According to Statista, the Snapchat app reported 100 million daily active users in the region of North America and 93 million in Europe during the first quarter of the year 2023.

Now, you can imagine how crazy users are over The Snapchat app’. Several years before, when Bobby Murphy, Reggie Brown, and Evan Spiegel came up with this idea in 2011, nobody thought that this is going to be so huge. Succinctly speaking, Snapchat occurred as a game changer in the realm of mobile applications. When it got this tremendous success, various businesspeople came up with the idea of creating an app like Snapchat.

At present, there is N number of social media applications out there offering advanced features, amazing user experiences, various benefits, and more but still Snapchat is the most popular and loved by users worldwide. Looking at the survey of Pew Research Center 2022, Snapchat is among the top three online platforms that are growing fast, they are TikTok (67%), Instagram (62%), and Snapchat (59%).

We can’t deny the fact that social media platforms are not going anywhere in the coming time, even their use in our daily life will only be increased. These have turned into lucrative business models for those who own them, same goes for Snapchat. So, are you also planning to break into the social media industry with apps like Snapchat? If yes, then the below guide to creating a Snapchat clone app will surely help you.

Here we will take a closer look at the entire Snapchat journey, market size, and scope, necessary features to add, estimated costs, and many more that will help you to create an app like Snapchat. Let’s dive in-

What is Snapchat App?

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging application enabling users to share images, videos, and messages that automatically vanish after a short period of viewing by the receiver. Though it also has the option to save the image or video to see it later, but it gets notified by the sender if the receiver does so. The main feature of this app is to send any picture or video, or users can add them to their story that will be visible to their friends only and disappear after 24 hours.

Along with the images or videos, different emojis, stickers, GIFs, filters, and lenses can be used in the Snapchat app to have more fun and excitement. There is also available a QR code to help the users find their friends by scanning it. Other than that, users can maintain Snap streaks with their friends to be in touch with them regularly.

“There is a real value in sharing moments that don’t live forever”- Evan Spiegel

It was said by Evan Spiegel that was the main guy behind launching Snapchat initially named ‘Picaboo’. Along with his mates, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, he launched the app in July 2011 in the iOS App Store. Initially, the app was only made with the purpose of sharing photos and videos that would disappear inevitably after some time.

But then, they got to know users can screenshot photos which makes the purpose of no benefit. Then, they came up with notifying the senders if the receiver takes a screenshot of the pictures.

In September 2011, the app was named Snapchat and launched again in the iOS App Store.

In October 2012, Snapchat was launched in the Google Play Store for Android users to enhance its user base.

In 2013, Mark Zuckerberg made an offer to buy Snapchat at $3 billion but Evan Spiegel denied his offer and made more trials on Snapchat. In the same year, Snapchat came up with the stories features.

The chat feature was introduced in May 2014. October 2014 was marked with Snapchat advertising. Their first ad was about the movie ‘Ouija’.

In January 2015, the app was excited to announce Discover and lenses to grab huge audiences worldwide. With Discover, Snapchat users can subscribe to a channel to view snaps in stories. Next, it launched the Tap to view feature. In September, Snapchat unveiled different lenses to take selfies and lure audiences.

In 2016, there were launched many more features including Geo-filters, auto-advancing, more video ads, Snapchat memories, Bitmoji, creating groups to send snaps & messages, and so on. The app also got rebranded to Snap Inc.

Look at the below image to know the year-by-year journey of Snapchat

Year-by-year Journey of Snapchat

Snapchat App: Market Popularity, Size, and Scope

Before going further to know how to make an app like Snapchat, it is necessary to look at the present market statistics to get an idea if it is worth taking a shot or not. Let’s have a look at the below points to gain an understanding of the current market size-

  • In 2022, Snapchat grasped $4.6 billion in revenue reporting a 12% increase year-by-year.
  • Snap Inc generate annual revenue of approximately $4.6 billion worldwide in 2022 which was higher than $4.1 billion in 2021.
  • There are more than 375 million Snapchat users and 28% of them are based in the USA.
  • Talking about the first quarter of 2023, Snapchat had 383 million daily active users globally, ahead of 375 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.
  • When it comes to the use of Snapchat worldwide as of January 2023, there were 18.3% of users were women between the age of 18 to 24 along with 20% of men between the age of 13 to 17 years.
daily active Snapchat users
  • 85 million users in the USA were using Snapchat in the year 2020 and these stats are predicted to increase close to 90 million users by the end of 2023. Snapchat users in the USA are likely to increase by 18% between 2018 to 2023.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop An App Like Snapchat?

After getting an overview of Snapchat app, let’s concentrate on how much does it costs to develop a Snapchat app? Overall, the estimated cost of Snapchat app development differs on different levels.

Various factors are responsible for doing so comprising App Types, complexity, app platforms, app design, location of the company, tech stack, and many more. But mostly, different types affect the overall price of developing an app like Snapchat.

Let’s break down the cost of creating a Snapchat clone app based on different app types including core and advanced features-

App Types
To-add Features
Time Consumed
Cost Estimation
Basic app with core features
  • User Registration
  • Stories
  • Chat/messaging
  • Photo & video sharing
  • Access contacts
  • Stickers/emojis/GIFs
4-5 months$25,000 to $40,000
Medium-scale app
  • Audio/video calls
  • Group messaging
  • Geo-filters
  • Self-destructive messages
  • AR-filters
5-7 months$40,000 to $50,000
Complex app with highly advanced features
  • Social Commerce
  • Song syncing
  • Audio/video notes
  • Virtual gifting Integrate ChatGPT
  • Advanced image recognition
7-10 months$50,000 to $70,000

From the above table, you are now very well aware of the different Snapchat app development costs. Generally, the cost to develop a messaging app like Snapchat would range between $25,000 to $70,000 involving both core and advanced features. This cost can decrease or increase according to evolving business requirements.

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Cost Affecting Factors for Snapchat Like App Development

The cost to develop an app like Snapchat can differ highly depending on several factors that are different platforms (Android, iOS, Cross-platforms) you are developing an app for, interactive app design to provide amazing user experience, developers’ charges as per their location or region, third-party tools and APIs, technologies you are using, and many more.

Below we have defined some of these and have made tables to represent the specific and accurate budgeting for Snapchat-like social media platform development. You just need to understand that these factors are crucial to consider knowing the exact development cost. Let’s take a deeper look-

  • App Platform
  • App Design
  • Location of the Company
  • Tech Stack

1. App Platform

Different app platforms play a significant role in determining the overall cost to create social media apps. There are different time and cost estimations for platforms like Android, iOS, and cross-platform. If you want to make an app for a single platform, it will take less cost than creating a Snapchat-like app for both Android and iOS platforms.

If your target audiences belong to one platform, then, you can go either for iOS or Android but if you want to grab a larger base of audiences, then going for cross-platform app development will be good. In the below table, we have specified the assessment of time and cost for varied platforms, have a glance-

Different App PlatformsTime EstimationCost Estimation
Android4-7 months$15,000 to $30,000
iOS5-7 months$20,000 to $40,000
Cross-platform6 to 12 months$35,000 to $50,000

2. App Design

The app design is a factor that leaves the first impression on the users, if you have managed to have an interactive and engaging visual design, then there are high chances to grab the attention of a huge audience base, otherwise, it will not make it long in the market. This factor alone can have a great impact on the overall cost to make an app like Snapchat.

To have a limited app design cost, you need to consider the three most important aspects including app wireframing, prototyping, and visual design. Following are the cost and time estimations for app design-

Varied ComponentsDescriptionApprox TimelineProjected Cost
WireframingIt is a process of developing visual blueprints of a digital interface using basic, low-fidelity aspects.3-4 days$500-$1000
PrototypingFunctional or interactive models are created to represent the final product to test and get user feedback.4-6 days$700-$1500
Visual Designs & ElementsDevelopment of an aesthetically pleasing and engaging user interface including visual elements to enhance the user experience.6-8 days$1500-$2500

3. Location of the Company

While finding an answer to the question ‘How much does the Snapchat app cost to develop’, you will see that the expertise, experience, and location of the developers highly matter as they can affect the cost. So, when you hire mobile app developers, analyze their development costs to maintain the overall budget to develop a Snapchat clone app.

Rates of developers fluctuate according to different regions and countries that extremely influence the complete development cost. Developers in countries like the USA, UK, Canada, etc. charge higher than developers in countries like India, UAE, Japan, etc. You can have an idea of developers’ hourly rates for different platforms from the below table-

CountryAndroid Cost (Per Hour)iOS Cost (Per Hour)Cross-platform Cost (Per-Hour)

If you hire experienced and expert Snapchat app developers, it will cost you more in comparison to hiring someone with less experience in the same field. On the other hand, if you go for junior developers, they may have less experience, but their hourly rates will be way less than the senior ones.

4. Tech Stack

The technology stack affects Snapchat app development in various ways. It is necessary to use modern-edge mobile app development tools, technologies, and programming language for mobile app development but integrating the latest tech stack also comes with a higher cost.

So, you need to think before deciding on how competitive you want your app to become according to your budget. For this, you can also consult with your selected messaging app development company.

Following is the suitable Snapchat mobile app development tech stack you can consider-

FunctionalitiesTechnology Used
Programming LanguagesJava, Kotlin, Swift, Python, Golang, & JavaScript
FrameworksRuby on Rails, Express.JS, Django, Flask.
Cloud infrastructureAWS, Google Cloud Platforms
AnalyticsGoogle Analytics, Firebase Analytics
DatabasesPostgreSQL, MySQL, Apache Cassandra
NotificationsAPNs notifications, Twilio, Firebase Cloud messaging

Now, you have got an idea about important factors that can highly affect the complete Snapchat-like app development cost. If you have a limited budget, then the above tables will surely help you to get an estimated cost for app development. And if you have no constraint for budget, then go for an advanced social media platform to outshine the competitors.

Key Features to Consider Creating a Snapchat Clone App

Looking out for necessary features to include in a Snapchat-like app is the most significant step when it comes to how to create an app like Snapchat. Adding interactive features works as the most intriguing way of communicating with your audiences and reinventing the success, thus, be attentive to what you are choosing for your app.

snapchat app features

To integrate them efficiently, take the help of top mobile app development companies in USA and their expert technical team. Following are some features to consider for creating apps like Snapchat-

  • Registration
  • Clicking & Sharing Snaps
  • Chat/Messaging
  • Disappearing Messages
  • Stickers/Emoji/GIFs
  • Geo-Filters
  • Lenses
  • Search for Friends
  • Audio & Video Calls
  • Stories
  • Push Notifications
  • Discover
  • Location Sharing
  • Registration

Snapchat app has a registration process but unlike other social media platforms, it only requires first & last name, date of birth, and password to register a person. Businesses can add more aspects like email or contact information while creating an app like Snapchat if they want.

  • Clicking & Sharing Snaps

Clicking pictures through snap camera and sharing them with their friends and on the story is one of the existing features of the Snapchat app. Users can send these snaps to their friends that will be gone in 24 hours after viewing by the receiver.

  • Chat/Messaging

Additionally, to sharing snaps, Snapchat also facilitates users with chatting or messaging to their friends. Users can send messages along with their photos or videos to support seamless communication between users.

  • Disappearing Messages

Self-destructing messages are the need of the hour when it comes to building social media apps. In this, if a user sends messages to their friends, the chat will vanish after viewing by receivers within 24 hours. This security feature is the reason why Snapchat got so much attention.

  • Stickers/Emoji/GIFs

Adding stickers/emojis/GIFs to your messages, snaps, or videos has been a significant aspect of today’s communication mediums. It makes the whole conversation more interesting and funnier. This feature is beneficial to keep the users hold for a long time on the app.

  • Geo-Filters

The set of filters used by Snapchat users is location-specific, doesn’t it sound amazing? This feature is helpful when it comes to earning money. For instance, if a business has its own Geo-filters, then it can make the users at its location explore and enjoy those filters to make money. Therefore, this feature is necessary to consider while having Snapchat-like app development.

  • Lenses

While understanding how to build an app like Snapchat, you should know the importance of face-tracking technology that enables users to combine real-time effects and great animations to their photos and videos. Through lenses, users can add enhanced reality features to an image to make that picture look different.

  • Search for Friends

On Snapchat, users can search for their friends by entering their names to add them to their friends list. They can also add other people showing in the quick searches or can give their Snapcode (QR scanner for finding profiles) to their friends to find them and add them.

  • Audio & Video Calls

To develop a chat app like Snapchat, Facebook, or WhatsApp, it has become unavoidable to add audio & video call features to the app. Users can audio and video call to their friends whenever they want. Also, they can send video or audio notes similar to any other social media app.

  • Stories

The story is about posting a photo or video that is visible to all friends of Snapchat Users and gets automatically disappears after 24 hours. This feature attracts the users most as it lets them know what their friends are up to.

  • Push Notifications

Snapchat has this push notifications feature to keep the users informed about every app update and activity within the app. These notifications inform users about new messages from friends and add requests, mentions, and other things. It encourages users to keep engaged, do more interaction with the app, and enhance their experience.    

  • Discover

The Discover section of Snapchat provides a platform for brands, content creators, and publishers to post curated content comprising videos, articles, news, and stories. With this, users can discover new content and explore different channels from several sources.  

  • Location Sharing

If you are going for Snapchat app clone development, the location-sharing feature is a must to have. This feature lets users put their current location to their photos & profile to let their friends know about their location. They can also put a limit on the people who can view their location.

How to Develop an App Like Snapchat?

Want to develop an app like Snapchat? Then, you need to follow a step-by-step mobile application development guide as it includes a proper development process to help you create an app like Snapchat.

snapchat app development steps

Building a Snapchat clone app needs to include steps like proper market analysis & planning, determining features, designing the app, back-end process, quality assurance, launch & maintenance according to the latest mobile app development trends. Let’s dig deeper into the Snapchat app development process-

  • Market Research
  • Finalize Feature List
  • Design UI/UX
  • Back-end Development
  • QA Testing
  • Release & Maintenance

1. Market Research

The primary step before getting mobile app development services is to deeply analyze and identify the market you are going to enter. The main goal of this stage is to discover the functional and non-functional project requirements and if the app idea is worthy or not.

Select your target audiences, learn about their desires, business needs, resources, estimation of project budget, and benefits, and plan a systematic course for your app development. Identify your customers and study them to know about their vision and what they are offering to hold the customers. Also, prioritize the patent mobile app idea so that no one can claim it in the future.

2. Finalize Feature List

Once you are done with the market and competitors’ research, it’s time to finalize the features to add to the Snapchat-like app. For this, your hired social media app developers will help you to figure out the required features that will benefit your app.

There will be a list of core and advanced features from which you can pick according to your budget and needs. If your budget is not limited, ensure to integrate AR features along with photo & video editing, chat functionality, and sharing features.

3. Design UI/UX

In this stage, your hired expert mobile app designers will let you transform your app idea into visual representations by creating mobile app wireframes and prototypes. These will symbolize the app’s flow, aesthetic visual aspects, user interface, and others.

Based on these, the entire app design will be created along with paying attention to providing a better user experience (UX). While creating the design, try to add aspects such as interactive interfaces, creative tools, modern-edge filters, etc. within the limited mobile app design cost.

4. Back-end Development

This phase of the mobile app development process will lead by expert and experienced developers in this field. They will look deep into the elaborate details of the design and will move towards app development accordingly. Applying the appropriate development strategy will help them to build an MVP for your app comprising basic features to get the users’ feedback and improve it further.

In this stage, all the features will be implemented while setting up the back-end server infrastructure and database for user data management. Different mobile app development frameworks will help professionals to develop APIs to facilitate communication between the server and the app.

5. QA Testing

An entire mobile app testing guide is out there that can help your chosen QA experts to test the app based on different parameters. Ask your mobile app development company in the USA to conduct different testing to ensure the app’s quality and performance. They must identify the issues within the app to fix them and to see if every feature is functioning well or not. They must perform testing like-

  • Compatibility Testing – To ensure exceptional user experience.
  • Stress Testing – To assess the app’s performance under heavy load.
  • Security Testing – To Evaluate and address any of the app vulnerabilities.

To develop an app, be it Snapchat, TikTok, or any other, it is necessary to optimize the app’s performance by applying different ways of testing so that it can run smoothly on different devices and operating systems.

6. Release & Maintenance

Now, it is time to submit your application on the respective platforms (for example, Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or both). For this, your chosen social media app development company must follow the submission guidelines of the specific platform.

You can also create marketing strategies and campaigns to promote your app. After the Release, the app maintenance and support increase the chances of your app’s success. You can also get help from analytics tools to follow user engagement.

How to Earn Money With Snapchat Like App?

While making plans for how to develop an app like Snapchat, you should also consider some suitable monetization strategies to get high revenue. Making money is the only purpose behind why businesses need a mobile app, a similar goes with Snapchat like app.

Snapchat Monetization model

Snapchat also applies different ways to make money, hence, if you are going to make a clone app, you also must get knowledge about them. Have a look below-

  • Snap Ads and Story Ads
  • Sponsored Lenses and filters
  • In-App Purchases
  • Premium Access

1. Snap Ads and Story Ads

Brand advertisements showing in-between the snaps and stories are the most applied ways for monetization. The Snapchat app charges extra amounts from brands and companies to display these ads and users have the option to swipe these advertisements or they can click on them to see if they are interesting or not. Apart from monetization, this strategy will help brands with user engagement, drive actions, and show the brand story.

2. Sponsored Lenses and filters

All the included lenses and filters in the Snapchat application help the app to generate high revenue. Different brands pay Snapchat to show customized lenses and these lenses contain specific demographic locations to promote some marketing initiatives. Users are also allowed to buy geo-filters for snaps by paying a certain amount of money.

3. In-App Purchases

This is the most common money-making strategy referring to the revenue generated by users’ purchases from the app. To recover the Snapchat app development cost, businesses can surely go for this strategy. In this, Snapchat offers different features, filters, and goods to users and they can buy them if they want to. With every purchase, the app gets a specific commission.

4. Premium Access

Premium access refers to a premium subscription or a membership program that users can have by paying a recurring fee so that they can access exclusive content, features, filters, lenses, or anything. It helps to provide additional value to users and provide them with an outstanding experience. If you are planning to build an app like Snapchat, you must apply this monetization approach.

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How SemiDot Infotech Helps You to Build an App Like Snapchat?

A top social media chat app development company like SemiDot Infotech can provide you with comprehensive assistance in building an app like Snapchat. We have both expertise and hands-on experience in a similar field for over a decade. Our specialist team is skilled in various aspects such as forming strategies, designing, development, testing, and deployment.

Professionals and experts at SemiDot Infotech will help you from the initial stages starting from app conceptualization and refining the app requirements to creating exceptional and seamless app design to writing the code for implementing all features and functionalities to deploying the app on desired platforms.

From integrating core & advanced features to streamlining the development process, we have got your back always! To develop an outstanding app like Snapchat, you will not find any other reliable and experienced tech partner like ours. With our rich expertise and access to the latest technologies, we will help you to bring your unique idea to reality. Take our assistance to experience a whole new level of creativity!


The present market is full of pioneers like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, and building an app like Snapchat requires a lot of attentiveness and consideration of important aspects.

Businesses that want to enter the realm with a bang need to know that they must choose factors that can contribute to the success of their app. For this, they must go for Augmented reality filters and effects such as geo-filters, snap lenses, and many more.

In the above guide, we have provided all the required aspects such as an overview of the Snapchat app and its journey, necessary features, monetization strategy, development process, and cost-affecting factors to consider while developing a Snapchat-like app.

So, if you are thinking to make a similar app, start by hiring any one of the best mobile app development companies in India that can assist you from the very beginning. SemiDot Infotech is one such agency you can hire to have an amazing feature-rich social media app at a cost-efficient price. You can Contact Us for further queries!


Here are a series of questions and answers to provide you with a clear idea about Snapchat app development-

  1. How to make an app like Snapchat?

    To make an app like Snapchat, you must follow a step-by-step guide comprising defining the app concept & market analysis, finalizing the features, working on app prototyping & designing, back-end development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.

  2. How long does it take to create an app like Snapchat?

    It takes around 6-12 months to create an app like Snapchat but if it differs in terms of features & functionality, consumed time in the development process, development resources, and others. Based on these factors, consider that creating a polished and advanced app like Snapchat can take more than the estimated time.

  3. How much does it cost to build an app like Snapchat from scratch?

    The cost of building an app like Snapchat from scratch will vary depending on significant aspects such as app complexity, features, geographical location, development team rates & experience, team size, etc. Overall, the Snapchat clone app development cost ranges from $25,000 to $70,000 for creating the basic version.

  4. What is the Snapchat Technology Stack?

    The Snapchat technology stack comprises-

    1. Programming languages – Java, Kotlin, Swift, Python, Golang, & JavaScript,
    2. Frameworks – Ruby on Rails, Express.JS, Django, Flask.
    3. Cloud infrastructure – AWS, Google Cloud Platforms
    4. Databases – PostgreSQL, MySQL, Apache Cassandra
    5. Analytics – Google Analytics, Firebase Analytics
    6. Notifications – APNs notifications, Twilio, Firebase Cloud messaging

  5. How to monetize an app like Snapchat?

    To monetize an app like Snapchat, you can include effective ways such as Paid Snap ads & story ads, in-app purchases for virtual goods or features, Sponsored lenses & filters for brand collaboration, premium access for better user experience, and more.

  6. What features should I include to make an app like Snapchat?

    Considerable features to make an app like Snapchat are user registration, capturing and sharing snaps, audio and video calls, filters, stickers, emojis, Bitmoji, notifications, data privacy, self-destructing messages, stories, and many more.

  7. How to ensure the security of a Snapchat-like app?

    If you want to ensure the security of a social media app like Snapchat, you must pay attention to including user identification and authorization process, user data encryption, self-destructive messaging, media storage and reclamation, and others. Also, make an app that complies with the data protection regulations comprising GDPR and CCPA.

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