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How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App Like WhatsApp?

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If you want to create an encrypted messaging app similar to WhatsApp, you’ll likely need to hire a WhatsApp developer, which can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on multiple variables. A professional WhatsApp business API developer can provide ad hoc services like prototyping your app idea or creating a finished, tested app ready for launch.

Today, we’ll look at how to develop WhatsApp bot functionality and some cost factors to consider.

Why Build an Instant Messaging App?

Almost everyone today communicates through their mobile, so conventional methods such as phone calls and SMS have become virtually non-existent. Blanket 4G, Wi-Fi coverage, and fast, integrated Bluetooth connections make it quicker and simpler to send instructions, share group messages, or manage projects through a multi-media app.

Some of the characteristics that make WhatsApp so popular include:

  • Voice calls, instant messages, and image and file sharing
  • Encrypted communications that travel directly from one registered user to the next
  • The ability to record voice messages and share real-time events from any handheld device

WhatsApp is continually updating, adding new tools such as money transfer options, stories, and status updates as a hybrid app that incorporates an element of banking and social sharing. Before you start mapping out your app idea, it’s important to think about these functions and determine precisely what you want your app to accomplish, how it should look, and who will use it.

What to Include in an App Development Plan

The costs of building your app will vary dramatically, and the more features you have, the greater your budget needs to be. Below, we’ll run through the basic infrastructure you’ll need to offer similar capabilities to WhatsApp.

App Admin Panels

An admin panel is the ‘settings’ screen within the app, which users can access to change their account details, add profile pictures, adjust their security settings, or review analytics such as how much time they have spent on the app. You can customize your app to your preferences, so you might add features that prevent fraud, provide backup data options, or tailor layouts so each user can add colors, backgrounds, or formatting.

This subsection of your app is also where you’d add push features, so a user can choose whether or not they want a notification when they get a new message or when the app needs updating.

App Interface

The interface is the app’s front end that individual users see–the more exciting, attractive, and immersive, the better the user experience. Your developer will need expertise in building app interfaces, or you can outsource this part of the project to a content creator or mobile UI designer.

App designs need to consider registration, user profiles, contact lists, and privacy settings as a few of the basics.

App Analytics

Analytics are built into apps and allow you to track how well your app is performing, how many times it’s been downloaded, how many active users you have, and whether there are any glitches or niggles in the code.

Finding a Great WhatsApp Developer

There are several ways to build a WhatsApp clone, and the right solutions will depend on your budget, time frame, existing knowledge or skills, and whether you have in-house developers or want to hire someone to manage everything for you.

Some highly skilled app developers can create a new app from scratch, and others will collaborate with other professionals, such as:

  • Project managers, who handle complex or highly specific development projects, including marketing your app.
  • App developers, who work on the app’s backend, building bespoke functionality and tools.
  • Mobile UI designers, who focus on the user interface, outward appearance, and design of your app.
  • Content creators, who provide the content that goes into your app, such as terms and conditions, user help tools, FAQs, and customer service pages.

You might choose an app developer (on a reliable platform like Guru) with experience in a particular technology or operating system if you already have an idea about how you’d like your app to be built or which devices it’s intended for. 

A basic messaging app costs roughly $10,000 to $25,000 to bring to market, varying with the developer’s rates and whether they charge per hour, day, week, or for the duration of the work. If you want an advanced, fully functioning messaging app with additional features, your budget will likely be closer to $50,000 and require a capable app development team. 

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