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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Mobile App Like Snapchat

Generation Z almost does not perceive a world without digital technologies. Attracting such an audience is challenging, but you can get a large user flow from it. Teenagers are more inclined to join platforms where only their peers or like-minded people gather.

Therefore, you've probably heard of the Snapchat app before. Developed by Bob Murphy and Evan Spiegel in 2011, Snapchat allows its users to share stories, photos, and videos with their followers. So, users can follow the lives of their friends, express their emotions, or communicate with others through fast-disappearing messages. These elements are primarily the platform's main idea in the era of remote and fun communication.

In this article, you will find out what the Snapchat app is, its features, development stages, and the price of creating and setting up. Read this guide if you want to create your trendy app, such as Snapchat.

Snapchat is a social media app for sharing photos and videos, to which you can add various text comments, visual effects, apply filters, and so on. Some Snapchat users call this app platform a social network, while others identify it as a messenger with enhanced graphic capabilities.

The phenomenon of the Snapchat app is that the photos and short videos (several seconds) created by you are not stored in the messenger app database. Instead, these materials are deleted after one hour or up to one week. Thus, the privacy of your correspondence with your friends is entirely intact. On the other hand, if your friends suddenly want to take a screenshot of your photos, you will know about it immediately.

Multimedia instant messaging paltform: Snapchat

Why is it a great idea to use the Snapchat mobile app? Because it's simple and fun. Moreover, it is one of the most popular communication platforms among American teenagers. So if your brand or media is aimed at this audience, you just need to create your Snapchat-like app.

The Snapchat app was initially considered a tool for sending all kinds of “spicy” selfies. However, now it is a full-fledged social media app with valuable things from well-known media, clothes manufacturers, gadgets, and accessories. In addition, the Snapchat app contains legendary filters that are very attractive to app users.

Over the past year, Snapchat has continued to be a leader in augmented reality. The platform focused on diversifying what worked best for its interface. Snapchat has paired up with Amazon Fashion to give users the ability to try on eyewear using an AR filter.

It has also put its AR technology into the hands of retailers to combine with its mobile apps and websites. Incorporating AR elements into marketing strategies is a unique way to engage users while communicating a message to their audience.

What are the benefits of Snapchat for those entrepreneurs who want to create a similar app? Large media companies seriously see the potential in creating content for this mobile platform. For example, the well-known company Time Warner decided to create for Snapchat short shows lasting 3-5 minutes, including dramas and comedies.

So Time Warner considered the collaboration with Snapсhat as one of the tools to attract a broader audience to their television and video content. Other big brands also advertise on this photo video messenger, especially those related to sports, food, and entertainment.

Now you may wonder how popular the Snapchat app is.

Current top Snapchat stats

Now, let's talk about Snapchat's impressive ratings, strengthening its global popularity. We have taken all statistics from the reliable platform

Top-performing Spotlight snaps

According to the report, as of 2022, Snapchat rewards the creators of the most effective content in Spotlight with more than $1 million daily.


In the first quarter of 2022, Snapchat had 363 million daily active users worldwide. For comparison, in 2021, the audience numbered 306 million users.

Number of daily active Snapchat users from 1st quarter 2014 to 3rd quarter 2022


Snapchat is the 12th most popular social media platform worldwide as of January 2022. According to indicators, this platform has already surpassed other social media platforms - Pinterest and Twitter.

Demand in the US

In the US, Snapchat received a customer satisfaction score of 70, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), between July 2021 and June 2022.

Who is Snapchat’s audience?

There is no doubt that Snapchat has impressive business potential. It is not surprising that the connections you establish on it can be used as earnings on the Internet.

Moreover, Snapchat is very profitable because its target audience is generation Z, which makes up at least 70% of service users. However, the older generation is also gradually starting to master this excellent app platform.

Let's look at the audience statistics in more depth.

In the United States, the most popular age group on Snapchat is those ages 15-25, making up 48% of users. Those ages 26-35 make up 30% of users, ages 36-45 are 18%, ages 46-55 are 11%, and those 56 and older make up just 5% of the platform.

Percentage of U.S. internet users who use Snapchat

Focusing just on users within the UK, those ages 18-24 make up 77% of the platform’s users. Ages 35-44 are 38%, ages 55-64 are 8%, and those 75 and older are just 2% of Snapchat’s users.

So, if your project targets the generation Z audience, creating an app like Snapchat is definitely a great idea for you.

Who are the top Snapchat audience countries?

With an audience of 144.35 million users, India has the most extensive Snapchat user base as of 2022. Other top Snapchat audience size leaders include the US (107.9 million users), France (24.7 million users), the UK (22.2 million users), and Saudi Arabia (20.4 million users).

Leading countries based on Snapchat audience size as of April 2022

Best features to add to Snapchat-like app

The Snapchat app is sometimes criticized since it is difficult to understand from the first time where to move and what to do. However, if you visualize a kind of "map" of the main app platform screens, you get a reasonably straightforward interface. In total, there are five main screens:

  • Camera for selfies or shooting what's in front of you;
  • If you swipe up, your profile screen will open;
  • If you swipe down, here you can see all your previous "snaps" in the Memories section;
  • If you swipe to the left, you move to the screen with messages;
  • If you swipe right, you will see a feed of Stories from your friends and brands that publish content in this photo messaging app.

When creating your own app, you should determine the top functions you will fill it with. So let's take a look at the exciting Snapchat features so that you can choose some for your project.


This is the most popular Snapchat feature. With snaps, you can take and share photos and videos.

Also, you can apply different filters, lenses, captions, and images to edit your photos and videos. It is essential to understand that your snaps are automatically deleted literally within seconds.

Snaps feature example: Snapchat


If you need to get creative with your photos and videos, this simple messaging app offers over a million lenses.

This feature allows you to apply funny animation or AR effects to edit your photos/videos. It is also about many filters, drawing tools, and text captions to change the original picture.

Lenses feature example: Snapchat

Adding friends

You no longer have to add new friends using their phone numbers or usernames manually.

Snapchat has made it much easier for users to add friends and follow others. A personalized QR code, Snapcode, helps you scan with your camera and immediately track other users.

Adding friends feature example: Snapchat


You'll probably want to add this exciting story feature to your new app. With such a feature, you can see content from friends and well-known regional or global brands, including IT corporations, magazines, and others.

Stories (videos and photos) are only available for 24 hours, then they disappear. Also, you can track who viewed your stories.

Stories feature example: Snapchat


This feature is similar to the Stories section since it lasts only 24 hours.

For example, Snapchat offers you the latest news on various topics from well-known editorial teams or particular influencers. Alternatively, you may be provided with information shared by Snapchat sponsors.

Discover feature example: Snapchat

Video/audio calls

Snapchat also has an audio and video calls option. Moreover, you can talk and send images simultaneously. Also, you can send your friends voice and video notes just like usual snaps.

Video/audio calls feature example: Snapchat


In addition to sharing photos and videos, Snapchat allows users to message each other or create messaging groups.

Also, during chatting, Snapchat users can use stickers that are added with each platform update. There are several sticker extensions available to download for Android app or iOS app.

Chatting feature example: Snapchat

Geofilters and location sharing

If you allow Snapchat to track your location, you can insert your geo-patterns into your images. Moreover, you can share your location with friends or other users. On Snap Map, you can filter who can see your location.

Geofilters feature example: Snapchat

New features in Snapchat from 2022

On this platform, you can see regular updates that attract both new and returning Snapchat app users. So, what new burning features can you expect to find on Snapchat starting in 2022? It's a good idea to learn more about them right now.

New shopping lenses

Now you can make purchases and stay in the app simultaneously. This new feature lets you quickly view the information you need on multiple products using augmented reality. Snapchat offers you to purchase limited edition products through integrations with various brands.

Shopping lenses feature example: Snapchat

Snapchat Plus

Paid Snapchat members get new features for $3.99 per month. The new Snapchat+ subscription feature makes the stories of paid community members more prioritized and visible among other users. Also, these users get unique emojis and backgrounds for their photos. They can change the appearance of the icon on the main screen with unique designs.

During Snapchat's latest earnings report, from June 2022, more than 2 million users have used Snapchat+, which offers access to exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features.

Snapchat Plus feature example: Snapchat

Shared eBay listings

From 2022, the Snapchat app has a shared eBay listing with friends. How does it work? You can select a listing on eBay, click "Share," and select "Snapchat" from the options provided.

You will then automatically be presented with a Snapchat camera with an eBay sticker. With this feature, you can share your listings with others. Tapping the eBay sticker takes users to your eBay listing.

Shared eBay listings feature example: Snapchat

Username change

It would seem that changing the username in your profile is one of the easiest things. However, this feature did not appear on Snapchat until 2022. Now, platform users, especially returning ones, can eventually change their username in the settings menu.

Username change feature example: Snapchat

How does Snapchat generate revenue?

Snapchat ad ranking aims to serve the right ad to the right user at the right time. Large-scale distributed engineering systems and a state-of-the-art deep machine learning algorithm power a high throughput real-time ad auction.

Let's now look at how you can monetize your own app like Snapchat after we've built up a decent readership. There are several ways how Snapchat makes money.

Creating Snap Ads

One of the ways to make money on Snapchat is to create advertising campaigns (Snap Ads) with call-to-action buttons.

You can provide a button that convinces people they can earn, get a discount, buy at a reasonable price, or solve any other problem by clicking on it. By the way, an extensive gallery of formats for various types of products is available in Snap Ads, and you just need to choose the most necessary option.

Statista research shows that thousands of app users view Snap Ads throughout the day. Thus, you can deliver your message to the target audience quickly. Conversion on Snap Ads is relatively cheap, and the competition, on the contrary, is low.

Travel ad product example: Snapchat

Development and launch of geofilters

Geofilters are stickers that are added to photos depending on the user's location. There are two types - personal and business.

A short time after geofilters launched, the Snapchat team announced that users could purchase sponsored geofilters for snaps. For example, McDonald's was the first to use the offer and paid for a branded geofilter that covers all its restaurants in the United States. Nowadays many other companies create their own geofilters for advertising purposes.

McDonalds geofilters example by Snapchat

Snapchat prices their geofilter fee on just two factors: size of the area that your geofilter covers and duration that your geofilter is active. On average, Snapchat charges around $5 to $20 per day to run a geofilter over a suburban sized home. If you are wanting to run multiple geofilters over the same area, Snapchat will charge you for each custom (“On-Demand”) geofilter you run.

Also, you can create and run a free geofilter for shared objects related to your niche. For example, if you want to hold an event in a specific place or open a new store, using your own geofilter is a very appropriate idea.

Therefore, Snapchat users can actively share filters, including branded ones. You can monitor the performance of your geofilters using the statistics available in the app.

You can also like: Top 8 Payment Gateways for Online Marketplaces

Advertising partner products

After gaining many followers, you can become a member of an affiliate program and promote their products. You receive commissions or percentages from clicks/sales, and thus this is another opportunity to make money. The most effective way to promote affiliate products is through reviews.

For example, if you used any product and liked it, tell your viewers about it. Share detailed product reviews demonstrating the benefits and shortcomings of using them on your blog. As a result, you will build the most trusting relationship with followers.

With the Snapchat app, you can share promotional messages that boost your own business products and services. The platform allows you to create a business page to share additional information about your activities. You can use this opportunity to find potential customers and grow your customer base.

Snapchat also benefits from this. For example, the Discover feature provides paid advertising. The revenue distribution between Snapchat and its clients varies, but occasionally ads are worth ten to fifteen cents per view. So, they are estimated to be seen 500,000 to 1,000,000 times daily.

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Have an idea for a Snapchat clone?

A step-by-step guide to making the Snapchat clone app

To guarantee your project's smooth functioning and growing customer demand, this app must go through certain development stages. How to make an app like Snapchat? Let’s talk about each of the phases in detail below.

Step 1. Product discovery

At this stage, it is essential to define your future application's functional and non-functional requirements. At Codica, we started the software development life cycle by conducting the Product Discovery Session. With these sessions, we quickly validate the client's ideas and needs. Also, we provide the client with a detailed technical proposal for product development.

There are several important tasks of a product discovery phase:

  • Explore the subject area;
  • Identify bottlenecks;
  • Discuss high-level solutions to the expected challenges;
  • Define priorities and discuss a project scope;
  • Develop prototypes;
  • Create the roadmap of the project;
  • Provide project cost and time estimate and form project documentation.

Based on the product discovery outcomes, the team plans how to create your app like Snapchat. In particular, they plan your app's key features, architecture and design.

Below is a short video that helps you learn more about the product discovery sessions in the mobile app development process.

This stage also involves creating prototypes for your platform. With these prototypes, you can see how an app like Snapchat will function during the app development process. For example, it is about the arrangement of your application's menus, fields, and buttons. Also, prototypes are helpful since they simulate user interaction.

At Codica, our UX and UI designers have colossal experience designing custom software products. For instance, we like how the sign-up form looks on a particular website so that we can adopt something from this idea. Below is an example of a prototype for an online hiring platform our team developed through research.

Example of prototype for RecruitEverywhere

The functional specification is interconnected with prototypes. It describes what elements it consists of and how the platform works. All business processes and their logical sequence are included in this specification.

Step 2. Building UI/UX design

Based on the prototypes, designers work on creating an attractive UI/UX design for your platform. Creating a custom app design is one of the most critical development stages, as the overall success of your app largely depends on it.

With our UI/UX design services, we are always in touch with the clients to create the highest quality product they want. For instance, it is about specific colors for their project. So on this step, we have more often calls to avoid misunderstandings between our designers and the client.

First, our UX designers execute a portrait of the target audience, conduct user research, and build a working software prototype. Then, UI specialists create the style throughout the website and consider the state and appearance of all UI elements and the font hierarchy. Also, they develop a guideline to collect all the elements above for ease of development.

Our goal is to make your project trendy on the market. So, we are always keeping up with the new design trends. Below you can watch a video where our design lead, Inessa, talks about the latest UI/UX design trends for 2023.

Step 3. Product development

At this stage, the developers integrate all the features into your platform. Depending on the functionality of your project, you can also build an MVP version of the app first.

It is essential to understand that the MVP (minimum viable product) is an integral part of testing your business idea before full release to the market. With MVP web development services, you will have a ready-made basic web solution that can be further developed into a fully functional product. The MVP model is ideal for any business, whether a startup looking for potential business opportunities or an established firm launching a new product.

For instance, Codica is a top MVP development company. Whether you need a web solution or a cross-platform one, we got you covered. We have a team of 70+ seasoned experts to help you with all the stages of the MVP app development process: UX and UI designers; software developers (frontend and backend); QA engineers; project managers; and DevOps engineers.

The physics of MVP in app development

At Codica, we recommend our clients start the app development process with a minimum viable product because of its numerous advantages. We apply our vast multi-domain expertise. Thus, we deliver your MVP within your budget and timeframe expectations.

When building MVPs, we apply the Build-Measure-Learn approach, which is part of the Lean Startup Methodology. With its help, you can eliminate uncertainties, save costs and release your product faster.

Build-Measure-Learn approach

Step 4. QA control

At this stage, the QA specialists perform various testing procedures to ensure that the application does not contain bugs. They study the specification document and ask clarifying questions from the point of view of sequence. After analyzing the product, the quality assurance specialists create a testing strategy representing guidelines that will direct all testing-related decision-making.

The QA engineers establish the only possible vision to release the client's request. Otherwise, developers risk making bugs. Generally, the testing stage is close interaction with the client to exclude ambiguous interpretations of their vision.

As a reliable QA software testing company, we thoroughly test the solution to ensure it works correctly. Moreover, code reviews and refactoring are also our imperatives at this stage. These elements allow us to speed up and stabilize your application. As a result, we ensure the smooth operation of your business idea.

Further reading: How Automation Testing Increases Execution Speed, Test Coverage, and Effectiveness

Step 5. Maintenance and deployment

When your application has already passed the stage of development process and testing, then our team provides the customer with the necessary support and maintenance of the platform. This ensures that the app performs properly with different devices and operating systems.

Our DevOps engineers and developers have in-depth knowledge of the software maintenance sphere. Therefore, we can help make your software product highly performed.

This stage also involves the release of the application by the development team in the workspace. As a result, our clients get customized solutions that their users prefer.

Obviously, you want your project to run as smoothly as possible with a great user experience. Therefore, you need to find reliable specialists to guarantee the success of your project. Professional developers can help you make your application beautiful and neat.

At Codica, our mobile app development experts help implement our clients' business ideas. Our team provides these clients with high-quality customized mobile solutions that attract users and increase sales.

Mobile app development experts at Codica

Tech stack for the Snapchat-like app

Choosing a well-defined tech stack usually affects the overall cost of developing a Snapchat-like platform. With the best technology associated with your platform, you have a chance to create your app quickly and with lower prices.

During Snapchat-like app development, specialists use some development insights:

  • Javascript. For front-end development.
  • Python, Swift (iOS), Kotlin (Android), and PHP. For back-end architecture.
  • Amazon Web Services (Route 53, CloudFront). For hosting.
  • Google Compute Engine. For improving the automatic scalability according to the number of users and temporal management of the shared data store.
  • MongoDB. For building a highly available and scalable platform.
  • Computer Vision. For processing images and adding layers with so-called masks.

Here is a table of technologies used by Snapchat.

Technologies used by Snapchat

How much does it cost to build an app like Snapchat?

The complexity of creating an app like Snapchat directly affects the overall development cost. There is also a formula that you can use to determine the cost of creating your app like Snapchat:

Total development hours × Hourly rate of developers = Snapchat-like app development cost.

The cost of your app will depend on the mobile development services provided by the team you choose. For instance, if you select a team from Western Europe or the US, the hourly price will range from $90 to $200.

However, the most expensive variant isn't always the best one. For example, development companies from Eastern Europe will make you the exact app you want or even better. The rough payment is about $50 per hour, significantly cheaper than in the US.

Below is a table with main factors that mainly determine the cost to make an app like Snapchat.

Estimated cost to build an app like Snapchat
FeaturesTime, hoursCost, $50/hour
UX Development64 hours$3,200
UI Development96 hours$4,800
Project setup16 hours$800
DB structure32 hours$1,600
Payment (Stripe or PayPal)64 hours$3,200
Main functionality
Authorization and Security24 hours$1,200
User Profiles32 hours$1,600
Account settings64 hours$3,200
Main app page32 hours$1,600
Self-destructing messages64 hours$3,200
Location sharing64 hours$3,200
Snapcodes96 hours$4,800
Video and audio calls128 hours$6,400
Lenses or filters160 hours$8,000
Uploading pictures and videos48 hours$2,400
Embedded messenger128 hours$6,400
Adding friends32 hours$1,600
Push notifications48 hours$2,400
Non development activity
Project management96 hours$4,800
Quality assurance80 hours$4,000
Code review64 hours$3,200
Total1432 hours$71,600

Summarizing the table above, you can now understand that various factors affect the overall cost of Snapchat app development. This is primarily about the complexity of the app, the list of features, the UI/UX design, and much more.

Therefore, on average, an app like Snapchat will cost you $71,600. However, it all depends on you. Because it's up to you to decide what features to provide your new platform and how similar an app to Snapchat you want to make it.

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Want to make an app like Snapchat?

Codica: 7+ years of development experience

Of course, you want to bring your product to market quickly, with a high level of security and a user-friendly interface. With extensive development experience in individual app solutions, Codica experts will help you create a high-quality project that will attract users and increase sales.

Codica experts

You can rely on Codica as an experienced mobile app development company. Over the years, we've built a list of development tools that help us create high-quality, engaging apps and help businesses scale. Thanks to our efficient app development process, these tools allow us to keep the development time and cost of our mobile app development services within our customers' expectations.

Codica always strives to get quality results and ensure the success of your business. Therefore, we have implemented more than 45 successful software projects, and the same number of clients were satisfied with the results.

In our portfolio, you can find many exciting examples of various projects our team worked on.

Let's look at one of our case studies - a custom SaaS platform for real estate. Our team helped a customer create a multi-page solution displaying listings from homeowners.

Moreover, we adapted this platform both for desktop and mobile devices. By the way, Snapchat was initially available only on the mobile version. The platform is now on the web.

Our goal was to develop a fast-loading, responsive, and intuitive platform with the possibility to add images and 3D tours.

Moreover, we've integrated maps into the platform so users can see the property's surroundings. On the other hand, Snapchat users can add geofilters to photos or videos they take through the app. The filter's location restrictions mean that all geofilters are only available to people within a certain radius of a given location.

If a user has questions about the property, they can chat with the homeowners on the real estate portal. Regarding Snapchat, the platform supports three types of messages — photos, videos, and text. In the chat section, next to the contact names, some icons notify about the status of messages.

The video below shows how a real estate portal functions.

Ready to make a Snapchat-like app?

Many media companies see enormous potential in the Snapchat app. Leading brands cooperate with the company, especially those related to sports, entertainment, food, or pop culture. Unique video and photo materials are created for Snapchat because advertisers have direct access to the target audience, which is ready to give feedback.

Snapchat is primarily intended for entertainment and fun to share enjoyable photos and videos or chat in an informal atmosphere. So if you want an app with similar functionality - creating an app like Snapchat is one of the best options.

Thanks to this article, you now understand how Snapchat allows you to get the most out of it and create a source of passive income online. Therefore, contact us if you decide to make your app like Snapchat.

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