• # Paul Blake
  • # App Development
  • # 22 January, 2021

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App like Snapchat

Snapchat Like App Development – Cost and Features

What is Snapchat?

It is a photo taking and video streaming app along with a messenger developed by the Stanford graduates Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. People can choose from a multitude of filters and effects to take their photo in. This feature took the users to the storm and almost every one of the millennium and generation took a selfie in the famous “puppy” filter.

  • Snapchat has 238 million daily active users
  • 180 million daily active users who engage with augmented reality
  • 90 Million U.S. adults use snapchat
  • Total number of snaps take every day exceed even 4 billion
  • Average time spent on snapchat by users is 30 minutes
  • The daily video views are 18 billion
  • 71 million daily active users in Europe
  • Its videos get more than 10 billion views daily

Features of Snapchat


Can snapchat exist without taking a snap? Snap is the process of taking a photo or a video and sending in a group or a single person. The Snapchat app itself is also colloquially referred to as “Snap”, as is the app’s developer/public company.


The snapchat simply means chatting through the snaps. If a person sends you a snap, you react back to their snap, or send them back a snap, you two are snapchatting.


The coolest feature by the snap chat was to introduce the story feature which was later on copied by WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. What a story reel does in reel is that it published the snaps of the users for 24 hours only to the public of the snapchat. Anyone can see these stories for only 24 hours and then these stories are gone for good.


A snap code is a QR code in the snapchat that is used to make the friends even easier. The scanning of the snap code by one’s phone adds the other person to each other’s account immediately without having the need to search each other’s handle.


The friends who snapchat with each other form more than one consecutive days, they appear to be in each other’s snapstreak.

Trophy case

Snapchat uses the trophies to increase the content creation and more usage of the application. The user may win trophy for trophy cases such as trying all of the filters, for snapping more than 50 pictures, and what not.

Lenses/ 3D World Lenses

The augmented reality based special effects and sounds are called lenses. The lens examples are “The Potato Lens”, “Park at the Beach” and many more.

The 3D world lenses on the other hand does not modify the shape of the person taking the photos, rather the messy or non-perfect environment surrounding the person taking a photo.

Filters/ Geo-filters

The filters and geo-filters are used after the snap is taken to add the colors, time, location, weather setting, etc. The geo-filters are restrained to a particular geolocation.

Cost of Developing Snapchat

Lenses and Filters: A number of lenses, 3D lenses, filters, and geo-filters can be applied on photos for editing purposes before posting to make them more eye-catching. For it, developers have to make the choice between using standard file, and creating your own files. The development may take up to 60-75 hours.

Features Mobile Development Back-end Development
Cropping/Rotating/Resizing 5-10 hours Client-side only
Filters 50-60 hours Client-side only

SnapMap: Using Google maps app can determine the location of user, or it can also be updated manually. This location is used in the feature named “Snap Map” in which the snaps of the user on the world map appear. For automatic update, the developer would need to integrate APIs in the app. The data is sent by a sensor to the front-end, from where it goes to the backend. The server shows the images of the map based on the data sent by front-end. It needs 25-40 hours for developing such a feature depending upon the set of expertise of the developer.

Features Mobile Development Back-end Development
Integrating post with world-map 15 hours 10 hours
Location of Photo 15 hours 10 hours

Discover: Users can discover other users by typing their unique username and the database at the backend will provide with the desired information.

Mentions: Users can mention each other in posts or comments section.

It can take up to 60-80 hours in combined development of these two features;

Features Mobile Development Back-end Development
Enable hashtag working 15 hours 10 hours
Prepare activity log of user 10 hours 10 hours
Search data per various parameters 15 hours 20 hours

SnapChat: Enables the user to send other users photos and messages in private. This feature is a complete social media app on its own. It should notify the messages on real-time. Developers can use the API on HTTP as a replacement of permanent socket connections. By using GCM or APN, developer can link the app with android or IOS server. This can take up to 120-150hours.

Features Mobile Development Back-end Development
Push in notifications 15 hours 20 hours
Sending and receiving videos and images 15 hours 20 hours
Message transfer in real time 30 hours 40 hours


Settings: Users can delete, deactivate their own account and block others under this section. It can take up to 80 hours for developing these features.

Features Mobile Development Back-end Development
Account privacy 5 hours 10 hours
Language selection 20 hours Depends upon the syntax and semantics of different languages like Arabic, Urdu, Hebrew, English, and Spanish, etc.
Push Notifications 10 hours 10 hours

Step1 – Requirement Gathering

This step includes gathering the requirements you want your app to deliver to you. Deeply analyze the idea and how these ideas can be translated into functionalities. Check the feasibility of these ideas getting translating into features or functionalities. Now, prepare the project plan optimization.

STEP 2 – UX and Wireframing

The secret ingredient in the perfect recipe of Instagram is the smooth and seamless experience which comes from the smooth UI and UX design. It includes two phases 1) UX Modeling 2) HLD & Documentation. The phases in this step include preparation of the flowcharts and sketches of the user needs and functionalities. Prepare the information architecture design. Prepare the use case scenarios.

STEP 3 – UI Design

Third step is to build the User Interface design. The UX/ UI team needs to determine the UI strategy first of all. This strategy includes building a strategy that should facilitate the user interface experience. Incorporate art direction, storyboarding, and moldboard creation in making the full UI design.

STEP 4- Agile Development

Nowadays, agile development is preferred. This is a quick and team based software development. Project Manager and technical lead should create milestone, plan the sprint, conduct scrum meetings, and show the sprint demos to make the development really quick and impeccable.

STEP 5- Testing and Launching

The test codes and user test scenarios are written down by the quality and assurance team and the testers perform automated or manual testing to check the functionality of the app. The bugs are removed by the developers after which the product is launched.

Usually, minimum viable product with least features is developed and released. This is called beta-version.  After the bugs are reported, the app is updated accordingly.

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