How to develop apps like SnapChat?

Updated on Dec 18th, 2023

How to develop apps like SnapChat

Imagine you and your friends are gathered in one place and solving the mathematic’s sum. Suddenly one of your buddies come up with an idea of sharing their “#genius” pictures for a few seconds. Earlier, it used to seem weird, but now it has become a daily trend. The idea is so flourishing that even Facebook or Google offered to buy that idea in 3 or 4 billion dollars but the offer was rejected. Within 3 years the valuation went to 20 billion dollars. That’s how Snapchat came into existence with a feature of sharing text, photo and video content just for a few seconds. After the success of this idea, many of the entrepreneurs found it so profitable to invest.

Among a number of social networking sites, Snapchat is the first choice in countries like the United States and France followed by Whatsapp in the UK, Canada, and Germany.

According to the Omnicore agency, Snapchat users use the app almost 30 minutes per day on an average with sharing around 20000 photos per minute. It has around 300+ million active users per month and data shows that it earned $1.4 per user in the second quarter of 2018.

There has been a substantial increase of about 400% in daily video views of Snapchat. The smartphone users in the US between 13 to 34 accounted for more than 60% who are using it.

How did an idea come up?


Evan Spiegel, Robert Murphy, and Reggie Brown were a student at Stanford University. Spiegel had a strong knowledge in Product design and he kept his internships in Red bull and Biomedical company in Cape Town.

Together they developed an app Picaboo – that shares photo which would disappear in few seconds. The plan did not find safe execution and flopped. In 2011, they again branded it as Snapchat and it took a successful journey from there. The success of messaging app like Snapchat was a result of the failure of their project Picaboo with an exact same idea which helped him in becoming an Internet entrepreneur.

How does multimedia messaging app work?

 Multimedia messaging app development

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The development of an app like Snapchat is not a cupcake. It requires a lot of research before Snapchat usually changes their features regularly and recommends their instruction manual for further guidance.: Here are the most noticeable features of Snapchat.

  • Camera Screen: The app like Snapchat is amazingly built to offer you fun. While tapping or holding down the capture button you can swipe through different camera view like lenses and world lenses. Now you can share it with friends and closed ones or add it to your story. Snapchat offers you to decorate it with doodles, texts, stickers, etc and by adding special effects and sounds by activating Lenses. At the time when your camera is faced outward, world Lenses appears. By using filters and Geofilters you can add colored filters, the current time, local weather, etc.
  • Memories Screen: While taking a snap you can save it to memories for further edit, search .lock, etc. It allows you to access media stored on your device. On the Memories screen, you can swipe up between your old snaps and use it for new stories.
  • Chat Screen: When you tap the Chat button or swipe from left to right, you start a new chat. Your Chats would be disappeared by default once you both leave the chat. What is an exciting feature here is, If you and your friend snapped each other within 24 hours for more than one consecutive day then your friend has an emoji next to his name.
  • Snap Map Screen: You can easily share your location and at the same time you can scroll around a map for your friend’s location. You and friends are represented by Bitmoji. But it is optional to share your location, so the Ghost mode provides you to turn your location off so that you would not be traced.
  • Stories: You can add your captured snap by clicking the arrow button on the bottom or confirming it for the first time. Your friends can see your snaps and experience your day. It enables you to share your moments with friends, closed ones or customized ones.
  • Profile Screen:  You can find your snapcode and add more friends. A Snapcode is just like a QR code by which you can easily add new friends instead of looking up their handle for adding them. You will notice a score next to a friend’s handle by holding down their name. It shows the number of stories, photos or videos shared by your friend.
  • Search Screen: You can search your closed ones or friends by their Snapchat name.
  • Discover: The section Discover keeps you up to date on breaking news.

Recommended technologies for an app like Snapchat?

  • Development Language: Snapchat uses multiple languages in the development of their app. Bootstrap, Javascript, Python, Objective-C, Cocoa Touch and PHP made snap chat an enticing and engaging app.
  • Database Management: Handling the voluminous data is necessary and for this the robust database is crucial. Like snapchat, you can also make use of NoSql.
  • Cloud Hosting: Apart from using  Amazon Web service for their Cloud hosting they use Google Compute engine to increases the scalability.
  • Google analytics is used for finding out website traffic.

The revenue model for an app like Snapchat?

  • Discover: It is used by Snapchat publishing channels for their ads and they are charged for it.
  • Stories: During jumping up from one friend story to another friend’s you will seed live stories or ads. These are sponsored stories by using their promotional videos. Recently Snapchat added a new monetization feature of promo partnership with their stories.
  • In-app purchase: The In-app purchase offers the user to purchase a replay of last seen stories.
  • Premium member: It gave access to the user to try new features and customized lenses.
  • Advertising API: It is offered to build software to target the ad and buying sponsored filters.
  • Filters and lenses: Various brands and events are promoted on Snapchat through Customized and sponsored filters and lenses. These are sold by Snapchat.

A quick guide for multimedia messaging app development:

The world is now not as bigger, as it used to be earlier. The first shrinkage it got from the smartphone and the remaining distance is decreased by social media apps. The app like Snapchat is amazing but filled with a lot of complicated features. Therefore the messaging app development like snapchat is a complicated task and requires a lot of effort and partnering with the experienced developers. My personal recommendation is to outsource the work to a renown development company with a similar app in its portfolio. The cost may vary, but the core aim is to bring the idea into reality.

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