How much does it cost to build an app like WhatsApp?


Wi-Fi in every cafe and fast 4G Mobile Internet made it redundant to use the inbuilt SMS function of our smartphones. We have WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and WeChat. It’s all for free and apart from texts, you can send photos, videos, stickers, audio, and even money transfers (hello, Telegram chatbots). So, before wondering about the price, think carefully: can you offer the users something all the above-mentioned apps cannot?


The price depends on many factors: the scale of the target audience and its needs, the size and location of the team, the number and complexity of the functions and marketing strategies. The average numbers are the following: for a simple minimum viable product, it would differ between $40 000 to $80 000. If the app is of medium complexity and grasps the attention of more people – the average cost is between $90 000 – $150 000. If we talk about the new WhatsApp competitors, we also talk about substantial sums ($200 000+). All these prices are evaluated by taking into consideration that you need to build an app for both Android and iOS. If you are a technician familiar with the technologies necessary for the development, the price can be $100 on your coffee. If you are not a development hero, and still want to find out the exact price for your specific project, be sure to contact the SapientPro development team.

 2. Aspects of development

1.Team development. Hire an outsourced team from all around the world or create your own. Then define your business goals.

2.Market research. Who is your target audience (age, location, interests)? Who can invest in the project? What users’ problems can it solve? What functions are necessary for MVP and which are needed to distinguish you from the competitors? How much revenue will you get?

3.UI/UX design. Next is the process of creation of the logo, the features localization, visualization, and functioning.

4.Backend/frontend development. Here, your team turns the design prototype into a code and sets the business logic, servers and architecture.

5.Testing and deploying.


7.Gathering feedback.


The necessary MVP features:

  • Text chat and phone calls;
  • Support of the media files (videos, images, gifs, stickers, voices, files and documents);
  • Group chats;
  • Security solutions;
  • Status update;
  • Calendar synchronization;
  • Contacts synchronization;
  • Log in/log out;
  • Block users;
  • Stickers

 Additional features:

  • Video calls;
  • Group calls;
  • Encrypted chats;
  • Self-destructing messages;
  • Customized design (users change the patterns, colors, and icons);
  • Synchronization with other apps (Google Docs/Instagram/iTunes etc);
  • Message scheduling;
  • Location sharing;
  • Polls;
  • Chatbots;
  • Channels;
  • Games

Each additional feature is an additional process of development, require more costs. Be prepared that you won’t get a WhatsApp like app from the very beginning. We all start from MVP. If you feel like you need to save some costs – try hiring an outsourced team from West Europe, Asia or South America. Their services are 2-3 times cheaper than in North America and West Europe. Also, it will save you the money you would otherwise spend on the recruitment process and office maintenance. Additionally, choose open source platforms for the development. However, be prepared that the more developed the project becomes, the less you will retrench costs.