How to Make an App Like Snapchat (Steps + Cost + Features)

Looking to build your own Snapchat app for your business? But don’t know where to start? You have landed at the right place.

If you want to quickly launch your app in the market and are looking for a complete guide on how to make an app like Snapchat, then read this blog. We have exclusively crafted this guide to help you build the best photo-editing app.

By the end of this blog, you will know:

  • Why and how to create an app like Snapchat?
  • Which are similar photoapps like Snapchat?
  • Which features and technology to include?
  • How to make money from an app like Snapchat?

Let’s first understand the statistics of this image and video messaging app.

Statistics of Snapchat

Here are the statistics of Snapchat.

  1. In 2021, Snapchat generated $4.1 billion in revenue which is a 63% increase year-on-year. [Business of Apps]
  2. 332 million+ people use Snapchat daily and 26% are based in the USA. [Business of Apps]
  3. In 2021, Snapchat’s revenue reached $4.1 billion with 1.5 billion generated in the fourth quarter. [Business of Apps]
  4. According to Statista, as of the second quarter of 2023, the photo and video sharing app Snapchat had 347 million daily active users worldwide.

Below is the image from Statista, that shows an increasing graph from Q2 19.

Number of daily active Snapchat users

From the above chart, we can determine that Snapchat is growing.

If the above statistics excite you, then check out the below steps to create a photo video messaging app from scratch. We have described the step-by-step process to develop an app like Snapchat.

Follow these 4 steps for developing an app like Snapchat.

4-step Process to Create an App Like Snapchat

  1. Conduct Market Research, and Define Goals for Your Photo-editing App

  2. Defining goals helps to frame your business plan. And conducting market research enables you to understand the market trends, pain points, and requirements. This will help you to get an idea of what you will offer to your users.

    How to Perform Market Research for Your Photo-editing App?

    Here are the points you need to know to define your goals and perform market research.

    • Who are your target audience? Research it based on demographics, lifestyle, and habits
    • Is there a need for your photo editing app in the market?
    • Is it the right time to launch your photo video app?
    • What is the USP of the app?
    • Is the app solving the customer’s pain points clearly?

    Noting down the references clearly helps to define your application’s scope.

  3. Analyze Your Competitors Through App Store

  4. Once you have done the market research, identify your competitors to know the potential opportunities and outperform them. Knowing your competitors’ USP, strong points, and weak points can help you improve your app and its marketing strategy. Also, performing competitive analysis will help to know what your customers are expecting from your product.

    How to Perform Competitor’s Analysis?

    • Determine who your competitors are
    • Download similar photo-sharing apps and check out the UI of the apps
    • Understand the monetization strategies of your competitors
    • Learn about the tools and technologies they have used
    • Check out the customer’s reviews to know how it is performing in the market
    • Know their USPs and the features integrated into the mobile app
  5. Approach a Custom Photo Video Editing Mobile App Development Company

  6. After creating a basic outline of your photo app, you need to approach a professional and reputed mobile app development company. Why?

    It is because mobile app development companies have experience in developing custom mobile app solutions as per your requirements regardless of industrial niche. By developing the mobile app from an experienced company, you get a feature-rich and interactive mobile app like Snapchat.

    But How to Choose the Right Mobile App Development Company?

    To choose the right mobile app development company for your project photo app, you need to consider several factors. They are as follows:

    • Make a list of app development companies
    • Check the reviews on platforms like G2, GoodFirms, and Clutch to find the app development companies
    • Check the portfolios and testimonials of top mobile app development companies
    • Know the pricing model for hiring full-time or dedicated developers

    Knowing the above points will help you to choose the right mobile app development company for your project. Once you select the app development company, they will develop like Snapchat as per your requirements. From ideation to deployment, just rely on the mobile app development company for your photo video app platform. In fact, you can choose to outsource your app development requirements to Space-O, as we have experience developing several image editing apps like video sharing eCommerce applications and baby picture editing apps.

  7. Launch Your Photo Video App

  8. When your app is ready, it is tested by a QA team and made 100% bug-free. During the entire development process, your app goes through multiple changes until the expected outcome is delivered.

    Once it is tested, the app development team will deploy your photo editing app on the app stores as per the guidelines. Generally, it takes around two-seven business days to get it published successfully on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

    Want to Discuss Your Photo-editing App Idea?

    Contact us today to validate your photo-editing app development idea. We have senior developers who have the experience to deliver 300+ mobile app solutions across the globe.

    Cta Image

    Now you know how to make a Snapchat-like app, it’s time to find out how much it costs to develop an app like Snapchat.

    How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App Like Snapchat?

    This is such a broad and subjective question. It is not practical to give an exact cost for the development of apps like Snapchat. Snapchat is loaded with a number of sophisticated features. You could even begin by asking basic questions like, “How much does it cost to make a Snapchat filter?” when you plan to develop your own app, you must consider the following factors to get an estimated cost.

    1. Budget and app development company: Your budget plays an important role while planning to create an app like Snapchat. This budget will decide which app development company you would go for. Each app development has different developing cost and hiring models based on the project requirements
    2. Features and Time: Snapchat hoards a myriad of features. It is not necessary to integrate all these features. In fact, you should plan smartly and include the features that are unique and give your app an edge over other similar apps. Each feature takes a different time period to be developed and cost varies accordingly.
    3. Platform and Technologies: The cost of a Snapchat like app for the Android platform would be different than for apps like Snapchat for iPhone. If you wish to include technologies like machine learning, face recognition, and others in Snapchat alternatives, the cost would change drastically.

      Furthermore, if you want to know in detail about the cost, here is the in-depth guide on how much does it cost to make an app?

    How Does Snapchat Make Money?

    How does Snapchat make money?

    The following monetization techniques answer the question of how Snapchat makes money.

    • Advertising: Most part of Snap’s revenue comes from advertising. How does advertising work for apps like Snapchat? Well, they show 6-10second full-screen video ads created especially for vertical smartphone screens. Snapchat ads are also interactive as snappers have the option to swipe up and access video, blog, or an app download.
    • Sponsored lenses: Big brands were quick to realize that Snappers love the lens filters. They went ahead and launched their own sponsored lens filters. Tacobell and KFC are good examples of these. Sponsored lenses help make profits for the Snapchat filters app as they are interactive and dynamic, they also play sound clips when active. Companies can display their messages that they want to promote. Users take selfies with these laid over filters and send them to friends.
    • Discover section: If you wish to make an app similar to snapchat, you must consider this section. Now, Discover is merged with friends’ stories in one screen. This makes it hard to miss. Snapchat’s algorithm displays curated content according to the user’s location and preferences. This content is advertised by companies like CNN, ESPN, BuzzFeed, People, and Cosmopolitan.
    • Branded Geofilters: Brands are allowed to create Snapchat filters of their own. These Branded Geofilters are location-based. These have to be created by the company itself. The companies can avail an on-demand Geofilter for a determined cost. Snapchat charges for two things: the size of the area that the filter takes up on the screen and the period of time for which the Geofilter is available.
    • Sports partnerships: Sports organizations like the NFL and MLB have recently partnered with Snapchat. Youngsters and millennials love to be a part of sports, at the moment and this is exploited by Snapchat and organizations to increase attendance in sports events. Even Adidas and Nike advertise their products to sports fans on face filter apps like Snapchat.

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    Schedule a FREE consultation with our technical expert and discuss your app idea.

    Apps Like Snapchat: 5 Best Snapchat Alternatives Apps for 2024

    There are a lot of similar apps like Snapchat, some of them even better. We are presenting a list of Snapchat like apps that have some similar and some unique features. This will help you decide which type of app would you want to develop and which features would you integrate.

    App NameReviewsRatingsFeaturesApp Link
    App Store: 3.3M Google Play: 13.9Cr App Store: 4.7 | Play Store: 4.0
    • Share images & videos
    • Send texts, images & videos
    • Go live
    • Share stories
    iOS | Android
    App Store: 32.5K Google Play: 13.7L App Store: 4.6 | Play Store: 4.1
    • Messages get destroyed in 48 hours
    • Beauty filters
    • Stickers and effects
    iOS | Android
    App Store: 468.2K Google Play: 1.16Cr App Store: 4.5 | Play Store: 4.4
    • Special effects and filters
    • Makeup- micro-surgery features
    • Video dubbing
    • Dynamic stickers
    App Store: 15.3K Google Play: 3.89T App Store: 4.8 | Play Store: 3.6
    • Create private groups
    • Share photos and videos
    • Receive relevant notifications
    iOS | Android
    App Store: 38.4K Google Play: 88.5T App Store: 4.8 | Play Store: 4.8
    • Group messaging
    • Expirable messages
    • Share photos and videos

    1. Instagram

      We have all heard about Instagram and most of us use it often. In fact, 60% of the users check their Instagram timeline at least once a day. There are over 121 million Instagrammers according to Statista. Instagram has over 1 billion downloads on Google Play Store.

      You cannot deny that Instagram is soon to become the informal king in the world of social media. Just like Snapchat you can share stories and send images and text messages to other users. They can also post images and videos, like and comment on each others’ posts, or go live.

      Yet, it doesnt have all the features of Snapchat. The messages cannot be autodeleted in 24 hours, there is no feature of maintaining streaks, the face-filters are not as fun as Snapchat.


      Source: Instagram

      • 24 hours stories
      • Follow celebrities
      • eCommerce platform
      • Issues in Android version
      • Stories get blurred
      • Too many sponsored ads
    2. SNOW

      SNOW was launched in September 2015 as SNOW Inc. and had gathered more than 100 million subscribers in just one year and a half. It is a photo editor app like Snapchat for texting and photo-sharing.

      The company launched unique selfie stickers after they collaborated with different Korean artists such as BTS and Twice. SNOW is known for the most fun and convenient ways of communication.

      The app has over 100 million downloads on Google Play Store alone. According to Crunchbase, the company has raised over $95 million in funding rounds. According to Owler, the SNOW app generates annual revenue of $1.1 million.

      snow app

      Source: SNOW

      • Professional photo edits
      • Seasonal filters
      • AR makeup features
      • App freezes often
      • Battery drainer
      • Filters get removed
    3. Likee (Formerly Like)

      Next on our list of Snapchat alternatives is Likee, formerly known as Like. Likee is a Singapore-based short video creation and sharing platform which was initially released in July 2017 by Bigo. the app is available on both, iOS and Android platforms.

      It’s an app like TikTok that has special effects, video shooting and editing tools. The app helps the users to create trend-setting videos by using video dubbing feature. The app also has a collection of dubbing script from the world’s most popular movies.

      In 2017, Likee was rated as one of the Google Play Best Entertainment Application. Likee has reached 80.7 million monthly active users in the second quarter of 2019. As per Sensor Tower, January 2020, the app has raised 300K net annual revenue.

      likee app

      Source: Likee

      • Unique features
      • Shoots blockbuster videos
      • Parental controls feature
      • Users can’t communicate
      • App has glitches
      • Users can’t select location
      • Can’t save shared videos
    4. Cluster

      Cluster means a group and true to its name, Cluster is a mobile app like Snapchat but it is highly private. This app is used to share photos and videos with family and friends in a private way.

      It has over 100k downloads on the Google Play Store. The users can create private groups where they can share moments through photos and videos. No one other than the invited group members can view the posts.

      This app is unlike other photo sharing apps as it is not used to share images to the public but only the close ones. The best part is that it has both a mobile app and web versions.


      Source: Cluster

      • Good UI
      • Secure and private
      • Mobile and web versions available
      • Image uploading issues
      • No editing features
      • Can’t share like social media
      • Can’t copy or save images
    5. Wickr messenger

      Wickr was launched in June 2012 by Robert Statica, Kara Coppa and a group of security experts. This app sends messages, photos and videos with a predefined lifespine. This means the users can define the time period for the message to last.

      Wickr allows users to choose how long they want their digital missives to last: as short as one second, and as long as 5 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. In December 2014, Wickr released a desktop version.

      There are over 5 million downloads of the Wickr app on the Google Play Store. The Wickr inc. has raised a funding of about $73 million.


      Source: Wickr

      • Focus on security
      • Improved interface
      • Layers of encryption
      • Can screenshot content
      • No multiple devices syncing
      • Difficult UI

    Since, we have checked the similar photo-editing apps, let’s even check some of the best Snapchat filters.

    11 Best Snapchat Filters

    Below are the popular and funny Snapchat filter names, adding them into your photo-editing app as features will make your app stand out from various photo-editing apps.

    LogoFiltersLink to Filters
    Vogue NoirVogue NoirTry Vogue Noir Filter
    Polaroid FramePolaroid FrameTry Polaroid Frame Filter
    CartoonCartoon 3D StyleTry Cartoon 3D Filter
    OldOldTry Old Filter
    PecanPecanTry Pecan Filter
    Fire SunglassesFire SunglassesTry Fire Sunglasses Filter
    My TwinMy TwinTry My Twin Filter
    Neon HornsNeon HornsTry Neon Horns Filter
    Fashion SunglassesFashion SunglassesTry Fashion Sunglasses Filter
    Lips FrecklesLips FrecklesTry Lips Freckles Filter
    Sailor's CapSailor’s CapTry Sailor’s Cap Filter

    Adding Snapchat filters to your photo-editing app will make your app stand out from various photo-editing apps. Below are the popular and funny Snapchat filter names.

    5 Unique Snapchat Features to Integrate

    Snapchat features

    Here, we are going to talk about 5 features of Snapchat that you should consider including in your Snapchat clone

    1. Snapchat “My AI” Chatbot

      My AI is a friendly and experimental chatbot introduced by Snapchat for their Snapchat++ subscribers. This feature offers users advice for various things like getting gift suggestions, helps to plan hiking for a long weekend, and suggests recipes to make for dinner or lunch. This feature entirely works on ChatGPT. If you are looking to integrate ChatGPT API into your social media application, our AI developers can help you.

    2. Chat

      Chatting is fun on Snapchat because you can send text, photo, audio and video messages on this photo messaging app. What’s unique? Well, these messages disappear after a while. These self-destructive messages make chatting secure. The opposite person can see if you have saved the message. In fact, if anyone takes a screenshot of a message or story, the sender gets notified.

      You could provide security to your users with such a feature.

    3. Snapchat Filters

      Filters are the most fun feature of this selfie filter app. Snapchat photo filters are dynamic and interactive. These make clicking photos and selfies quite addictive.

      Geofilters are location-based filters created by using geocoding. Advertizing has found a new face with these face filters. Even you could create filters to promote or share an event.

    4. Stories

      This feature has made Snapchat the most famous selfie app of all time. Snappers use this feature to send a photo or video stories/ live stories. These stories could be sent personally, be customized, semi-public, or public.

      They could only be seen within 24 hours, they expire after that. This creates a sense of urgency. People maintain story streaks which compel them to use the app daily.

      Integrating such features will increase the profitability of your photo message app

    5. Adding friends

      Like most social media apps, you could add people by their username but Snapchat managed to make this feature also interesting. Snapcodes are personalized QR codes given to every snapper. You could scan this code with the app and add that person directly. You also add nearby users based on your location. The app scans for the users who have this Add Nearby feature on and gives suggestions.

    6. Audio/Video call

      This might sound like a common feature but Snapchat took this a notch up with group calls. Group audio calls could be attended by 32 people at once while video calls by 16 people.

    If you want to make Snapchat like photo editor app, it is important that you consider these features.

    Features and all is good, but you must wonder how to make profits after investing in such apps. Let’s talk about that now.

    Want to Develop a Cost-effective Photo-editing App for Your Business?

    Let’s discuss your idea. Our experienced photo editing mobile app development team will help to create a custom mobile app solution for your business.


    FAQ About Apps Like Snapchat

    1. What is the best app for sharing photos?

      Here are some of the best apps to share photos:

      • 23Snaps
      • Cluster
      • Moments
      • KatchUp
      • Google Spaces
    2. What are some apps similar to Snapchat?

      If you are looking for apps that are pretty similar to Snapchat or an app just like Snapchat, here is a list:

      • Clipchat
      • MSQRD
      • Yovo
      • BOO!
    3. Which app is best for filters?

      Filters make it really funny to click pictures. Some of the best apps for filters are these:

      • Face Camera
      • YouCam Fun
      • LemoCam
      • B612
    4. How does Snapchat work or how to make a snapchat?

      The Snapchat app is pretty easy to use. Here are simple steps you can follow:

      Step 1: Download the app
      Step 3: Signup with a verified email ID
      Step 4: Add your friends and other users
      Step 5: Click photos and record videos
      Step 6: Share on stories and chats

    5. How does Snapchat make money?

      Snapchat earns revenue by the following 5 monetization strategies. You can find the details in the blog above.

      • Advertising
      • Sponsored lenses
      • Discover section
      • Branded Geofilters
      • Sports partnerships

    Do you still have doubts about developing an app like Snapchat?

    Start Snapping!

    Snapchat has a plethora of features that make it the top app for social media sharing. This also makes it a great advertising tool as we discussed.

    If you have an idea to create an app like snapchat, don’t hang around waiting for the ideal time, find the right app developers and get on with it. You could even read up on Snapchat alternatives and find what you can do differently.

    We are an established a native app development company in Toronto, having experience of developing 40 photo editing apps and social networking apps. We have developed apps in various categories for web, Android and iOS platforms.

    We know that when you decide to create an app like snapchat, you will have questions. You may consult our technical expert to solve all your queries. You can understand the Snapchat like app development process, cost and timeline in a 30-min free consultation.

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    Rakesh Patel

    Written by

    Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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