Want to Build a Photo Sharing App? Here’s How.

One of the most popular activities in your customer’s day is sharing their life with their friends. This means they’ll share their photos and videos with their most trusted contacts. Would you like to create an app that makes that possible for your most loyal customers? Learn how below.

Instagram has been a transformational force both in social media and business. On a cultural level, it’s impact may be inestimable. It has changed the way people perceive themselves and communicate, creating a visual language that defines a new age of business. Implementing a photo-sharing app at your business may seem like an unrealistic proposal; thanks to new technology, however, it is feasible. Building and leveraging an Insta-style app at your business is not only within reach, but also can offer new levels of engagement and opportunity for your business.

Business strategy for leveraging a photo-sharing app

Yes, there is a definitive giant in this space. There’s no debating that point – Instagram defines photo-sharing. There is, however, room for alternatives and niche-specific photo-sharing apps. Consider two points:

· Instagram has not saturated every international market

· Instagram is a general photo-sharing app

To the first point, have you identified a market segment that has not adopted Instagram? There are multiple countries and regions around the world where Instagram’s penetration rate is still very low. Even in markets in South Asia such as India, where we’ve seen rapid adoption of mobile technologies in the last year, Instagram still only has a penetration rate of around 4% as of 2019 statistics.

On the second point, have you identified a specific niche or even cultural need that is not addressed by the generalized photo sharing approach of Insta? Anything from photo-sharing for foodies to photo-sharing for trek fans might be an opportunity. Those with specific tastes are always looking for specific solutions.

What do you need to build an app like Insta?

Historically, building an app like Instagram was too complex in terms of cost and time for most mid-sized or smaller businesses. A long and labor-intensive development stage, for one, placed this type of project well beyond the reach of most SMBs or startups. Today, studio-style development companies take advantage of advancements in AI to offer businesses like yours cost-effective and manageable ways to build a social app along the lines of Instagram. To begin, let’s look at a key point—how you can monetize your app.

Revenue streams generated by app

A pending question in any discussion around an app build hangs on the revenue streams that app might generate. Photo-sharing offers a wide range of opportunities, including but not limited to:

  1. In-app purchases – Users might want to “upgrade” to more advanced filters and effects, as an example
  2. Sponsored business profiles – Businesses can pay to maintain profiles for their brands
  3. Targeted ads – Ad space has been and will continue to be a revenue-generating machine for social apps
  4. Premium memberships – Users may well pay to access more advanced functionality and photo editing tools

That’s just to name a few. The opportunities are there, and you can build them into your app with ease when working with a studio app developer. Before we segue to that, however, let’s dive into the tech stack needed for an Instagram-like app.

Tech stack and unique features

You will want to consider and structure an initial UX interaction map before diving into your build. This will help you consider user experience and assess what you will need in your tech stack. Standard features you will need in your photo app include:

  • Profile creation and sign-in
  • Profile editing
  • Posting interface
  • Timeline for viewing posts
  • Social share
  • Photo filters and editing tools
  • Geo-tagging
  • A message interface
  • A notification system
  • User or hashtag search

These are the basics; you can also customize by adding or even taking away as needed to better fit your strategy and unique approach to photo sharing. Fortunately, that is easy to do when you work with studio app development, as we’ll dive into next.

The build

Studio app development has streamlined the app development process to the point where it is literally a matter of, “point and click.” One of our favorite options is Builder.ai. On Builder Studio, you can start out with a template built around the Instagram model containing all the core features you would need to run a photo-sharing app.

You can then customize this feature set with ease and even view real time estimates of cost and build time as you do this. Finally, you can get ongoing maintenance for your app via Builder Care, sidestepping some burdensome costs in the future and scaling your app with ease as you grow.


There is still room for new photo sharing platforms and with more simple ways to create your ideas, there’s no reason to think of developing that app as a pipedream. It’s possible! Identify your space, build out your UX map and build your app in minutes with a studio app development platform like Builder.ai. Have your own experience or tips with a photo sharing app? Let us know in the comments below.




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