How Much Does it Cost to Make an App like WhatsApp?

When it comes to naming a single popular social media application, Whatsapp is one of them that can win the race every single time. WhatsApp is one of the first social media applications that made the concept of sharing messages, photographs, media, files, and documents, and connecting with friends and family through video or voice calls, group chats, and more just the normal as it is today.

Everyone who is a bit familiar with the app development process would have an idea that app development cost estimation majourly depends on the mobile application features, platform, company location, and more. As there is no doubt in knowing that WhatsApp is one of the most feature-rich social media applications out there, let’s break down the cost estimation to develop an app like WhatsApp.

What Makes WhatsApp Such a Popular Messaging App?

With hundreds of talking apps on the market, WhatsApp has become the most popular and has gained traction due to its exceptional features.

Some of the Attributes that are making WhatsApp popular:

  • Though it was introduced as a chatting application, WhatsApp is widely famous for its various offerings such as QR code scanning, web app login, payment integration, group calling, document sharing, and more.
  • All previously specified functionalities are implemented using socket-based technologies and custom-written frameworks.
  • The full-fledged version of WhatsApp is created by hiring a mobile app developer from an offshore app development business.
  • Its user interface is simpler, easier, and more user-friendly. It runs efficiently and delivers many capabilities without any downtime because it has a robust backend. It employs the most advanced data encryption approach for chats.
  • So, if you’ve gathered all of this information and are wondering how you’d design a chat app like WhatsApp and what functions you’ll need to provide, here’s a guide to the features you’ll need to build an MVP chat app.

The Cost to Develop WhatsApp Mobile App Features

Apart from the amount and types of features, the cost of developing your WhatsApp-like app will be determined by several other criteria, such as the app platform (Android/iOS), the type of developer and price, and the app. development time.

The cost of developing a mobile application like WhatsApp with the bare minimum functionality mentioned can cost anything around $10,000 to $25,000. But keep in mind the cost estimation to develop an application like WhatsApp can depend on various aspects such as the location of developers, features and functionalities, development time frame, and more.

However, if you want to add additional capabilities to your WhatsApp-clone software, such as video calling and money transfer, the cost of installing such an app can reach up to $50,000 depending on your developer.

Mobile app development companies specialize in the development of social and instant messaging mobile apps for both the Android and iOS platforms. Hire app developers who offer the best WhatsApp-like app development services at the most affordable market prices.

How Much Does It Cost to Design & Development an App Like WhatsApp?

The cost of development is influenced by the design of the user interface, or how people interact with the app. A unique, high-quality UI design will cost more than a standard design, but it will also assist in making the messenger app more appealing and user-friendly.
Again, the costs of prototype creation differ from the expenses of aesthetic design. The wireframe is created first, then the prototype, and finally the final design.

  • A rough sketch of the user interface and flow of the WhatsApp clone application, including the layout of various elements such as buttons, text fields, and navigation menus. The cost of designing a wireframe ranges between $150 to $1200.
  • A working model of an application that is used to demonstrate its functionality, usability, and user experience. Designing prototype costs range from $450 to $1500.
  • The process of creating visual elements, such as color, typography, iconography, imagery, and texture, to enhance the overall look and feel of your app. The estimated cost of creating a visual design ranges from $1800 to $2100.

So, we discussed how design cost impacts the overall cost of an app like WhatsApp development. Now we will look at the cost of integrating backend services for WhatsApp-like applications.

The Cost of Integrating Backend Services for Your App

You can engage professional and devoted developers as a basic or expanded team based on the project’s needs. If your project requires backend infrastructure to construct an API, a backend developer should be included on this team.

In addition to the basic app development team, the expanded team includes a senior designer for creating an admin panel and three to four developers for iOS and Android platforms. The complexity of the app influences whether a basic or extended staff is hired. When selecting mobile app developers, it is critical to examine the integration of technical requirements, animation, customization, and other technological improvements.

How Much Do You Need to Market and Promote Your App?

The amount of money needed to sell and advertise an app like WhatsApp can vary substantially depending on aspects like target audience, marketing channels used, and marketing campaign goals. WhatsApp’s growth path was unique, beginning with a focus on user experience and relying heavily on word-of-mouth referrals.

Press releases, media outreach, and events can all serve to increase awareness and attention to the application. Hiring public relations firms or professionals who specialize in the tech industry can be costly. Blog posts, videos, and podcasts, for example, can help attract and engage users. Content creation, graphic design, video production, and distribution may all be expensive.

Optimizing an app’s appearance in app stores to increase visibility and organic downloads. ASO is usually related to the keyword, app description, picture, and user review optimization. App store optimization tools or the hiring of ASO consultants may incur costs.

Having an active presence on social media sites might help you engage potential users. Content creation, social media management tools, and the hiring of social media managers may all be costly.

Other factors beyond money impact the effectiveness of marketing and promotion operations. Factors such as the application’s uniqueness, value proposition, user experience, and market demand all have an impact on attracting and retaining users. Finally, the budget for marketing and promoting an app like WhatsApp can vary widely and is usually determined based on the firm’s specific goals, target audience, and resources.

Total Cost Breakdown to Build an App Like WhatsApp

Mobile applications like WhatsApp development is a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly process. The development cost of a mobile application like WhatsApp is vary based on various factors such as features of the application, platform, location of app development company, complexity, and more.

When it comes to development, it comes down to two major sections frontend and backend. The different features such as user authentication, message delivery, end-to-end encryption, database management, and more. Along with this, app testing of an application can cost
When developing a mobile application, such as WhatsApp, a backend infrastructure is $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the testing requirements.

Keep in mind, the app development cost estimation can range more and less to the mentioned price range based on the app development requirements. You can hire dedicated app developers to own complete and scalable solutions. You can reach out to a top app development company to own a feature-rich social media application like WhatsApp that can help you figure out the accurate development cost estimation.

The cost of developing a mobile application like WhatsApp can vary depending on its complexity and features. In short, more functional and feature-rich application development is more expensive. If you want to add advanced features like video calling, file sharing, and end-to-end encryption, the development costs will boost quickly.

Which Factors Impact the WhatsApp App Development Cost?

Developing a mobile application like WhatsApp requires planning and consideration of multiple issues. Here are some important factors that can affect the growth of mobile applications like WhatsApp:

It is important to prefer a top app development company. It can have a significant impact on the development of a widely used program such as WhatsApp. It is challenging to locate a mobile app development business with extensive experience and a strong industry reputation. Before making a decision, you can conduct research and select multiple organizations to compare their knowledge, experience, and costs.

The app features you select for your app can have a significant impact on the development process and costs. A social media application should include different features such as easy chatting functionality, media sharing, profile settings, and more. Along with this, you can integrate advanced features such as end-to-end encryption, chatbots, and payment gateway integration if you want your application to stand out.

The design of an app influences user engagement and popularity. A user-friendly, appealing, and intuitive design can help an app stand out. You can employ expert designers or an app development business with an in-house design team to create a design that suits your app’s aims and target audience.

You can determine the success of your application based on your target audience. You must first learn their preferences and demands before developing an application that fits your target audience’s and clients’ expectations.

Another critical stage is deciding on which platform to distribute your application on. You may create an Android native app or an iOS hybrid app that works on both platforms. The platform you select significantly impacts the development time, cost, and user experience.

Developer experience might have an impact on the mobile app development process. App developers with vast expertise and abilities can be hired. Examine it to see if the developers have fundamental skills in developing similar apps and a thorough understanding of cutting-edge trends and technologies.


Hire an app development business or app developer with strong experience and skills in creating scalable mobile applications such as WhatsApp. You should select the best app development business or developer for your project based on their expertise and skills.

Developing a mobile application like WhatsApp is challenging, nevertheless, with the appropriate development team, a successful mobile application is attainable. To make your concept a reality, you must invest in the necessary resources and work with a devoted development team.