As the phenomenon of photo-sharing gains popularity with every passing year, the demand for engaging social media platforms also escalates. If we talk particularly about Instagram, its simple app idea attracted funding worth $500K, which later encouraged the building of a product on Windows, iOS and Android phone platforms.
Instagram’s founders, Mike Kreiger and Kevin Systrom, sold their startup to Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion ($300 million in cash, the rest in Facebook stock). Instagram later became a free app with a net worth of more than $100 billion US.
Unsurprisingly, Instagram is ruling the market of photo-sharing platforms. The cherry on top, Instagram has also become an invaluable marketing tool for individual and business use. After numerous businesses sought inspiration from the success of Instagram, there appeared a trail of other popular photo-sharing apps: Snapchat, Camera, Flickr, Swipe, Vine. All of these apps employ photo and video content but differ from each other in their functionality and core value.
This ever-increasing demand for interesting products has galvanized many entrepreneurs to make Instagram app of their own kind. However, truth be told, merely making a clone of Instagram doesn’t guarantee impressive results. A photo-sharing app business may flourish once its unique features are found, but it would take several years and millions of dollars to create an imitation of the platform.
When it comes to calculating the cost of the project, you need to have a clear understanding of the functions and the features your Instagram-like app will have.
The Evolution of Instagram
Successful digital products are always evolving. Over the years, Instagram has undergone both major and minor design changes. These days the leading social photo-sharing app is well-known all over the world. The official statistical information reveals that 95 million pictures are posted on Instagram daily. In 2018, the number of monthly active Instagram users crossed 1 billion – almost one-eighth of the world’s population.
Aesthetically pleasing UI/UX design is a useful component that allows you to deliver a good experience to the app users and stay competitive in the market. Take a look at apps like Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. You will realize their technical features have been rolled into an easy-to-use interface and harmonized with the design. So, to improve the user experience, ensure that the features of your app are consolidated into an attractive design. Additionally, it goes without saying, in order to create an app similar to Instagram, you need to invest not only on the technical side but also on the design side. User experience is extremely important to drive new users and retain existing ones.
From being a simple photo app, Instagram has transformed into a social platform that offers a wide range of practical features for marketing specialists and business owners. Let’s explore Instagram through the lens of an e-commerce portal, photo-editing app and messenger.
Instagram as an E-commerce Platform
The technology of social commerce – selling products through social media – is reshaping the future of e-commerce.
Instagram as a Photo-editing App
Since photo-sharing apps are one of the most engaging platforms, companies and brands leverage them to showcase their products and Instagram earns a commission from each transaction made through the platform.
Instagram app offers a multitude of color filters and elements with which you can alter photos. Adjust a photo’s brightness, change a photo’s size, contrast, brightness and structure. Use markers, texts and other elements to enhance your photos.
Instagram as a Messenger
A messenger within Instagram called “Direct” is a vital part of the platform. With this outstanding feature, users can connect with others on a deeper level and exchange ideas.
What started as a simple app, having the unique feature of sticking a few filers to a square photo, later evolved into a major app. Today, the application offers a couple of attractive features.
Stories Highlights – a section where users can share a short 15-second video or a photo.
Shoppable Posts – with shopping tags, Instagram has become a powerful sales channel. Business accounts can now mark their products on photos and users can purchase directly from the app.
IGTV – Users can now create their own personal channel and share videos up to one-hour in length with Instagram TV.
Quick replies in Direct – the feature is especially useful for business profiles as it allows one to save and tailor generic responses. For instance, if you’re a motivational speaker in Atlanta, you may set an automatic response for people who contact you for hiring.
Nametags – This is a tool that utilizes QR code principle. Through nametags, you can create personalized “nametags” to be scanned by other individuals, who can then follow you. This facilitates users to easily connect with brands, and thus is a great asset for businesses.
Explore page – Rethought and redesigned.
Instagram Technology Stack
For you to begin creating your own digital product, having basic know-how of the technologies that are to be used in it is a must. Check out the technology stack that can be used for Instagram-like app development.
- Language — Kotlin
- Networking — OkHttp 3, Retrofit 2
- Language — Swift
- Networking — Alamofire
- Framework — Express 4
- Database — MySQL
- Messaging — Socket.io
- API documentation — Swagger
- Push notifications — FCM
- Geolocation — Google Maps
- Storage — Amazon S3
- Emails — Elastic Email
How to Create an Instagram Clone Successfully?
If you’re a novice, the development of this application would require considerable planning and preparatory work. The following steps would help you build an app like Instagram.
- Research your market to determine your target audience and their preferences.
- Carefully analyze and evaluate your competitors i.e. other photo-sharing apps.
- Settle on a remarkable app concept.
- Allocate a budget before starting with the development and prepare to seek funding in case you exceed it.
- Formulate strategies that are to be implemented in the project building, budget timeline and technologies.
- Map out marketing and PR strategies in the initial phase, so you can promote the app from the inception.
- Construct communication channels with your users to gain quick client feedback.
- Choose an efficient web design company in Dallas to design, develop, test and launch your social photo-sharing app.
- Maintain and continue to evolve the project to reach out to new users.
Now that you know the essentials of making an app like Instagram, work on creating the highest quality product that will fulfill users’ needs effectively.
Loius Martin is a Creative Marketing Manager at Invictus Studio, a professional logo design company in Dallas. He has been guest blogging for quite a long time about design, SEO and branding. You can follow him at @loiusmartin1