Nowadays, we have thousands and thousands of websites and applications at our disposal. They are all sitting there quietly and waiting to be discovered, hyped and eventually to become successful. And while others wait, some apps do receive all the compliments from the online community. Why does this happen? What’s in it for the users? Can you make an app like Pinterest and become successful? What will it take? We are about to unleash the mystery and answer all these questions. In order not to be too abstract, we will look at the phenomenon of the Pinterest website and application and will try to figure out what makes it so special and how one can replicate the idea behind Pinterest and build his own app.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is an online website (and already has an app version as well) which acts like a giant photo library. It allows the users to search for images, to arrange them into thematic folders, to share those folders, to subscribe to other people’s folders and, moreover, it gives the opportunity to save the images from other websites into Pinterest folders. As you can see it has a large number of useful features, however, just the search itself is so good that it puts all other benefits aside. It does provide really relevant search results and if you open one of the search results images, you will be able to see even more narrowed selection of pictures that relate to the one that you have just opened. All these features have made Pinterest the first go-to spot for people who work in creative fields, such as illustrators, graphic designers, interior designers, fashion experts and so on.

Pinterest users can be generally divided into two categories: regular users and those who try to reach out to the regular users. For example, back in the 2012 US presidential election period, the wives of both main candidates created Pinterest accounts. Which only proves the impact of this service on the public and emphasizes that nowadays it is not just a photo inspiration site, but an influential and trendsetting service.


Why do users like Pinterest?

In order to understand the benefits of building the Pinterest alternative, it is important to understand the motivation of the users. Here we have gathered all the major reasons why users turn to Pinterest:

• inspiration

• information about trends and new releases

• instructions/how-to tutorials

• personal portfolios

• individual image collections

• social networking

When it comes to the motivation of the business users, it is usually the following:

• presentation of their products

• promotion

• monitoring of people’s acceptance of their products

• trendsetting

• interaction with their audience

• traffic increase

• market research

• integration with various social networks

• establishment of business connections

All these factors show that the app like Pinterest is positively accepted by the audience and can be really promising in terms of financial investment.

How much does it cost to develop an app like Pinterest?

Now that we understand what kind of application it is, what are the user’s expectations and what an owner of such app can expect from it, the logical question is: “how much does it cost to develop an app like Pinterest?”. Fair enough. For us to be able to name any number, we need to understand the scope of work it would take, transform that scope into hours and calculate the budget accordingly.

Yep, you guessed it right, the next thing we are going to do is to try to figure out the scope. But before we jump there, let us give you one useful piece of advice: prioritizing is the key. No one can guarantee that your application will blow up the market. It took several years of hard work and dedication after the release for the Pinterest to start getting the reasonable profit. Which suggests that the best strategy will be to release your application with the most necessary features and add more as you go. There is no need to delay the release before you put every possible feature into the app. The sooner the people see your app, the sooner you are going to get the idea what extras your public is actually interested in. Now let’s move on and talk about the features you are going to need to start off. Here is the approximate list of the things that you will need to work on in order to create a Pinterest clone application:

• the login page with password recovery option

• the basic settings/profile page

• the photo feed page

• the categories of the images

• the search option

• the image details

• the possibility to create, edit and remove a picture

• the possibility to create, edit, remove and sort folders (collections of pictures)

• the possibility to see all the folders created and images shared

• the follow/unfollow option with the possibility to manage the followers list

• the logout option

• the possibility to receive notifications and manage them in the settings menu


Based on this list a very approximate estimate of hours it will take to build these features is the following: 400-600 hours for the back end, 500-750 for the front end and 250-350 for the mobile development of the app. Since the pricing of the services of each mobile and web development teams differs significantly, it is rather hard to calculate the budget we are looking at. Nevertheless, if you have a development team in mind and you know their approximate rates, you can calculate your approximate budget based on time frames provided above. Or, of course, you can just pass the list of the functions we have created for you above to the team and ask them to estimate the time and the budget.

Mind that those are only the development expenses and if you are playing serious, you will need the web design services as well to make your application stand out from the crowd and grasp people’s attention. The approximate time frame we are looking at design wise is 300 to 400 hours for the mobile version and 250-350 hours for the web version. Proper testing will be needed as well in order to make sure that the functionality of the app serves its purpose without any discrepancies. It is vital for the longevity of your app, however, it does affect the budget and you need to make sure to have those possible expenses in mind.

Read also: How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App?

Successful Pinterest alternative apps

Pinterest has been increasingly popular since 2014 and throughout all this period many companies have tried to build either Pinterest opponent or Pinterest style app for certain areas of life not covered by the actual Pinterest. Let’s make a quick review and see what other companies have been up to.

We Heart It

We heart it is a fairly simple image sharing platform without boards or pinning functionality. It is mainly focused on young women and is rather popular due to its minimalistic layout.


According to the recent studies, 80-85% of Pinterest users are female. That was noticed and taken advantage of by the creators of the DudePins, giving guys the opportunity to share manly imagery on the strictly male version of Pinterest.



This is a website aimed at the professional web designers who would like to share their works and check what their colleagues have been up to. It includes a ton of different pieces of artwork and creative ideas shared. The design professionals are able to communicate there, build their portfolio and gain recognition.


FoodGawker is another great example of adopting the Pinterest layout without duplicating its identity. This is the service which shows the pictures of various dishes and foods altogether with the recipes. It also provides the ability to search through the content according to the type of course you are trying to find a recipe for. It is a great combination of simplistic layout, great imagery, and useful information.

As you may see, with all the useful features and value that Pinterest has brought into our everyday life, it was destined for success. It has become an endless source of inspiration and a place of sharing and creating trends. That being said, the potential of creating an app similar to Pinterest is great. Combining Pinterest layout with an original idea of the app content is the best way to create the unique application with a hint of comfort to it.

Drop us a line to start an awesome project you have in mind!

How to Make an App Like Pinterest
5 based on 2 user ratings