How to Create a Messaging App Like Whatsapp?

Are you planning on creating a messaging app like Whatsapp? You’re not alone in this league. Many entrepreneurs are trying to pursue the same idea but only some find the courage to develop an application for the same.

To develop such an app, you must be aware of the features, technology, costing, and many other things related to app development. So, we decided to write this blog, that brings you the essentials of creating apps similar to Whatsapp. Read on till the end to gain valuable insights on this subject. 

Whatsapp: Overview

It was 2009 when Whatsapp was introduced to the Apple app store with no other alternatives by Brian Action and Jan Koum. The app aimed to offer a platform for users to communicate via messages in real-time using the mobile data service. Today, the app is available on all popular mobile operating systems. 

The sheer range of devices that Whatsapp offers its services on is the sole reason what makes the app so popular. Here are the functionalities offered by Whatsapp:

  • Share audio files
  • Share videos & photos
  • Send documents
  • Send voice messages & contacts
  • Share Geodata
  • Make audio and video calls
  • Make online UPI payments

Whatsapp is a messenger application that offers an intuitive UI along with ab uninterrupted performance. Apart from this, the platform was strictly against advertising and so has reached its users via ‘Word of Mouth’ publicity. This is the highest form of publicity that your product can receive. The app is so popular in some parts of the world that it’s being extensively used by users of all age groups.

Whatsapp became the most popular messaging app in the world by 2015, but before that, the service was acquired by Facebook for a whopping 19 billion USD. The platform has a presence in more than 180 with 2 billion-plus users around the globe.

An app like Whatsapp can offer the perfect start to your new business. But to create the same one would need the specifics on the expenditure, features, budget, and more. Let’s learn what the preceding are to develop an alternative app for Whatsapp.

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What made Whatsapp so Successful?

Skype was the go-to service when it came to instant messaging. But it was too boring an app to use, hence the world was waiting for dedicated service to conquer the messaging market. Here are a few reasons why Whatsapp received this massive popularity.

Mobile-First Application

By the mid-2000s there was a wave of transition to smartphones.iOS and Android platforms observed an influx of mobile apps. Yet, the majority of tech leaders failed to observe the importance of the emerging market. 

Skype too made a desktop app first and slowly moved to mobile apps. Whatsapp was right on point with this strategy and made a mobile-first application to offer its services. The mobile phone is the handiest tool for a user, and this is what gave Whatsapp an edge over Skype. Hence, Whatsapp became the readily available mobile messaging solution. And soon there were many new additions to the instant messaging market namely Hike, Kik, Viber, and Slack. 

Quick Onboarding

One of the most frustrating procedures with Skype and many other services is the long onboarding process. Whatsapp, being a mobile app, provided another option to how user accounts were created.

They replaced the complicated login system with the user’s phone number. The number one register becomes their Whatsapp number and all their contacts that use this service become a part of Whatsapp contacts. Along with a quick onboarding process, it also offered a security layer, making use of the OTP system. 

End-to-End Encryption

The high risk of data theft has made privacy an essential requirement for almost all applications. The open-ended characteristic of the internet makes it susceptible to data theft. To offer its users a high level of privacy, Whatsapp makes use of End-to-End encryption. 

A decade ago, online messaging services didn’t give high importance to data security and this resulted in numerous data breaches. Whatsapp was a vigilant player from its inception. It used this feature as a competitive advantage, making security a USP of its product.  

Whatsapp hit the bullseye with their timing on hitting the market. They offered a secure way for consumers to communicate while there were no other dedicated messaging services in the market.

The innovative features struck the right chord with consumers and observed an exponential rise in user engagement and customer acquisition.

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Must-have Features in an App like Whatsapp

Before developing an app like Whatsapp, you should be aware of the features that are most essential to a messaging app. Here is a curated list of the same.

First Time Registration

One can use email, social media, and phone numbers to conduct the primary authentication process for a new user. But the traditional registration method is using their phone numbers. The platform sends a security code and upon feeding the same, you can start accessing the app’s services.

Contact Integration

There is no point in using an instant messaging app without any contacts. Your app should provide options to sync a user’s contacts from their address books or emails. The process should be fast. Remember, more friends on your consumer’s contact list means increased chances of user engagement.

Personalized Profiles

You can show creativity in this area if you plan to build a Whatsapp alternative. This area allows your customers to express themselves. You can offer options to change their display pictures, status, and more. You can also show their general information like height, interests, and other hobbies.

Messaging Service

A platform like Whatsapp makes use of your data services to send and receive messages. If they don’t have access to the internet or when they go offline, they’ll receive all their messages when they get back online.

Messaging services as a standard provide the status of their sent messages i.e. delivered, failed, or read. Your app should also allow users to create groups with multiple members. All the members will have equal rights with one being the Admin.

Another essential functionality that your app should offer is the option to export your chat to your mail. Some other functionality within individual chat screens should be downloading and storing videos, audios & documents, GIFs, emoji, search engines, multiple language support, and more.

Audio & Video Calls

Video & audio calls offer additional freedom to your consumers. Using the same they can communicate via 3 methods i.e. video call, audio call, and texting.

Voice calling enables a user to call the app contacts for free, even if they’re in a different country. One can talk and hear but they can see each other.

Video calling adds visual communication to the preceding. Using the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and your data connection one can make a video call. A user can also add more members in a video call and have a group call.

Media Sharing

Apart from text, users also like to share pictures, audio files, documents, and a messaging app. Your app should compress huge media files and send them efficiently to the receiver.

Push Notifications

Push notifications are the highlight of an instant messaging app. They foster communication between the platform and the user. They notify the user about any group or individual activity on the app.

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How to Earn Money with an App like Whatsapp?

It’s one task to make an instant messaging app but another to make it bankable. Here are some of the monetization techniques that can make this possible for you.


This is the conventional method used by many apps to generate revenue. It works well as it can easily capture a user’s attention. For instance, Viber makes use of targeted ads but it also makes the experience a bit annoying. So, you can make a few bucks, but you must also offer the option of disabling them at a cost.

You can also try the built-in ad model that is extensively used by Snapchat. Using the Snapchat Ad Manager the platform blends friends’ stories with Snapchat curated content. This monetization approach is less annoying and effective as it doesn’t falter your core app experience.

Subscription Fees

Using this model, a user has to pay upfront to use your services. In its initial years, Whatsapp allowed a year’s free usage charging 0.99 USD after the end of the free-trial period. Therefore, if you have a large user base, this is a suitable revenue technique. Subscription fees can also decrease your acquiring rate and so most messaging apps today are free.


With a sponsorship, you can partner up with advertisers that offer rewards to your consumers for performing certain in-app actions. You can imagine this as a game, where a user interacts more with the app, earns rewards, and the advertisers fund those rewards. Therefore a win-win situation for everybody. For instance, businesses can use branded stickers to promote their products. This monetization strategy has received a better response from users as it offers some relevance to their interests.

In-App Purchases

If you develop a loyal user base you can make money by selling features and additional functionalities. Paid stickers are the most successful way to achieve this feat. This can be accompanied by selling themes, wallpapers, stickers, and more.

One of the other most-accomplished sources of revenue is games. For example, LINE allows its users to play games directly through their chat threads.

Messaging app development

Apps Similar to Whatsapp


Telegram is a messaging app that is simple, free, and super-fast. It is highly focused on speed and security and offers seamless sync of messages across any number of your devices. With an app like Telegram, you can share photos, videos, files, and much more. It allows you to create groups for 200,000 users and broadcast messages to unlimited people. With this platform, one can also use email and SMS to take care of all your business needs.

The app also supports using hashtags, mentions, and replies. One of the unique features of Telegram is that it allows you to share files, videos, and photos of up to 2 GB. It consumes less than 100 MB of space on your device while allowing you to store all your media on the cloud.


Signal was created with the aim of sending encrypted audio, videos, messages, and images. One can also conduct encrypted calls between fellow app users. It’s open-source, free, fully cross-platform, and offers end-to-end encryption. With the Android version, one can also use this app as an MMS or SMS app. Those messages won’t be encrypted though. 

In October 2020, Signal introduced a video and voice calls facility for its iPad and PC apps. In their services Signal offers support for group chats, multiple group admins who can add or remove people from a group, mentions, and group links for other people in the group. To build an app like Signal you can seek assistance from an on-demand app development company.

Cost of Developing an App like Whatsapp

The cost of app development is dependent on various factors. The primary being the complexity and features of the same. These factors also include the platform you choose for app development. For instance, the cost of creating native apps i.e. separate apps for Android and iOS can cost you way more than developing apps using cross-platform tech. Here are the tentative price ranges that you can consider working with a mobile app development company

  • Web App Development: 4,000$ – 30,000$
  • Cross-Platform App Development: 5,000$ – 35,000$
  • Android App Developement: 4,000$ – 25,000$
  • iOS App Development: 3,000$ – 20,000$
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is an instant messaging or chat app?


How does a chat app work?


Do I need to develop a full-functional application from the start?


Which are the most well-known and secure chat apps?


How much does it cost to develop an instant messaging app?

Wrapping Up 

Here’s a wrap to this read. If you’re inclined on developing an application similar to Whatsapp you should get in touch with an IT service company that specializes in creating on-demand solutions.

More like Whatsapp’s success story, your app can be the next big thing. The USP that lies behind cracking the on-demand app development world is offering what is required and expected. And we – Technource have made the most of many such opportunities.

You can learn about the same by observing the case studies of our most prominent projects on our website. Get in touch with us today by signing up for a simple consultation form on our website and we’ll get back to you in no time. Thank you for reading.

App Developer

Mr. Sanjay Singh Rajpurohit, An early-aged entrepreneur who always leads his team from the front and achieved success. As the founder & CEO of Technource, a top mobile app & Web development company, he made a global presence in a short time by offering custom software development, premium mobile apps, and website development services to global clients. In his free time, he loves writing. He is featured on Hackernoon, Dzone, Enlear Academy, Articlesfactory, and much more websites.

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