How Much Does it Cost to Build a Social Media App Like TikTok?

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Nitin-Nijhawan-CDO-VLinkNitin Nijhawan, CDO
LinkedIn|25 Aug 2023

If you want to clone complexity (and success!) of a social media app like TikTok, there are several things you need to consider. Apart from market research, target audience and development process, one question that arises among business owners and developers is, “How much does it cost to build a social media app like TikTok?”  

This blog will help you understand the cost of TikTok-like social media app development and the various factors that affect its price.   

TikTok-Like Social Media App Development Cost  

An app like TikTok's development average cost may range between $35,000 to $300,000. It can further enhance or reduce several factors and overall app complexity.  

For example, the cost to build an iOS & Android apps can vary per the development company’s location.  

Apart from this, other factors impacting app development prices are UI/UX design, development process, platform, team size, location, etc. Extra factors, such as the integration of AI, high-end animations or blockchain for handling your mobile application’s in-app purchase segment, impact the overall development budget.  

Hire a reliable social media app development company like VLink to get a rough cost estimation for building an effective social networking app like TikTok.  

 It’s essential to have knowledge about how to build a social media app like TikTok before starting this project.  

Here is an assured formula to determine to required price to create a social media app like TikTok: 

 
Cost to build an app like TikTok = Total development hours x Hourly rate of developers. 

Now let’s talk about factors influencing the price of social media app development like TikTok. 

Factors that Affect TikTok App Development Cost 

 Factors that Affect TikTok App Development Cost
 

Factor #1 - App Platform 

The chosen app platform is one of the most important factors influencing the question of how much a TikTok app development costs. Based on the target audience, you can select to develop an app for iOS, Android or cross-platform.  

If you are a startup with a minimal budget, choose one platform initially, then shift to multiple platforms.  

Cost of Native App (Android & iOS) 

$50,000 - $100,000 (for each platform) 

Hybrid App  

$40,000 - $80,000 (both platforms) 

Web App  

$30,000 - $60,000 

Factor #2 - UI/UX Design 

Other factors that affect the cost of building TikTok-like mobile app development services are user interface & user experience design. Add UI/UX elements like personalization and icons to your app to grab users’ attention.  

A good design makes your app more popular among users. It may enhance the overall cost of developing a social media app like TikTok. The number of features, including the complexity of app UI trends & animations, are some factors influencing price.  

Design 

iOS Social Media App 

Android Social Media App 

Estimated Cost 

90-100 hours  

90-100 hours  

Estimated Time 

$5,500-$6,000  

$5,500-$6,000  

Factor #3 - Development Team Size 

The app development team’s size also impacts your overall budget. For example, hiring freelancers can cost you less than hiring a dedicated team. Finally, it will be worth it, considering their professional expertise and experience in handling such projects.  

You can hire freelancers at low development prices, but their lack of expertise can enhance the overall chances of app maintenance, ultimately maximizing the total budget.  

Here is a required team if you want to outsource your social media app development project: 

  • A Project Manager 
  • UI/UX Designers 
  • Social Media Developers 
  • Quality Assurance Analysts 
  • Project Coordinators 
  • Database Experts 

Also Learn: How to outsource iOS mobile app development company without any risk if you are planning to build a TikTok clone app for iOS platform.  

Here is the cost of the development team for the TikTok-Like social media app: 

 

Cost of Hiring Frontend Developer  

$61 - $80/per hour (Intermediate Developer) 

Cost of Hiring Backend Developer  

$61 - $80/per hour (Intermediate Developer) 

Cost of Hiring Cloud Architect  

$68 - $86/per hour (Intermediate Developer) 

Cost of Hiring Service Designer  

$32 - $40/per hour 

Factor #4 - Development Company Location 

The price of TikTok, like social media apps, also depends on the development company’s location you have chosen.  

For instance, if you want to partner with a development company for your project in Asia, the overall social media application development charges will be fewer than hiring a company in the US and UK region with the same experience level.  

Location-wise hourly rates of Android social media app development: 

  • North America - $100-$150 
  • Russia - $25-$45 
  • South America - $30-$50 
  • Asia - $18-$40 
  • Australia & Europe - $60-$95 

The actual development cost varies depending on the complexity and features integrated into the apps.  

Cost of developing TikTok apps in the US 

$75,000 - $300,000 

Cost of developing TikTok apps in the India 

$40,000 - $80,000 

Factor #5 - App Complexity 

As per the overall complexity, there are various mobile apps such as simple, moderate and complex.  A simple mobile app with basic features will cost you less than a highly complex app with an advanced feature list.  

Here is the estimated cost of a TikTok-like social media app and its time frame as per the overall complexity: 

App Complexity Level 

Estimated Cost 

Estimated Time Frame 

Simple 

$35,000 to $80,000  

3 to 6 months 

Moderate 

$80,000 to $150,000  

6 to 9 months 

Highly Complex 

$150,000 to $300,000  

9+ months 

Factor #6 - App Maintenance 

App maintenance & support services expenses are factors you can’t avoid when planning a budget to create an app like TikTok. These factors recur processes and need attention from a dedicated development team.  

You will also need technical assistance from professional programmers to ensure the smooth functioning of your mobile app. However, it’ll lead to increasing costs of building apps like TikTok.  

How Much Does It Cost to a Social Media App like TikTok-CTA2

Factor #7 - TechStack 

TikTok stands out as a highly inventive app in mobile media & entertainment industry. A well-rounded technology stack becomes essential to support this remarkable innovation and scalability. The strength of this technology stack significantly influences the total cost of developing the TikTok app. 

Here is the technology stack that you can use to build a TikTok–like application. 

  • Frontend - React Native 
  • Backend - Python 
  • Database - Popstgre SQL 
  • Cloud - AWS, Google Cloud Storage, Azure 
  • Media Server Configuration - HTTPS, RTMP 
  • Video/Audio Transcoding - FFMPEG, Amazon Elastic Transcoder 

Factor #8 - Feature List 

The social media app’s feature list impacts the software’s overall TikTok app development cost. Creating a social application with an advanced feature list increases app engagement and user retention.  

Here are several features you have to attend to make the experience immersive and entertaining for the users.  

The rough estimate of the time & cost required for numerous features of TikTok-like apps is given below.TIKTOK LIKE SOCIAL MEDIA APP DEVELOPMENT FEATURES
 

Features 

App Development 

Backend Development 

Approximate Cost 

Login & sign in  

25-30 hours 

20 hours 

$3,500-$4,000 

Upload Video 

10 hours 

5 hours 

$1,200 

Filters & Effects 

80 hours 

4 hours 

$8,500 

Video Editing 

45 hours 

4 hours 

$5,000 

Likes & Comments 

30 hours 

18 hours 

$4,300 

Sharing 

5 hours 

 
 

$300 

Notifications 

10 hours 

12 hours 

$1,500 

Admin Portals 

 
 

40 hours 

$2,000 

User Interface 

50 hours 

35 hours 

$9,000 

 
Consider VLink for your TikTok-Like Social Media App Development Project! 

VLink is a social media app development company with diverse services that improves customer engagement for business evolution. With many years of experience, our experts specialize in building competitive social media mobile apps that allow your business to stay competitive. We implement a human-centric design with the latest strategies and skilful developers to help you gain access to a highly efficiency social media app platform.  

Why VLink for TikTok-Like Social Media App Development? 

  • Innovative technology 
  • Unbeatable experience 
  • Result-oriented business expertise 
  • Quality assurance for error-free and smooth-functioning 
  • Proven track history 
  • Extensive customer support 

How Much Does It Cost to a Social Media App like TikTok-CTA1

FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
How to create a TikTok clone social media app?

To build a social media app like TikTok, follow these steps: 

  • Conceptualize unique features for video sharing and interaction. 
  • Develop a user-friendly interface for video recording, editing, and sharing. 
  • Implement AI-powered algorithms for content recommendation and user engagement. 
  • Build a scalable backend to handle user traffic and data storage. 
  • Test carefully and redesign as per user feedback. 
How to earn money through social media apps like TikTok?

Generate revenue from a social media app like TikTok by incorporating these strategies:

  • In-app purchases for virtual goods, filters, or effects. 
  • Advertisements, sponsored content, and branded challenges. 
  • Premium subscriptions for exclusive features or content. 
  • Affiliate marketing partnerships with relevant brands. 
  • Selling user data (with user consent and privacy measures). 
  • Collaborations with influencers and creators for promotional events. 
How long does it take to build a TikTok clone app?

The time to build an app like TikTok depends on complexity, features, and team size. It may take 6 to 12 months or longer, considering the design, development, testing, and iteration phases.

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