Category Application Development
How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Chat App Like Signal or Telegram in 2024? Time to roll-up our sleeves and develop a stupendous chat app like Signal with this Chat App Development Cost Calculator!

We are here to find Chat App Development Cost. Before, actually, diving into how much does it cost to develop a chat app? Here are a few things to get started with. That’s a fact, after any pandemic or disaster, our social norms and behaviors change. It feels like we love more communicating with people on messaging apps than we do in person (may vary).

Let me take a moment to put that into perspective for you. Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion active monthly users, and Skype has 300 million monthly users. 

Instant Messaging apps have entirely revolutionized the way we interact with each other. Imagine yourself 10 years back, we could not imagine ourselves without phone calls, but the trend has moved to chat. 

Is It the Right Time to Create a Chat App?

Messaging apps give a way to connect and communicate with people from anywhere in the world for free and pay less on international calls as compared to regular calls. 

However, this free and instantaneous communication brings data privacy and security concerns with itself. The top messaging apps like Signal, Telegram, Line, Whatsapp are some promising chatting apps offering end-to-end encryption that your data won’t be shared and stored for commercial purposes. 

With the increasing cases of cyber threats and data breaching, people are more concerned about data privacy. You won’t be surprised if you put Whatsapp last. These days, WhatsApp is surrounded by so many controversies, that says it is supposed to reserve the right to share data, it collects information about users with the broader Facebook network, mainly to improve Facebook ads and product experiences. 

Nevertheless, Whatsapp is withholding all this from its end, but it has positively boosted the business of privacy-focused messaging apps like Signal, Telegram, Snapchat which are standing on their toe to replace WhatsApp, capturing its fan-base, and grab the market. We genuinely are not supposed to favor anyone but secure messaging that sending one-to-one and group messages, including files, voice notes, images, and videos.



To withstand the competition, customers are all leaned towards multi-mode messaging, end-to-end encryption, and synchronization. This serves as a great chance for young entrepreneurs, SMBs, and Startups to grab low hanging fruits and enter the market by developing a super-secure chatting app in 2023.

In this article, we are going to discuss every single detail you need to build a modern chat app, power-packed with all the functionalities and security features. Let’s get to how much does it cost to build a messaging app, including messaging app development trends, types, and total hours required to create one. 

Additionally, we also highlight some of the best mobile app development companies in the world, available to build a secure messaging app for your business. So, without wasting any extra second, let’s get started with chat app development cost and time estimation.

The Complete Chat App Development Breakdown: Total Time and Cost

Now, how much time and money will it take to create a chat app of your own? Here is an estimate of chatting app development time, with respect to the features, and functionalities described above in the article. We have tried to collect as precise information as we can. Although, every project has its own requirements and complexities. Let’s take a look at the total time required in Chatting app development. 

The final cost of developing a social media app can cost you between $35,000 for iOS or Android and $55,000 for iOS and Android (at the rate of 50/hr). Let’s take a common hourly rate ($50/h), we will get the following totals.

Tasks/Platform Chat App Development time Chat App Development Cost
iOS 700-900+ hours $35,000-$45,000
Android 800-1100+ hours $40,000-$55,000
Back-end 500-700+ hours $25,000-$35,000
UI/UX design (one platform) 60-80+ hours $3,000-$4,000

Chat App Development Cost: What features are a must in a messaging app like Signal?

The cost to develop a messaging app depends on features and functionality. The set of features differentiates your app from your competitors and captures more user attention and engages the audience as well. Chat application development includes planning the app structure, app authorization, import contacts, instant messaging, file sharing, etc. So when talking about how to develop a chat app on major operating systems, then these are the features to consider.

Feature Time Estimated (In Hours)
  iOS Android
Authorization (With Phone Number) 20 26
Filter Favourite Contacts 19 27
Contact Info (Edit contact info, Custom Notification, Media Links, Starred Messages, Save Media) 48 58
Contact Sync (Local Device) 16 22
Call (Video + Voice) 136 171
Call History 17 23
App settings 13 19
Profile edit 15 18
Chat (1-to-1) 81 91
Group Chat) 83 87
Create and Edit Group Info (Media, Starred Messages, Location, Encryption, Custom Notification, Export) 87 85
Contact Sync (Local Device) 16 22
Call (Video + Voice) 136 171
Call History 17 23
App settings 13 19
Profile edit 15 18
Connect Web/Desktop/QR Scanner 12 19
Account (Privacy, Change Number, Security, Delete Account) 9 7
Chat Settings 18 24
Chats Backup 27 32
Notification Settings 41 45
Data Storage 6 10
About App 17 18
Data Sharing 6 13
End-to-end encryption 6 8
Message Notifications 38 44
Total Hours (Approx) 912 1100

Chat App Development Cost: How to make money with the Right Monetizing Model?

The ultimate aim of every business is to earn money, so as in the mobile industry. To monetize your app, it’s crucial to identify your target audience to determine the user demographics. Run competitor analysis to create solid business strategies that improve upon your competitor's, and obviously adding a unique app idea is a must to make your app successful and trending.

Monetizing Model Description
In-App Purchase Allow your users to purchase premium stickers or some supplementary features to advance User Experience.
Subscription Allow your users to access premium features like adding unlimited contacts, making in-app calls, turning off ads, etc.
In-App Advertising Mobile advertising is an effective monetization strategy for mobile publishers to get paid to ads within the app.
P2P Payments Peer to Peer transactions can be used for anything from splitting a $20 dinner bill among friends to paying your rent.

Chat App Development Cost: Technology Stack

Depending upon the app complexity and project requirements, here is the complete breakdown of the technology stack in chat app development. 

Programming language Kotlin
Networking Retrofit 2, OkHttp 3
Database Room, Anko SQLite
JSON parsing Gson, Jackson
JSON parsing Glide
Programming language Swift
Networking Alamofire
Back-end development
Programming language JavaScript, Node.js
Framework Express 4
Database MySQL
API documentation Swagger
Infrastructure AWS
Third-party services
Storage Amazon S3
Real-time engine Socket
SMS Twilio
Emails Elastic Email
Push notifications for iOS APNS
Push notifications for Android FCM

Hiring the Right Mobile App Development Agency

To develop a scratch-free app you need expert hands that include social media app developers, Project Managers, Back-end developers, designers, testers, etc. Here are the top reasons why you should outsource your app development.

Startups, SMBs, and entrepreneurs who don’t have in-house mobile app development teams can outsource their app development to the top mobile app development companies to build an extraordinary app for business. 

Team Function Cost/hr
Project manager Assembling the team, assigning duties, dividing schedules and resources to ensure timely completion of the assigned app. $20+
Developer Create, maintain, and execute the source code to develop mobile apps. $30+
Back-end developer Securing transparent communication between the application, the database, and the server and ensuring the app runs flawlessly. $25+
Designer Works on the app interface, making an app look good. Defining app specifications, designing visual designs, and creating a fully-functional app. $15+
Tester Develop test cases and prioritize testing activities. Track and monitor app design, functions, and working uses. $20+

Total Chat App Development Cost: By Region

Taking figures into consideration, Total Messenger App Development Cost varies from $30,000 to $70,000. However, these figures are approximate values, cost can vary according to Chat application development requirements.

Region Total Cost App development Rate/Hr
Eastern Europe $35,000+ $50/h
North America $70,000+ $100/h
India $29,000+ $45/h
Western Europe $63,000+ $90/h
Australia $70,000+ $100/h

Messaging Apps Statistics - What you should know?

If you’re planning to develop a chatting app, it’s important to understand the numbers and trends. Let’s share some statistics and facts about messaging apps including Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, and others.

  • 41 million messages are sent out every minute.
  • Smartphone adoption is increasing and there is evidence it will continue doing so in the future. The adoption of smartphones will grow from 60% in 2018 to 79% in 2026 all over the world.
  • By 2020, it is predicted that the average revenue generated from the messaging apps are expected to surpass $15 per user. WeChat is expected to generate $15.64 while WhatsApp is expected to generate $15 per user and Facebook is estimated to earn around $5 per user.
  • Messaging apps are now over 20% bigger than social networks.
  • Around 2.9 billion people now use Messenger and WhatsApp.
  • Messenger is by far the most popular messaging app in the USA with 107.87 million users.
  • There are 2.52 billion people using messaging apps on mobile. This number is expected to reach 3 billion in 2022.
  • There are only 25 countries in the world where WhatsApp is not the market leader.

Ready to Make A Chatting App? 

Online chatting platforms like Telegram, Whatsapp, are not limited to voice and text messaging applications, but highly useful in online business promotions, broadcast messaging, and video conferencing as well. To build a chat app like a Signal or Telegram, let’s move to the quick messaging app development checklist that contributes to the overall app cost.

Step 1. Research the market.
Step 2. Identify the competitors of your secure messaging app.
Step 3. Select important features to build a chat app.
Step 4. Select the first platform(s) to create a messenger app for.
Step 5. Choose the best monetization strategy for your instant messaging app.
Step 6. Write your thoughts down.
Step 7. Select features for the app's MVP.
Step 8. Find and hire a reliable app developer or mobile app development company.
Step 9. Share your goals, vision, and objectives with them.
Step 10. Invest in app marketing strategy and launch it before the app's release.
Step 11. Release the app.
Step 12. App maintenance and updates.

With this, we have come to the end of this article, I hope we are able to answer how much does it cost to build a messaging app? If you have a great chat app idea, this is the best time to give it a perfect shape. Choose one of the top chatbot companies of 2020, and let’s make this happen now!

Sakshi Kaushik

By Sakshi Kaushik LinkedIn Icon

A passionate writer and tech lover, she strives to share her expertise with mobile app developers and fellow tech enthusiasts. During her moments away from the keyboard, she relishes delving into thriller narratives, immersing herself in diverse realms.

Uncover executable insights, extensive research, and expert opinions in one place.