Do you intend to enter the realm of social media? If so, it is unquestionably worthwhile to use industry titans like Snapchat as a foundation from which to build. Snapchat expanded in size from a modest, friends-owned firm to a multi-billion dollar industry leader in just ten years.
This article will examine how to build a social media app like Snapchat and address all of your pressing concerns. Discover the requirements, features, and steps for efficient and successful app development.
What You’ll Learn In This Post
- What Is Snapchat?
- Snapchat: Market Snapshot
- Popular Snapchat Features
- Under the Hood
- 4 Steps to Build an App Like Snapchat
- Marketing Your App Like Duolingo
- Mobile App Development Experience from Idea Maker
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a social media app for both iOS and Android devices. Snapchat describes itself as a camera firm. The app is led by co-founder Evan Spiegel and produces various goods, including hardware like Snapchat Spectacles.
One of the fundamental ideas behind the smartphone app is that any image, video, or message you send is accessible to the recipient for a little time before it disappears. You can keep streaks with your friends and tell them what you are up to throughout your day.
History of Snapchat In a Nutshell
With its unedited approach to online interactions, Snapchat has swept the globe, luring in millions of social media users since its release in 2011. This is due to the platform’s peculiar built-in filters and effects that users can apply to photos and videos and share with anyone on their friend list. Additionally, users can also post their creations to their Snapchat Story, a collection of 24-hour-only content likely inspired by the story features initially released by Facebook and Instagram.
Regardless of the competition from other networks, however, Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps in use today, particularly among younger users. In fact, there were 265 million daily active users in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 218 million in 2019. As a result, the platform has developed into a helpful tool for companies looking to connect with their target market and engage with clients.
Popular Snapchat Features
If you want to build an app like Snapchat, it’s important to understand what features make it popular. Here are just a few.
Snap maps allow users to see where their friends are through location-based stories (short videos uploaded to the area).
Users are located on a virtual map via Snap Maps using device location data, which is accessible to other users. However, users must first decide who can view their location on a map while using the Snap Map feature.
A user’s precise location will be made public to the chosen audience, depending on their parameters. Many young individuals might have acquaintances or even strangers as Snapchat “friends.” As a result, allowing users to restrict who can view their location is an important safety consideration.
With Snapchat’s development, there have been changes in how AR lenses and filters are applied. These are visual overlays that sit over the user’s picture. The program initially provided simple AR filters, but it quickly gained popularity since it enabled fresh forms of social media engagement.
Snapchat unveiled Lens Studio in December 2017, allowing users and advertisers to design unique filters and add them to sponsored and user-generated content. In 2019, Snapchat improved its AR lens capabilities by enabling users to use augmented reality to change iconic locations, pets, hands, and bodies around the globe.
In addition to using it as a standalone app for music recognition, Shazam is integrated with Snapchat. Snapchat’s Shazam tool can be utilized to quickly find out the name and artist of a song that is playing nearby. After that, you can listen to it on Spotify or Apple Music once you have discovered the song’s name and artist. When you start scanning music, a list of all the songs you’ve found will be available in your Snapchat settings.
Snapchat allows users to add one another as friends in multiple ways. For instance, users can search username, add from the friend suggestion section, or scan one anothers “snapcode” – a QR code unique to each user.
Users can message one another just like on any other messaging app, such as Facebook Messenger; only, text messages on Snapchat are deleted after 48 hours. This adds an extra layer of privacy to messaging. However, users can save messages indefinitely by tapping and holding them until they turn gray.
Video and Audio Calls
Perhaps the most iconic feature of Snapchat is Snapchat Stories. With this, users are able to share videos and pictures with their friends, which will then disappear after 24 hours. Snapchat Stories also allows users to apply filters, stickers, and text to pictures and videos.
Under the Hood
Before understanding the steps behind building an app like Snapchat, there are some technical considerations you’ll need to understand.
Snapchat has in-app features, and new, innovative items have been introduced by using augmented reality technology, including:
- Snapchat Spectacles: This is a product that can be worn as a wearable camera for Snapchat. The user can then sync their smartphone to upload the videos to their account online.
- Lenses: The Snapchat lenses can change the background of any place the camera is pointed at. Snapchat has different options for the user to choose from.
- Lens Studio: This technology allows users to create their own lenses, see how creative they can be, and share them for the general public to use as well.
- Snap Camera: The Snap camera gives users access to filters, such as a split camera option, a night mode option, and other features aimed at making Snaps more interesting.
Due to cyberattacks and privacy concerns, Snapchat adopted end-to-end encryption on its network in the latter part of 2018. This represented a huge improvement over past iterations of the software. No one, not even Snapchat, can decrypt your content. As a result, no one else, including hackers, can access your messages.
4 Steps to Build an App Like Snapchat
After understanding what Snapchat is, the next thing to do is to build your app. You will need to know the steps involved in building an app like Snapchat to help you create one that lives up to the expectations or surpasses them.
1. Determine Niche
Determining your app’s niche is the first step you need to take when building an app like Snapchat. You will need to know your target audience, their age range, what they are most interested in now, and what features you can implement to keep them interested.
Doing extensive research will be beneficial to you in the long run. It is important to always be prepared and have an idea of what you are trying to create.
2. Conceptualize Functionality
Conceptualization and functionality of an app is an important stage when building an app like Snapchat. You will need to design your app’s functionality according to your app’s niche and relevant features.
You can start small with simple and creative features and try other things as your app’s users expand. Quality is always better than quantity. You cannot have multiple features that are not perfected and expect users to enjoying using your application.
3. Develop Your App
After you are done with the first two stages, the next thing you will need to do is develop and code your app. The development process is important and needs to be done with precision and care, which is why it is important to get an expert app developer to help you with the development of your app.
To ensure that you get the best mobile app development agency for your application, you will also need to check the portfolio and examine their experience with the apps they developed previously to see if they suit your brand and are capable of bringing your vision to life.
4. Deliver Your Snapchat Like App
The last step to take is delivering your app to app stores. You can make your app available for both Android and IOS users on Google Play or Apple Store. It is important to monitor your app after it has been released to the public and fix any issue that arises.
Inspecting for bugs, errors, and other things that may affect your application’s use will help ensure that your app is high-quality and runs smoothly.
Marketing Your App Like Snapchat
After developing your app and releasing it to the public, you need to market it so you can build a solid user base. Here are a few marketing suggestions for your app.
App Store Optimization
App Store Optimization is the practice of using expert tools to improve the position of mobile applications in stores like the iOS Store and Google Play. As iOS and Android are the most widely used mobile platforms, ensuring your app ranks highly on these stores is essential in securing more users.
Google Search Ads
In the pay-per-click (PPC) model of digital advertising, an advertiser pays a small fee each time a user clicks on one of its commercials. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads can be placed on Google search results to drive traffic to the app store page.
For an app like Snapchat, the target market for a Google Ads campaign should be the general public because most people are into social media now.
Social Media Marketing
PPC ads can be placed on social media, and organic content can be created at little to no cost. Social networking could be a great way to connect with new users, exchange ideas, and build enduring relationships for your app.
You can also let your users know the benefits of using your app and what features they can expect to see when they register for your app. A good social media strategy is a great way to market your app.
How to Monetize Your Snapchat-Like App
Developing a viral social media app takes serious investment, but if you build an engaged user base, you have options to monetize and recoup costs over time.
One approach is enabling brands to sponsor custom lenses, filters, and geofilters. Snapchat, for example, charges advertisers based on impressions. This means that sponsored lenses that go viral among users can be highly lucrative. You could also design tiered pricing plans based on factors like user targeting, duration, and exclusivity.
Of course, you can also incorporate standard mobile video and display ads. However, you’ll need to be sure to not overwhelm the experience with disruptive ads that annoy users. Instead, you’ll want to focus on contextually relevant, non-intrusive formats users voluntarily engage with andoffer advertisers robust targeting capabilities based on rich user data.
You may also want to consider offering special premium filters, lenses, and effects as in-app purchases. Letting users upgrade their experience for a small fee could become a profitable revenue stream if your app scales. For this, it’s essential to ensure the free experience remains competitive to avoid limiting growth.
Cost Estimation for Building an App Like Snapchat
So how much might it cost to build the next Snapchat? While estimates vary based on app complexity and scale, we’ll explore some of the main costs involved in developing a similar app.
First, you’ll need to factor in fair market salaries and benefits for product managers, developers, designers, QA, and other required roles. For a robust app with custom features, you should plan to budget for a core team of five to 10 technical experts.
App Development Cost
When developing a mobile app, the bulk of costs goes toward thousands of hours of developer time. With complexity around video messaging, AR filters, and more, building a Snapchat clone could easily exceed $500,000. Partnering with an experienced agency, however, provides access to proven frameworks.
An intuitive, visually appealing UI/UX is critical. As a result, you’ll want to invest in seasoned designers to conceptualize the end-to-end experience. Expect at least $25,000 to $50,000 for design alone.
Scale of App
The bigger your user ambitions, the higher the infrastructure and maintenance costs. So, it’s important to plan for secure cloud servers, CDN bandwidth, and ongoing development work. Additionally, by budgeting adequately upfront for top talent, you can bring your innovative social app vision to life.
Mobile App Development Experience From Idea Maker
At Idea Maker, our expert app developers have worked on multiple mobile apps and are dedicated to ensuring that the client is pleased with the work provided.
One mobile app we’ve developed in particular is Quick Friends, a social media and messaging app. In this app, we created a method for users to discover events in real-time using the Google Maps API to meet other users in person.
Feel free to schedule a call with us if you need a social media mobile app development team that knows exactly what they are doing. We are available for custom mobile app development and more.