Present stats say that WhatsApp has a millionth mark in terms of daily active users, and the numbers are supposed to multiply in years. When WhatsApp had come, the Southeast Asian countries already had WeChat, Viber, and other options, but the west had no traces of these types of apps. With WhatsApp, the entire world got gripped.
The birth of the Wi-Fi, dongle and other options has helped in the boost of WhatsApp – making it a popular choice for messaging. It makes use of the Ejabberd Server to fulfil tasks like one on one messaging, storing and forwarding messages, providing a contact list and online presence, having the facility of group chat or Multi-user chat, Message Archive Management, Personal event protocol, and other facilities of security, wherein there are privacy settings, simple blocking extensions, and personal event protocol.
Apart from the technical features, one cannot fail to notice that WhatsApp keeps on adding features to its own structure. The basic model of real-time messaging was improved with other features over time – which included a storyboard, etc. This has made the app completely indispensable to the 1.5 billion population. One could analyze the cost here, step by step.
Cost and Effort Analysis
Every time a user registers himself with WhatsApp and enters the name, country and other credentials, the application immediately sends in a message of authorization. In the Android version, it is a known fact that the app is capable of auto verification immediately. Once this step is done, the phone contacts get synced with the application and to build all of this, it approximately takes a time of 50 to 55 hours.
One on one Messaging, Group Chats, and Broadcasts
A WhatsApp like the app would need an instant messaging feature, where one can chat one on one, and also engage multi-users. The WhatsApp developer usually uses XMPP (eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol). WhatsApp also allows the exchange of Gif files and allows Emjois, Stickers and more. The development time for this approximately stands to be 210 -220 hours which includes both frontend and backend development.
Voice Calling Feature
The best part of WhatsApp is that it is free – this free voice calling feature was added last January and it helped to increase the customer base. It uses internet traffic to call, rather than using the data plan minutes. WhatsApp utilizes the PJSIP library to implement Voice over JP (VoIP) – which is an open source multimedia communication that has been written within C. This library uses high-level API by combining the SIP with a multimedia framework and NAT traversal functionality. The development time for this is again 200-220 hours.
A video calling feature for free is what anyone would need. Especially when it is overseas, the cost of calling increases multifold. It is apps like WhatsApp that bring down the cost of video calling. All the social media sites that didn’t have the video calling feature, are now trying to include this facility in. This feature too takes 180-220 hours to build.
Multimedia Sharing Options
One can share voice notes with WhatsApp, and also exchange video files, audio files, and photographs. When one is planning to create an app that is similar to WhatsApp, one can easily add in these features to gain more popularity. The transmission is carried out by uploading the file to the HTTP server (YAWS) and then sending a link to the content together with a base64 encoded thumbnail. This is easy and takes only 50 to 60 hours to build.
The Setting Column
This column has the privacy choices, which includes the account settings, profile settings, privacy settings and more. The users can switch on or switch off their read receipts, or even change their profile picture, manage the blocked accounts, change the status, change the profile picture, delete accounts, customize chat notifications and perform other vital functions which would direct how WhatsApp should be personalized for them. All of these take 110-120 hours to build.
Often people need to send phone numbers to each other, and this becomes tedious if one has to copy-paste. WhatsApp has eliminated the need for this – one can send and receive the contact in their phone contact list. This is absolutely identical to message delivery, the XMPP protocol is engaged here. Any experienced mobile app development company can take care of this feature.
A geolocation feature can be easily added to WhatsApp like the app, which could share the current location of where you are. Also, one can share the live location for a stipulated period of time too. To help display maps, Google Maps Android API is a very handy tool. This too requires a time of total of 25-30 hours.
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When it comes to notifying the users, WhatsApp displays a message through the mobile app notifications. They help to enable the feature wherein the users can receive the chat on screen pop up when the screen remains locked. One can incorporate this through the Google Cloud Messaging Service, or even Apple Push Messaging for that matter.
This would be a standard estimation of costs for developing all of the above features. Besides, one can always upgrade and get more features, like WhatsApp web, Camera filters, an end to end encryption which would all cost separate. On average, the project manager would cost 3500$, the iPhone developing charges would be 12800$ and so would be Android. Together a total estimation would be 49000$ which would include all of the above, and APIs, admin charge, design, and testing. Thus the total cost that would be charged would be a rough estimate from 40000$ to 50000$.