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How to make a multi-purpose instant messaging or chat apps like WhatsApp, Signal Messenger, Telegram, ‪Facebook Messenger, Viber, Discord, Microsoft GroupMe, LINE, WeChat?

Access to inexpensive mobile data offered by telecommunication companies, the availability of low-budget smartphones, the evolution of the new technologies, and over 7 billion population in the world – has created an endless market for the multi-purpose instant social messaging or chat apps like WhatsApp, Signal Messenger, Telegram, ‪Facebook Messenger, Viber, Discord, Microsoft GroupMe, LINE, WeChat, and more. But from all these instant messaging/chat apps, WhatsApp is a popular app, which was originally built by Brian Acton & Jan Koum (former employees of Yahoo!), and which was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for approximately US$19.3 billion. WhatsApp allows users to send & receive text messages, voice messages, voice & video calls, images, videos, documents, locations, and more from the mobile, web, desktop devices. Let’s see the past, present, and future of WhatsApp using the timeline below.

Past, Present, and Future of WhatsApp:

– 2009: Jan Koum incorporates WhatsApp in California. Brian Acton persuades five ex-Yahoo friends to invest $250,000 in seed funding and is granted co-founder status. WhatsApp for the iPhone is updated to send photos.

– 2010: WhatsApp support for Android OS is added.

– 2011: In Series A round, WhatsApp founders agree to take $8 million from Sequoia Capital on top of their $250,000 seed funding, after months of negotiation with Sequoia partner Jim Goetz.

– 2012: The WhatsApp support staff announce that messages were encrypted in the latest version of the WhatsApp application for iOS and Android (but not BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Symbian), without specifying the cryptographic method.

– 2013: WhatsApp user base swells to about 200 million active users and its staff to 50. Sequoia invests another $50 million in Series B round, valuing WhatsApp at $1.5 billion. WhatsApp introduces voice messaging.

– 2014: Facebook announces its acquisition of WhatsApp for US$19 billion, its largest acquisition to date. Facebook pays $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares, and an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units granted to WhatsApp founders.

– 2015: WhatsApp launches WhatsApp Web, a web client that can be used through a web browser by syncing with the mobile device’s connection.

– 2016: WhatsApp is introduced for both Windows and Mac operating systems.

– 2017: WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton left the company to start a nonprofit group called Signal Messenger.

– 2018: WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Business for small business use. WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum announced he would be leaving the company. Facebook later announced that Koum’s replacement would be Chris Daniels.

– 2019: WhatsApp released a new privacy feature that lets users decide who adds them to the group.

– 2020: WhatsApp registers over 5 billion installs on Google Play Store making it only the second non-Google app to achieve this milestone. WhatsApp announced that it had received approval for providing a payment service.

– 2021: WhatsApp announced a new Privacy Policy which users will be forced to accept or stop using the app. The new policy will allow WhatsApp to share data with its parent, Facebook.

– Future: ?

WhatsApp has taken the world by storm and the globally popular multi-purpose instant social messenger/chat/calling app has become one of the useful options for all. So now everyone is looking to create a similar multi-purpose instant social messenger/chat/calling app like WhatsApp. In this blog, we aim to provide a detailed explanation on how to make messenger/chat/calling apps like WhatsApp, Signal Messenger, Telegram, ‪Facebook Messenger, Viber, Discord, Microsoft GroupMe, LINE, WeChat, and more.

Step 1: Select the business model

1. Multi-Purpose Instant Messenger/Chat/Calling

As per, over 2 billion users are using WhatsApp worldwide and users will increase day by day. Being a free multi-purpose instant messaging/chat/calling app with over 2 billion users, how does WhatsApp make money? And why did Facebook pay US$19 billion to buy WhatsApp? – The answer lies in the beautiful business model of WhatsApp. Similar to WhatsApp, you can choose a multi-purpose instant social messaging/chatting/calling platform as a business model.

Step 2: Select the revenue model

1. Business API

WhatsApp makes money with its “WhatsApp Business API”. Subscribed businesses are charged a small fee for every message that they send using the API and is the main source of revenue for WhatsApp. Also, WhatsApp makes money from Click-to-WhatsApp ads and WhatsApp Payments.

Step 3: Latest market trends

1. Payment

Users can send & receive payments through in-app like WhatsApp Payments.

2. Shopping

Users can buy/sell the products or do the shopping like WhatsApp with Carts.

3. Business App For Small Businesses

Connect small businesses through an application like WhatsApp Business App.

Step 4: Select the features

The following are the detailed features of a multi-purpose instant messaging/chatting/calling app like WhatsApp.

Sign-Up & Profile Management: Users need to register and create their profile on the app by entering the needed details.

Messaging: It allows users to send & receive messages. With messaging, you can talk to your friends and family for free.

Group Chat: It allows users to do the group chat. With group chats, you can share messages with up to 256 people at once. You can also name your group, mute or customize notifications, and more.

Voice and Video Calls: It allows users to do voice and video calls. With voice calls, you can talk to your friends and family for free, even if they are in another country. With video calls, you can have free face-to-face conversations.

Web and Desktop Applications: With WhatsApp on the web and desktop, you can seamlessly sync all of your chats to your computer so that you can chat on whatever device is most convenient for you.

Photos and Videos: Send photos and videos on WhatsApp instantly. You can even capture the moments that matter to you most with a built-in camera.

End-To-End Encryption: Some of your most personal moments are shared on WhatsApp, which is why they built end-to-end encryption into the app. When end-to-end encrypted, your messages and calls are secured so only you and the person you are communicating with can read or listen to them, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.

Document Sharing: Send & receive PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, and more without the hassle of email or file-sharing apps. You can send documents up to 100 MB, so it’s easy to get what you need over to who you want.

Voice Messages: With just one tap you can record a voice message, perfect for a quick hello or a longer story.

Business Profile for Business App: Create a business profile with helpful information for your customers like your address, business description, email address, and website.

Quick Replies for Business App: Quick replies let you save and reuse messages you frequently send so you can easily answer common questions in no time.

Labels for Business App: Organize your contacts or chats with labels, so you can easily find them again.

Automated Messages for Business App: Set an away message when you are unable to answer so your customers know when to expect a response. You can also create a greeting message to introduce your customers to your business.

Additional Features: Verification, Payments, QR Code, Status, Security, Live Location, Users Data Storage, Notifications, Emoji & Stickers, FAQ, Troubleshooting, Business App, Business API, Privacy & Legal, Settings, and more.

Step 5: Select technology stack

The tech stack would depend on the messaging/chatting/calling app business model, required features by the app, mobile app development approaches, and more.

Tech Stack:

– App Screen Design Tool: Photoshop, Illustrator, and more
– Programming Language for Android: Kotlin, Java, and more
– Programming Language for iOS: Swift, Objective-C, and more
– IDE for Android: Android Studio and more
– IDE for iOS: Xcode and more
– Framework: React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Adobe PhoneGap, Ionic, and more
– Web & Backend Development: PHP, Java, API’s and more
– Database: MySQL, MongoDB, and more
– Storage: Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and more

Time and Cost to develop an app like WhatsApp

The time and cost of a messaging/chat/calling app like WhatsApp depend on various factors such as the number of platforms, application development approaches, needed user experience, features list, mobile app trends, etc. Additional features can cost more. The application development cost also depends on the app development company and the location where the app is being developed.

Approximate Time: Initial technical documentation and designing process takes 30 hours. Creating a UI/UX design is around 110 hours. Building the backend of the app will be 130 hours. Testing and bug fixing can require almost 50 hours. Deployment and releasing require 50 hours. This means the total hours required is 370 for the app development.

Approximate Cost: App development companies charge on a per hour basis, and the charges may vary based on location. The USA based app developers hourly charges are between $70 to $100. While European app developer’s hourly charges are between $40 to $70. The India based app developers hourly charges are between $15 to $40. To get app development cost, you need to apply this formula (Total Hours Required for the Application Development * Application Developers Hourly Cost = Total Application Development Cost).


We hope that after reading this blog you are clear about how to make a multi-purpose instant messaging/chatting/calling apps like WhatsApp, Signal Messenger, Telegram, ‪Facebook Messenger, Viber, Discord, Microsoft GroupMe, LINE, WeChat. For successful app development like WhatsApp, you need a trusted technology partner who has expertise in it.

Do you want to develop a messaging/chatting/calling app like WhatsApp in Native, Cross-Platform, Hybrid, PWA, or with other approaches? Do you want to build a messaging/chat/calling app like WhatsApp for Android, iOS, iPhone, iPad? – Talk to a mobile app development company and understand how we will add value to your messaging/chatting/calling app in terms of technical expertise and business knowledge. Choose an experienced technology partner, like us, who can not only help you in understanding the best approach for your messaging/chat/calling app but also deliver a high-quality messaging/chat/calling app like WhatsApp within the budget and time.

Have a messaging/chat/calling startup in your mind? – Contact Us!