Messaging apps have become an indispensable part of our lives, the likes of WhatsApp, Viber, hike and their replicas are storming the market. The demand for smart phones and the demand for messaging apps are directly proportional and users are seeking apps that are free, fast and compatible across multiple platforms.

However, the days of just simple text messages are long gone and app developers are finding ingenious ways to engage the users. WhatsApp has added features like voice calls, video calls and a new ‘Status’ feature similar to Facebook’s ‘story’ feature to engage the users. With every update, WhatsApp is enriching the audience experience with new features such as innovative emojis. As times are changing Consumers are no longer interested in making phone calls through their network plans and are opting for phone functions with messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Skype which completely relies on mobile internet or wifi. Messaging apps are evolving and constant innovation is the only way to survive in this industry.

Before you decide to invest in developing a messaging app you need to consider Three Key performance Indicators (KPIs)

Retention rate

More than attracting new users, it’s vital that the existing users are not lost due to the competition. Allowing users to synchronize their messages with their phone contacts and using push notifications to draw attention to your app which will result in better user metrics.

Number of Active users

The number of active users should keep increasing over a period of time this is possible only by flawless message delivery system.To increase the number of active users, an option to invite their friends will help in acquiring more users.

User engagement

Any messaging app’s success can be gauged by their user engagement, this can be done by enriching the user experience by adding new innovative features. Adding your own set of creative emojis and stickers can help in promoting the app among the younger audience.

Factors to consider while developing a chat app like WhatsApp


The first thing to consider while developing an app is which platform you are targeting. Cost and time vary with different platforms. Decide the technical checklist for developing chat app.

General app Framework

The first thing most new users will notice is there is no lag in the exchange of messages in WhatsApp that’s because of the implementation Ejabberd XMPP application server (Fun XMPP) which is written in Erlang

Programming to handle traffic and messages.Using Erlang will be a good option because it quickly adapts to instant updates and hot fixes.

Database and Storage

Mnesia is the database Whatsapp currently use since it’s the default database for Erlang and for storing multimedia files they use a high performance Web server called YAWS (Yet Another Web Server) which is written in Erlang.

So how much does it exactly cost to develop an app similar to WhatsApp?

The overall cost of an app depends on the list of features you want to add in the app, therefore, one must perform design and development time analysis based on the list of features you want the app to include. The Cost of the app corresponds to the sum of the design cost and developmental cost. Not to forget you have to take the cost of infrastructure into consideration once the app is completed.

As mentioned before the cost and time vary from platform to platform. The time frame for developing an app for ios or an Android platform is approximately the same with about 500-690 hours but in the design part iOS take 140-200 hours and for Android it will take 90-140 hours. The overall back-end development will be around 540-740 hours.

Total Cost breakdown

Price varies from region to region and also depends on the complexity of the app.

  • Simple apps having basic a User interface with standard components and no API Integration will take up to 600 hours which typically starts at $20,000.
  • Mid-Complexity apps are those apps which have API integration, custom UI components, integration with multiple social networking apps will take about 600 hours to 800 hours which starts from $35- $50,000 ($50/hour)
  • Highly Complex Apps will have a huge database, complete API integration and continuous video and audio processing with real-time synchronization. These will typically take about 800 to 100 hours and the price range is from $60,000 to $80,000

If you are planning to outsource the app development work you need to be aware of the hourly rates in different countries. In North America it ranges from $50- $250, In Australia, they offer their services at $50-$150, in Uk / Western Europe it varies from $30-$175, in Eastern Europe usually varies from $20-$150 and in India it ranges from $10 to $80.

Cost to Develop Online Chat App Like Whatsapp

Ready made Clone scripts and why are they a good option?

Many independent developers are designing reliable clone scripts which can be readily launched in the market. Clone scripts reduce the overall cost of development, is time conservative and can be customized as per your requirement. Agriya recently launched BlaberChat, a Whatsapp clone script. Basically, it has all the features of Whatsapp such as file sharing up to 50mb and group chat options with more than 1000 members.With an option to customize Blaber chat can help in a wide range of industry sectors such as IT, Education, Marketing and much more.

BlaberChat to Develop WhatsApp Clone