The Cost Of Messaging App Development

Cell phones have completely changed the way people communicate with each other. Messaging has become a primary communication means. People are looking for new efficient ways to text even though there are plenty of messaging apps like Viber, Kik, Snapchat, Telegram, and others.

The users are looking for cheap, intuitive, and fast messaging apps. Most people don’t want to pay for SMS. More and more users opt for mobile messaging apps working via a cellular network or WiFi.

Key Features Of a Messaging App

Support for various data formats

The phone communication of the previous era was about text messaging. But today everything looks the other way round, present-day users want to share everything including video and audio files, images as well as texts.

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Most modern messengers support nearly all mobile file formats allowing the users taking photos and videos. The first answer you have to answer whether you want to develop a messenger like Viber supporting all essential file formats – images, videos, texts, URLs, PDFs, documents, and spreadsheets.

Try to make your app more engaging. Creating short videos and using a set of sound and color filters will allow more opportunities for self-expression. These features can make your messaging app stand out from the crowd and leaving all usual messengers with a boring text exchange far behind. Implementing video recording and editing can be challenging and time-consuming, but a top development team can cut off both time and costs required to build a messaging app.

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Cloud service integration

Users will highly appreciate the possibility to share documents directly from cloud-based services like Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, etc.


Any messenger can’t do without a chat feature. It’s probably the essential feature of a messaging app. Most state-of-the-art messenger apps offer private chats as well as group chats. After Snowden revealed the hard-hitting information about spying, the key concern of every messenger is to keep chats secured. Chat security is a present-day trend.

If you’re going to build an app like SnapChat or Telegram, consider implementing the following security features:

Encrypted messages to protect the user information

Self-destructing messages that will disappear after a couple of minutes

Highly secure messaging apps

  • CryptoChat, an encrypted web messaging service
  • Chatsecure, a free encrypted messenger for Android and iPhone
  • Telegram, a free messenger for Web, iPhone, and Android

Encrypted messaging services like Telegram offers an unmatched level of security by using secret chats that can be scheduled to self-distract on both devices. This way you can send any content including texts, photos, videos as well as any document types. Thanks to the end-to-end encryption, a message can be read only by its intended recipient.

Another beneficial feature of a messenger app is scheduled or postponed messages. This feature is a rare one, and it’s often underestimated, but your users will appreciate it.


In the Internet era, people got tired of expensive mobile phone plans and opted for replacing standard calls with a messenger like Viber or Skype that use cellular connection or WiFi to make calls 24/7.

A messaging app with call features should have the following functionality:

  • Video Chats
  • Group Calls
  • VoIP Calls

These are essential features to implement while developing a messenger with a calling capability, but to make a successful app you should consider other factors. The current market situation shows that a messenger should be entertaining as well as efficient.  To make it more engaging, you can implement a video chat with video editing and other special effects.


There is a strong tendency among the users to have fewer screens, so it’s a very good idea to combine an essential messaging feature with some additional functionality like an organizer or reminder. There is no use in creating a clone app for WhatsApp, Viber or Kik, focus on something new and unique to develop a second-to-none messaging app.

How much does it cost to build a messenger like WhatsApp?

Let’s start with a development team

Basic Development Team consists of 2 UX/UI designers, 1 QA engineer, 1-2 Backend developers, 2-3 Android and iOS developers, and a Project manager.

Ok, assuming that you’ve hired a marvelous app development team. What comes next? At this stage, you have defined and outlined all the features you want your app to encompass.

App Features

  • Contact List
  • Calls
  • User Profile
  • Chat
  • Group Chat
  • Push Notifications

How long does it take to develop an app like WhatsApp?

  • iOS – 500-690 hours
  • iOS design – 150-200 hours
  • Android – 500-700 hours
  • Android design – 100-150 hours
  • Backend – 550-750 hours

Summing up, the app development process can require 1800-2500 hours greatly depending on the additional functionality.

And finally the costs

There isn’t any app development agency that can draw up the costs out of the blue due to a vast number of factor influencing the price. The ballpark figures for a messenger at the minimum hourly rate ($20/hour) are about $36K and at the maximum hourly rate ($150/hour) be prepared to pay over $300K for a messenger with basic functionality.

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