Craving for the beautiful and a wish to ‘see and to be seen’ makes people use social networks and apps for sharing photos in their everyday lives. The pacemaker in the movement – Instagram – has 400 million active users all around the globe who share 80 million images and video files every day. 90% of the world’s top brands have Instagram accounts. It means this app transformed from “nice to have” to “must have” one. You may have already thought about replication of its success and building your own iOS or Android application at a reasonable price.
That’s great, but before you go, we want you to know something about it. First, what would make your app be on the same wavelength with Instagram users?
Key Features of a Photo Sharing App like Instagram
• Users can authorize an account by linking with email, Facebook or telephone number
• Users can create and edit a profile, where you may add info about yourself
• Users are able to send pictures to individuals or groups of people
• Users are able to integrate their accounts with social networks (like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and others)
• Users can follow each other and comment and like pictures, posted by their friends.
• Users can exchange messages
• Users can customize their photos with the help of digital filters and special tools (crops, frames, stickers etc.)
• Search feature, which includes different parameters (usernames, hashtags, locations, popular posts)
• Geolocation feature: users may share a place where a photo was taken or tag in at the world map)
KPIs of Your Photo Sharing App
Photo sharing application development also implies consideration of key performance indicators (KPIs). These stats evaluate application’s performance and help its owners measure and influence success of their business. Such indicators include:
1. Active users
The goal: to make more people to use your application.
You may assess this indicator by viewing stats on new and lost followers and pace of user base growth.
How to do it?
Social media marketing
Talk about your product and make people talk about it too. Create a page in social network, which would be dedicated to your app, and assign public relations officers to communicate with your target audience. This should be done in advance – 3-6 months before the app is actually available.
Consider the characteristics of your potential customers, while choosing the communication style, and regularly post on the topic.
Reward your users for inviting their friends to download your application. You may excite them by giving away new filters, photo effects and other features.
Invite top users and mind PR:
Any private photo sharing app has its influencers. Such popular users are able to boost the profile of your product. This may be a trendy customer, relevant journalist or celebrity. In order to attract them to your app, encourage them with free PR on your pages or give them full access to your product. Also, post some content that may become interesting for this relevant people.
The goal: to get people spend more time with your app and to log in more frequently.
Level of users’ engagement may be estimated by activity that takes place within your app – the number of likes (new and total), number of media files shared (new/ over the past week/month) etc.
How to do it?
This is achieved by introducing social features, like commenting, liking, groups, friends, feeds, tools that make a profile unique etc.
In order to engage prospective audience, you need to offer high quality useful editing tools that would satisfy professionals’ demands.
When you make an Android app like Instagram, you need to offer something unique in order to meet the competition.
It has no practical sense to design an Instagram clone indeed, since it already has its audience, which will not probably switch to you without convincing reasons. The best strategy would be bringing your fresh ideas, while giving ear to Instagram’s best practices.
For example, you may implement the functionality of adding multiple albums for various purposes in user’s profile (Instagram allows creating only one album!)
Give special conditions to professional photographers, which may add valuable content to your app.
EyeEm provides a possibility to sell photos. Especially valuable and tasty ones may be spotted by leading brands and agencies, which will pay a good money for your artistic efforts.
You may think of other envelope-pushing ideas. By the way…
Get Inspiration From Other Guys In The Field
• WeHeartIt offers keyword-fueled search and the zest of which is in inspiring images rather than narcissistic selfies;
• Flickr has been initially working on desktop PCs, now has its mobile version. What sets it apart from Instagram is a possibility of creating albums rather that uploading separate photos.
3. User retention
The goal: To make your users keep coming back to your app.
How to do it?
Keep people staying tuned by sending push notifications every time something interesting happens.
Considering that the vast majority of your app’s users would probably be youngsters, send notifications at a smart time to them (in the morning when they are going to school or university and in the evening, so that young working people feel it relevant to spend some time on your app).
Get testimonials from happy clients, who would upload pictures using your product.
You may also share promotions and coupons in order to involve your followers in contests and make revenue on that.
Apart from being interested in the cost to build an iPhone app like Instagram, people are troubled with the idea on how to make money on such product.
Read also: Mobile application development cost
Ways to monetize photo sharing app for Android or iPhone
• Native ads and sponsored marketing. Adds in this type of apps are not separate posters that strike in the eye of a user. Companies that advertise in Instagram maintain their profiles, where people follow them and like images posted by them. Also users see these images in their feed as a sponsored content.
• In-app purchases. You may sell additional filters or editing tools and make money on that.
• Selling stock photos. Revenue may be shared 50/50 between the creator and the agency.
• Conducting competitions, dedicated to the best themed photo. They may be initiated by some hotel or restaurant chain, clothing store or other sponsors.
• Offering exclusive deals that are active during a limited amount of time. When you update your users on how the time is running out, urgency factor may work well!
Read also: Best Ways to Monetize an App
Instagram reshapes its visual representation
Instagram has already become a modern classic among photo processing and sharing applications. No wonder that it’s style and concept has been unchanged during such a long time. But finally, just a week ago it performed a broad-scale redesign.
Now its icon is colored in a pink-purple-yellow-orange camera, its interface altered and monochromatic look has been introduced. All basic functions were left untouched.
Besides, larger suite of apps, like Layout, Hyperlapse and Boomerang, have received new icons as well, and it the new images reflect these functions’ purposes well.
Many users find new icon less stylish, however, it’s the matter of taste and habit.
Read also: 7 Tips to Design The Perfect Mobile App Icon
Some Tips for Startups: Our Recommendations on How to Develop a Photo Sharing App
1. Thoroughly analyze the market and plan marketing and PR strategies before hiring developers.
2. Advertise your applications several months before launching and don’t forget to reward your first followers.
3. Offer something unique that would differ you from your competitors (provide interesting editing instruments, new social approach, customization etc.)
4. Ensure support from influencers in the field.
5. Take creation of an MVP seriously.
6. Make sure your app has catchy and high quality design and user-friendly interface.
As you see, Instagram-like apps have become essential social marketing tools. Thus, if you meditate on how to make an app like Instagram, we hope this article helped you to clarify the idea. Make a free quote to discover your potential in this field with us.