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How to Create a photo-sharing App like Instagram [Beginner’s Guide]

Abhinav Girdhar
By Abhinav Girdhar | Last Updated on March 15th, 2024 10:16 am | 5-min read
How to Create a Photo Sharing App like Instagram- Appy Pie

The internet has slowly coalesced into a visual medium. And this evolution of the internet began with social media platforms such as Facebook. The advent of the smartphone and the rise of Youtube further made visual mediums the main forms of communication.

As we head into the 3rd decade of the 21st century, the change continues. Visual mediums such as photographs, videos, and short-form animated videos remain popular and continue to dominate the internet and social media.

The only real change in the past decade is the move of social media from websites to mobile apps. Billions of people around the world use smartphones to access social media.

Sharing their photos, vines, and videos over the internet with their friends and family is something every social media user likes. As a business that wants to capture this market, it is natural to think that it is monopolized and saturated by giant photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. However, that is not the case. There’s always room for more on the Internet. With the right idea, you may dethrone the current giants of social media.

Did you know that there was a way that you can create your own photo-sharing app like Instagram? In this blog, we will discuss photo-sharing apps and how you can create one for your business.

Why Your Business Needs photo-sharing Apps

Photo-sharing apps are ever-popular and there’s always space for more. It may look as if companies like Facebook have monopolized the photo-sharing space, but new social media have gained popularity in recent years. Apps like Snapchat and WeChat continue to challenge giants like Facebook and Instagram.

With rising concerns about privacy and the constant data breaches within Facebook, many people are happily switching over to a new and more secure social media platform. This is why a new revolutionary social media platform or photo-sharing app has a large potential audience.

A good photo-sharing app can generate millions of dollars in revenue even with as low as a quarter-million users. Photo-sharing apps are actively used by nearly 64% of all internet users. Photo-sharing apps have a potential market of over 3.5 billion people. The infographic below shows a few crucial statistics about photo-sharing apps.

The Basics of a photo-sharing App

Before you go on to create your own photo-sharing app, you must know some of the basics to create an app. These basics include a list of features that your photo-sharing app must-have and a few performance indicators for the business end of your app. Let us jump right into them.

  • The Features of a Basic photo-sharing App:
  • All photo-sharing apps share certain common features. These features make up for nearly 80% of your app and make it easier for the user to operate your app for their social media needs. Here are the basic features.

    • Profile Page: Every photo-sharing app needs a profile page. The profile page is a culmination of the user’s presence on your photo-sharing app. It summarizes their details and photos.
    • Camera: Every photo-sharing app provides direct access to the camera and the user gallery to make it easier to click and upload photos. You must have it as a default feature within your app.
    • Video Feature: The continued rise in popularity of short-form videos makes ‘video feature’ a must-have for a new photo-sharing app. You should allow users to upload small videos in your photo-sharing app.
    • Messenger: Most photo-sharing apps have a dedicated messaging feature that allows users to communicate with each other. This should be a default feature within your app.
    • Push notifications: Push notifications help notify users when someone interacts with their social media accounts or sends them a new message. They are a must-add.
  • User Interaction on a photo-sharing App:
  • The main goal of a photo-sharing app is to aid interaction between users. Engagement drives the success of a photo-sharing app. User engagement is what gets users hooked to your platform and helps nurture social interaction on your platform.

    Functions like Likes, Comments, direct messages, etc are what create interactions and conversations on your photo-sharing app. You need to have these features in a photo-sharing app to ensure that users interact with each other.

  • Creating a User Base:
  • To help your photo-sharing app stand out, it must have a unique USP. For that to happen, you must research and analyze various social media trends and what consumers want. Accordingly, you must create your photo-sharing app.

    For example, in 2021, one of the biggest social media trends is the gradual move to more secure apps(which track less data!). This trend is going to hit social media soon and is a ripe USP for upcoming photo-sharing apps and social media platforms.

    Analyze your market properly and think about the kind of users you want on your photo-sharing app. Tailor the app to their needs and make changes accordingly. Create a mock app with the help of your designers and coders and get it tested by people belonging to your targeted demographics.

    For example, if you want to create a photo-sharing app where businesses want to find professional photographers, your focus should be on features like being able to add a ‘photography style’ to photos and an active edit mode within the app.

  • Engagement Metrics to Look Out for:
  • The success of a photo-sharing app is all down to its engagement. User engagement can make or break your app. Here are the metrics you should look out for:

    • No. of Active Users: The number of active users counts the number of people using your app at a given time. This number helps you understand users’ photo-sharing patterns and helps monetize your app better.
    • Platform Interactions: Platform interactions help track user engagement functions such as likes, share, and comments. Tracking this metric helps you know which features are crucial to the success of your app. For example, Instagram hearts is the best engagement metric for the platform.
    • Push Notifications: Push notifications are a great way to increase and judge user retention for your app. The more users click on a push notification, the more successful those notifications are.
  • App Monetization:
  • The last but not the least basic aspect to cover is the monetization of your app. Most photo-sharing apps have one of two monetizing models. You can either create your app as a paid service or use in-app advertising and in-app purchases as a way of monetizing the platform. Your app analysts can give you good ideas about what method suits you best.

    If you want to know more about how app monetization works, we have a dedicated free course on our Academy platform. Check it out!

How to Create a photo-sharing App

Once you are ready with the basics of your photo-sharing, you must move on to creating your photo-sharing app. Creating a photo-sharing app is not difficult in 2021. Appy Pie offers an excellent app creation tool that can help you create the perfect photo-sharing app for your business.

From a completely unique photo-sharing app idea to a photo-sharing app like Instagram, you can create any type of mobile app with Appy Pie AppMakr’s photo-sharing App Builder.

Appy Pie empowers businesses to make their own photo-sharing apps with the convenience of a no-code development platform. To create apps with Appy Pie’s AppMakr, all you need to do is use its intuitive drag and drop functionality to add features and design elements to your app.

We have a 10-step guide on how to create an app that you can follow. We also have a dedicated app development course for AppMakr with the Appy Pie AppMakr platform to help you along.


As long as the internet exists, there is always space for more social media platforms and their respective photo-sharing apps. It is important for a business that plans to compete in this space to provide an exciting USP and engagement tactic. For example, Instagram’s USP when it came out was its lack of text posts.

Visual platforms will always be more popular on the Internet. Create your own today!


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Abhinav Girdhar

Founder and CEO of Appy Pie

App Builder

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