6 Apps Like Instagram: Tips to Develop Instagram Alternative

Instagram: Accession to the throne

Current features of Instagram:

  • The Instagram Stories Link sticker allows small businesses to share their product pages’ links directly. Also, it helps boost website traffic for those who make money from the growing number of visitors;
  • The Collab feature represents an opportunity to create posts and reels in collaboration with other users. You can invite them to share the same content in all of the involved grids;
  • The Map search feature helps users find various businesses in close proximity. Furthermore, they can choose between different categories such as restaurants, hotels, shops, etc;
  • The Remix Reels allows incorporating others’ reels into yours to encourage your creativity. You can sing a duet, leave funny comments, and do many other cool things not from scratch;
  • The Live Rooms feature connects several users to participate in the same live session. You can invite three more users to create a shared live show and jump between their sessions and yours.

Top 6 social apps like Instagram

1. Pinterest

2. Flickr


4. BeReal

5. Snapchat

6. Imgur

Basic functionality of Instagram-like apps

  • Authorization — Users should be able to signup via email, phone number, and accounts on other social media platforms including Google and Apple ID. Additionally, the restore option, password reset, and login via Face ID should also be available.
  • Profile editing — Private data of users can be accessible only to profile owners and admins. Such a protected section allows users to edit personal data and set up the appearance and visibility of their profiles. Payment gateways, if available, should be placed in the section as well.
  • Uploading photos and videos — The foundation of sites like Instagram is the back-end platform that provides content loading and storage. The function should be intuitive and easy to use.
  • Photo editing — Rich photo-editing functionality helps your app successfully compete with other social media apps like Instagram as little else does. The more filters and settings that are available, the larger the chances you will have of attracting new users.
  • Messaging, commenting, liking — The very essence of any site similar to Instagram lies in communication. Users should be able to communicate in real time. A chat room and push notifications serve the function. A video conference can also be available, but the option is not essential. To enhance user engagement, such options as comments, tags, likes, claims, and content sharing should be available as well.
  • Feed — This is the main element of a user interface via which users interact with each other and the app. Everything happening in the social media app happens right here.
  • Linking with social networks — Such a feature prevents users from feeling trapped inside a closed infrastructure of a single app. Social networks should orchestrate the user experience when various platforms are easily interlinked. Users should be able to couple their profiles with other social media to automate content sharing through several apps. The reverse publishing won’t go amiss as well.
  • Geolocation — A decent Instagram-like social media app should never induce a sense of spatial isolation. The geolocation feature allows finding other users and businesses nearby. Besides, users can share their locations via the app to enhance socializing.
  • Search — It helps find other users via nicknames, hashtags, and keywords. Corresponding search filters can simplify the task with various indicators such as popularity, uploading dates, number of comments, ratings, location, and the like.
  • Stories — Sharing valuable moments and experiences via Instagram-like social media is critical for the success of the app. The feature should combine the 24-hour temporary stories and the highlighted “pinned” ones that can stay permanently. The “disappearing” stories happened to be one of the most popular Instagram new features in due time.
  • Adjust settings — Any social media picture app should have adjustable parameters of a user interface. Language, confidentiality, security settings, push notifications on/off, and the like.

Instagram technology stack

  • JavaScript and React.js for the website user interface;
  • React Native that fits both iOS and Android;
  • Java and/or Python as server side languages;
  • Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, and EBS provide computing capabilities;
  • PostgreSQL provides data storage;
  • Webpack for DevOps tasks; and
  • Google Maps as a third-party tool for geolocation.

Instagram monetization: How Instagram makes money

  • Sponsored posts — Provide your users with an opportunity to promote their posts for money. Instagram, by the way, receives the lion’s share of its income just from the paid content that users share in Stories, posts, and ads.
  • Shopping — Learn from Instagram which has launched the Checkout feature enabling users to make purchases right in the app. You can charge either users or stores (or both, why not?) a commission for each order made through your photo-sharing app.
  • Picture Ads — Similar to Instagram, you can offer special Business profiles for companies and entrepreneurs. Having wider functionalities, such profiles help boost business promotions through pictures that forward users to product pages. Besides, the promoted pictures have a Call-To-Action button. At the same time, ordinary users can pay for premium functions in the form of advanced filters and more customizable profile options.
  • Video Ads — The essence of video ads is similar to how picture ads work. The only difference is in the type of content. Promoted videos bring users to product pages, Call-To-Action buttons are available as well.
  • Carousel Ads — A series of pictures and videos having CTA buttons drive users to product pages. Instagram’s monetization strategy hints at this type of promotion as being the most popular one among businesses since it can much better demonstrate the available product range.
  • Stories Ads — Pop-up pages appear when users view stories. CTA in the form of swipe-up features redirects users to the promoted pages.
  • Facebook Advert — Everyone knows that Instagram is included in the Facebook ecosystem. Nothing weird is in the opportunity to promote something on Instagram through Facebook. Therefore, it works even if you don’t have an account on Instagram.
  • IGTV Ads — Similar to other video-streaming services such as YouTube and TikTok, the IGTV long video platform provides a traditional monetization model through ads.
  • Ads in Explore — Promoters can reach target audiences by using the Explore feature that presents different posts to everyone. They bet on open-minded users with proactive curiosities.
  • Collection Ads — Users can find a series of pictures and videos under a cover image reflecting the essence of a collection.

Marketing strategy

  • Create dedicated pages on social platforms to start communicating with your future target audience. Why not promote your alternative to Instagram via Instagram? The user base can appear even before your photo-sharing app sees the light. Furthermore, you can induce various informational causes to make viral word-of-mouth spread across the internet.
  • Launch a referral program to reward users for bringing their friends to your Instagram-like app . Special photo effects and filters can act as a reward. What if some “secret” features become accessible after your users fulfill certain sponsored tasks such as sharing info about your app on Facebook?
  • Engage influencers who have popular profiles on other social media. Offer them either free advertising on your Instagram-like social media app or free access to premium photo-editing features. Use any sort of engagement to make influencers promote your Instagram-like app among their followers.
  • Keep doing proactive PR campaigns among those professionals who can be potentially interested in your social media picture app . Reach as many famous photo stylists, journalists, and bloggers as possible for interviews and guest posts. Don’t be too shy to appear intrusive with your cold calls: even multiple rejections should not stop you when it comes to your success.





Eastern Peak is a custom software development company which possesses deep expertise in working with startups and building intuitive mobile apps from ground up.

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Eastern Peak

Eastern Peak

Eastern Peak is a custom software development company which possesses deep expertise in working with startups and building intuitive mobile apps from ground up.

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