costs. Each integration requires additional development time and resources for seamless functionality and compatibility. 


While these integrations enhance the app's features and functionality, they also increase the overall cost of development due to the additional time and resources required for implementation and testing.

Location of Development Team


The development team's location has a big impact on how much app development will cost in total. The hourly rates of development teams located in various regions differ, which has a direct effect on the project's overall cost. 


It may appear more economical to select a social media app development agency based on lower hourly rates. However, to guarantee success, you must take into account aspects like communication, work quality, and project management.

5 Key Features to Integrate into Your App Development Like Snapchat


To develop an app like Snapchat, you'll need to include several key features that define its unique user experience. 


The following are five significant features to consider:

Photo and Video Sharing

One of the most important features of an app similar to Snapchat is the ability to share photos and videos with others. Users must be able to take pictures and record videos through the app’s camera. 
Use filters, stickers, text, and drawing tools to improve user-generated material. Users should share photos or videos with friends and followers by sending them or posting them in the form of stories.

Messaging and Chat


An integral feature of a social networking app such as Snapchat is messaging and chat support. Provide a messaging function that enables users to communicate with friends using text, images, videos, and audio. 


Add features like typing indicators, read receipts, and multimedia capabilities to your real-time messaging system. To enable users to create group chats with many participants, enable group messaging.

Discover Content


Develop a “Discover” section within the app to highlight content from publishers, brands, and creators. Such a feature in an app development like Snapchat could aggregate content from different sources, such as news articles, videos, and interactive experiences. 


The Discover section could be integrated with swipe-up links, ad placements, and sponsored content, allowing the app to monetize while presenting users with informative and interesting material.

Filters and AR Lenses


Add filters so users may add text and visuals that are specific to a given location to their images and videos. Introduce augmented reality (AR) glasses and filters that let users add interactive effects, animations, and 3D objects to their selfies. 


Give consumers, brands, and marketers a platform to design and share their own unique AR lenses and filters, enabling fun and imaginative photo and video editing.



Integrate a feature called "Stories" that lets users upload pictures and movies that vanish after a day. It should be possible for users to add text overlays, stickers, filters, and sketching tools to personalize their stories. 


Additionally, the stories feature allows users to engage with their friends by reacting to and commenting on their tales in a chronological feed.


How Much Does an App Like Snapchat Cost?


The overall cost of app development like Snapchat depends on the app’s overall complexity, including the app type, like simple, medium complex, and highly complex apps.


Here is a complete breakdown of Snapchat app development cost:


App Type Estimated Cost Time Frame
Simple App $10,000 to $25,000 3 to 6 Months
Medium Complex App $20,000 to $40,000 6 to 9 Months
Highly Complex App $25,000 to $50,000 More Than 9 Months


Effective Ways to Reduce the Snapchat App Development Cost


Reducing the development cost of a Snapchat-like app requires strategic planning and smart decision-making. Here are several ways to minimize costs without compromising on quality:

Strategy 1: Prioritize Features

Start with essential features and gradually add more advanced ones in future updates. This allows you to launch the app faster and within a smaller budget.

Strategy 2: Pick the Right Development Team

Select a development team that has worked on social networking app development before. If you don't want to sacrifice quality, think about outsourcing development to areas with cheaper labour prices.

Strategy 3: Utilize Cross-Platform Development

To cut down on development time and expenses, create the app concurrently for the iOS and Android platforms using cross-platform development frameworks like React Native or Flutter.

Strategy 4: Implement MVP

Start with an MVP version of the app that has only the most important functionalities. Get input from users and make incremental improvements to the app depending on user needs and market demand.


Strategy 5: Optimize UI/UX Design

Prioritize developing a user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) that are clear and easy to use. Cut down on pointless animations and intricate design components to save money and development time.


How Can You Make Money with an App Like Snapchat?


To earn money with an app like Snapchat, you must consider implementing the following strategies to generate revenue. 

In-App Advertisement

You can display ads within the app’s interface, such as sponsored filters, lenses, and discover content. Additionally, you can offer multiple advertising options for brands and businesses to reach the app’s user base. 

Premium Features

Another effective monetization strategy is the integration of premium features. In other words, you can offer high-end features or content for a subscription fee, including access to exclusive filters, lenses, or additional storage space for saved content. 

In-App Purchases

Consider providing virtual goods, stickers, or emojis for purchase within the app. You can allow users to purchase additional features, such as custom filters or stickers for a better user experience. 

Data Monetization

Aggregate and anonymize user data to provide insights to brands and businesses for targeted advertising and marketing campaigns. Offer analytics and audience insights to advertisers for a fee.

Subscription Plans

Lastly, offer premium subscription plans with additional features, an ad-free experience, or access to exclusive content. Implement tiered subscription plans with different levels of access and benefits.


Things to Consider While Creating an App Like Snapchat


When creating an app like Snapchat, several key factors need to be considered to ensure its success. Here are some essential things to consider:

Target Audience

Begin by understanding your target audience, including their demographics, interests, and preferences. Consider factors such as age, location, and social media habits to tailor the app's features and content accordingly.

Core Features

Define the core features of the app, such as photo and video sharing, messaging, stories, filters, and lenses. Prioritize essential features for the initial release and plan for additional features in future updates.

Scalability and Performance

Build a scalable and high-performance app architecture that can handle large volumes of users and content. Optimize the app for performance, speed, and reliability to provide a smooth and responsive user experience.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Conduct thorough testing and quality assurance to identify and fix any bugs, errors, or performance issues before the app is launched. Test the app on different devices, platforms, and network conditions to ensure compatibility and reliability.

Feedback and Iteration

Gather user feedback and analytics data to continually improve and iterate on the app. Monitor user engagement, retention, and satisfaction metrics to identify areas for improvement and implement updates accordingly.


Final Thoughts


It takes rigorous planning, strategic decision-making, and a deep comprehension of customer wants and preferences to develop an app like Snapchat. You can establish a reasonable budget and schedule for your project by taking into account all of the variables that affect development costs, such as features, platform, design, and development team. 


To design a successful and engaging app, it is important to prioritize features, pay attention to the user experience, and iterate frequently depending on user feedback. To achieve the same, you can consider hiring one of the top mobile app development companies.


With the right approach and execution, your app like Snapchat has the potential to attract a large user base and generate significant revenue over time.

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