How Long does It Take To Make An App Like Instagram


A massive amount of revenue is generated by mobile apps downloads every year. Millions of apps are available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple Store. The number of new apps is mushrooming day by day.

So How Long Does It Take To Make An App Like Instagram

However, the standard answer to the question “how long?” is 4 to 5 months or roughly 18 weeks. To tell a certain amount of time for app development is rather a difficult task, but 4 to 5 months or 18 weeks is an average estimated period.

This 18 months period can be dissolved further as 10 weeks for “backend” development and similarly 8 weeks for “frontend” development.

If we deeply focus on the complexity of the apps, we come across the following categories of the apps:

  1. Highly Complex Apps
  2. Medium Complex Apps
  3. User-friendly Apps

Instagram and Uber lie under the category of Highly Complex Apps and are rich in features. This kind of apps takes almost 4.5 to 5.5 months for development.

While WhatsApp is a Medium Complex App with medium rich features, so this requires roughly 4.6 months for development.

Other User-friendly apps less in functionality take 3.8 to 4.1 months to get developed.

By this classification of apps and analysis of the time required, we get the idea that app development is a process of 3-5 months.

App development is a four-stage procedure overall. Let’s now deeply probe into the key stages of mobile app development. One thing that is highly recommended to keep in mind here is that all these defining stages work in a chain process. Neither of these stages is separate from others.

Stage 1: Research and Planning:

Any development related to technology will start from research as research is the first step. The research phase is simply finding answers to some specific questions. These certain questions will prove to be the scaffolding for the rest of the plan.

These questions may include things like the purpose of the app, the value of the app, the audience of the app, and will it create the difference from already existing apps.

Your research must focus on:

  • Market demand
  • Customer needs
  • Calculating your market size
  • Validating your product idea

Do detailed research on your competitor apps, know how they treat their customer’s needs and what is their business strategy.

Take your time to gather perfect information about these points and perform extensive research so that no more ambiguities are left before you proceed. You must dedicate a few weeks to your research process.

Stage 2: Functions and Features:

Once you have collected enough data that answers, all your off yours has valid information about your customer’s needs, and you are sure about the demand of your app in the market. Now the time has come to finalize the functions and features of your app.

Here you are to figure out how you want your app to function. There are some points to keep in notice:

  • Capabilities of the app
  • Operations to be performed
  • Mode of handling data

At this point, you will create a storyboard of your app. A storyboard is actually a visual representation of the user interface if the app it shows the content and layout on different screens.

This stage will unfold how your user will interact with your app, will he feel any unease during use and how can you refine your users’ experience.

One more important decision that you are to make at this point is, will your app support multiple operating systems, or will it be limited only to a single operating system. This actually means will your app be made available to iOS, Androids, or Windows.

The availability of an app on multiple operating systems will demand a long time to finish. While iOS is considered the most preferred platform to first launch your app. Developing an app for multiple operating systems may double your budget and the time duration. This phase may take your 3- 5 weeks.

Stage 3:Design and Development:

After determining your wants and don’t wants regarding the app and deciding its operating system. Now you need to confirm the possibility of your dreamed features. Here you have to create a strong collaboration with your technical team for the perfect programming. You are to make sure that the front end and back end systems are compatible with each other.

The front end system is actually a directly viewable and accessible element of any website, app, or software. Front End developers manage what users will see in their browser. They also deal with debugging, code, and design.

The back end system is the core computational logic of a website or an information system that is indirectly accessed by the user. Back end developers deal with the server, database, and codes written by back end developers communicate the database information to the browser or app.

At this stage, you can also prepare a wireframe of your app, which is a greyscale in style and color, and determines the intended functionality and the interface. After wireframing graphical user interface can be created. Where specific colors, fonts, and themes are added.

This stage is the most complex and difficult phase if an app development, so it will likely take 1-2 months.

Stage 4: Testing and Refinement:

This is the last stage of the app development procedure. Here your technical team will test your app and diagnose the code errors and correct them. It is also known as alpha testing. This should reveal major bugs.

The next testing is known as beta testing, which is the test that occurs when your app will go to the hands of real users and must reveal unexpected issues.

You must conduct your alpha testing several times and make refinements before beta testing because the issues here will be challenging and will take about 3-4 weeks to finish.


App development is a task that anticipates a lot of research, preparation, and patience. You must keep your timeline flexible as there can be a delay at any stage. Rather than keeping a firm timeline, keep one that is flexible enough to cope up with unforeseen challenges.

Marco Ballesteros

I'm passionate about everything tech but lack the technical knowledge to be a coder or developer. But I have learned how to work around that issue hope you enjoy all the content I have created to help you.

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