How Much Does It Cost to Develop Instant Messaging App Like WhatsApp?

Oct 12th, 2018

How Much Does It Cost to Develop Instant Messaging App Like WhatsApp?


Eight trillion and counting! This whopping figure denotes the number of text messages sent worldwide in a day. Thanks to a humongous growth in the number of smartphones and the rise of social networking channels, people can stay connected on the move. Instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Viber have gained ground because of this reason, and the instant messaging app development has opened the doors to new opportunities for business.

Statista has predicted that the number of social messaging mobile app users will exceed from currently 2.01 billion to 2.48 billion by 2021. Talking about the number of active users for a couple of instant messaging apps, WhatsApp rules the market with over 1500 million active users whereas the recently launched app Telegram has over 200 million active users in July 2018. It clearly shows that there is room to grow even for new players in this thriving domain.


Credit: Telegram Geeks

You may wonder how you can make the most from the growing popularity of instant messaging concept worldwide. Well, a reliable chat app development company can help you out. Here, we mention a few important points to ponder before you opt for developing an instant messaging app like WhatsApp and Viber. These points will remain handy in ascertaining the success of your app.

1. Go for MVP (Minimum Viable Product)- It enables you to check the feasibility of your app project on the basis of user feedback.

2. Think of Platform Initially, you can come up with a native instant messaging app for either Android or iOS. If budget permits, you can launch an app for both the platforms.

3. Consider Team Size You need to hire chat app developers. The size of your developers’ team is depending on the complexity and development duration of your app.

4. Plan Budget Last but not the least. You should plan budget as per the quote. Also, you should keep provisions for miscellaneous expenses like app maintenance cost.

You need to invest a substantial amount of time, money, and efforts to make an app that can compete with other established players in the domain of chat messaging. Therefore, it is advantageous to do a proper research about the market trends and the user’s behavior to make your messaging app successful. Here we mention a few important features necessary to make your app popular.

Key Features of Instant Messaging Apps like WhatsApp

  • Simple Login and Status

Simple registration process with the user’s credentials like name, country, and phone number. The user gets a security code by SMS. After authorization, the user can add the contacts from their phone book. What’s more, the user can customize their profiles by changing nicknames, background colors, image, etc.

  • Instant Messaging

Now comes the most important feature. All you need to offer a robust and viable messaging platform. Your app users can select the person from the contact list with whom they want to chat. Group chatting option and broadcast group are also useful additional features for your chat message mobile app. WhatsApp chat also includes Emojis and GIF files.

  • Contact Integration and Sharing

Contacts are integrated after a successful registration, but contact sharing is a small and important feature. It enables the app users to send and receive contacts from their phone memories. The contact detail is shared in the form of a message through the XMPP protocol.

  • Notifications

Push notifications play a significant role in an instant messaging app. Your WhatsApp-like app can send notifications to the app users in several instances. For example, when a new message arrives, the app can notify the user. Even if the screen is locked, these push notifications can convey the information to the user.

  • Real-time Connectivity

Your instant messaging app must offer a real-time connectivity. For example, the users should get and send messages promptly. This feature can give them a real feeling of an instant message. Timezone and device difference should never come in the way of connectivity between two or more users in your app.

  • Encryption

Though mobile number-based instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Viber are safer than apps like Facebook messenger. Encryption of the message body can provide another layer of security to the user’s privacy. The encrypted messages cannot be decoded and the user can have a safe chatting experience.

  • Group Chat

These days, it is difficult to consider the group chat feature as an additional feature. Users with common interests or belong to the same organization or family can utilize the group chat option. They can share messages with all the members of the group instantly with the help of this feature.

  • Quick Search

When it comes to a find the old conversations for confirming some details and references, the quick search functionality can remain handy. It helps the users to search specific conversations from the past. However, we can consider this feature an additional one, and you can integrate it in the later versions.

  • Video Calling and Voice Calling

Voice and video calling is a next-gen feature for a chat message app. It takes the communication to the next level and gives your users a complete communication experience. It facilitates the users to express their ideas and feelings that merely texts cannot do.

  • Multimedia File Transfer

This is one of the most important features of your app. Apart from texts, the users can share videos, pictures, audio clips, GIFs, and other multimedia content to make their conversation more interesting and lively. From a development perspective, this is one of the tasks that take the highest time.

  • Location Sharing

Integration of geo-location feature can enable your app users to share their exact location with friends, relatives, and contacts. For the Android version of your app, Google Play location services API, and for the iOS app, Core Location framework is useful for integrating this interesting feature.

A renowned chat app development company can give you a proper advice about the basic and additional features. You can come up with an updated version of the app that contains the additional features if you have budget constraints. Also, you should consider the feedback of the users for integrating other necessary features and improving functionality in the later versions of your app.

Though we have covered almost all trendy and necessary features, your app needs consistent improvements to stay ahead of the competition. For example, WhatsApp has recently introduced new features like group video calling, restrict group, request account info report, and chat filters (only for Android business app). Addition and improvements of features can attract the new users while retaining the existing ones.

Cost of Instant Messaging App Development
Just like other mobile apps, the development cost of instant messaging apps depends on factors like complexity and hourly rate. It is because such apps also follow the same development procedure ranging from prototyping to deployment. Talking about the complexity of your app, it depends on the feature integration. For example, additional features like multimedia file transfer takes at least 50 hours and geolocation needs 80 hours.

Considering these factors, the development process for chat message mobile can last for 2000 hours. There, the aspect of hourly rate matters. For example, the US and Canada-based mobile app developers can charge over $160 an hour whereas Indian app developers take anywhere between $20 to $40 an hour. You can expect the chat message app development process to be completed in somewhere around $25000 to $35000 for an app with basic features.

Concluding Remarks
Here we gave just a vague idea about the cost and development process for a customized instant messaging app. It is better to consult a reliable mobile app development company to get more insights. Also, you should ask for no-obligation quotes for comparing the development costs. It is fair to mention that simple yet appealing and user-friendly interface with a seamless performance can be USPs of your app and give you a higher RoI.

At Solution Analysts, we provide the best-in-class chat message app development services in a cost-effective way. You can hire chat mobile app developers for working exclusively on your app project. What’s more, we also render app maintenance and marketing services to increase your app’s visibility and strengthen its position in the market.

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