How much does an app like Threads cost? An in-depth cost breakdown

6 min read
April 10, 2024

Have you ever wondered how much a social media app like Threads costs to build?

Well, you don’t have to anymore.

In this article, we’ll give you a detailed breakdown of how much it costs to build a similar app and why you should build one.

Let’s dive in!

Why make an app like Threads?

So, you might ask the question – why make an app like Threads?

And the answer is simple – the market has opened up.

After Elon Musk’s controversial takeover in 2022, X (formerly Twitter) lost around a fifth of its daily users and this has opened the door for its competitors.

X change in daily app users since November 2022

And Threads isn’t the only X competitor trying to get a slice of that pie – some of the other X alternatives are:

Still, Threads is the most successful out of the bunch, reaching a 100 million users in under a week after launch and with over 160 million users in April 2024.

Of course, the fact that it’s a part of Instagram played a huge role in these numbers because it had a ready-made audience and a very simple onboarding process.

But, that’s not the only reason why Threads is a hit.

The simplicity of its user interface (UI) design and similarity to pre-takeover Twitter in functionality also played a large part in its success.

Threads UI

Of course, if you want to build a similar app, you won’t have the same advantages and backing from one of the biggest tech giants.

But, the success of Threads proves there’s market demand for microblogging social networks and that X/Twitter isn’t the only game in town anymore.

And that’s a pretty compelling reason to build an app like Threads.

How much does it cost to build an app like Threads?

Now, we’ll discuss the burning question – how much does an app like Threads cost to build?

Total cost and duration

Here’s what you’ll need to create the app:

4

Team members

4

Months

$120K

Total cost

Keep in mind that these numbers are just estimates for a minimum viable product (MVP), which would have only the core features.

Also, they don’t include other services like product design and product discovery, just MVP development.

But, why build an MVP? And what should your MVP development team look like?

There’s a simple reason – it’s a (relatively) low-cost way to validate your idea, get to a product-market fit, and have a product ready to present to investors to secure further funding.

As for your team, at a minimum it should include:

This is because you need native apps for both Android and iOS as well as a web app.

And all 3 need a back-end, which is the most important and expensive part of the app and takes the most time and effort to build.

The back-end handles the business logic and data processing for your app – or, in other words, it’s what powers your app and all of its features.

Now that we’ve covered what goes into the total cost, we’ll give you a detailed cost breakdown.

Detailed cost breakdown

Here’s how we approached this cost breakdown – we divided our estimation into Agile epics

  • Onboarding
  • Threads
  • Thread actions
  • Profile
  • Settings

Then, we broke them down into individual features and estimated how many work days it would take to build these features.

But, keep in mind that we gave a range of days for the UI – that’s because some features take longer to build, depending on the platform.

These then form the basis for each sprint during development.

Scrum sprint

And there’s a good reason why we took this approach.

Agile development methodologies like Scrum are the gold standard in modern software product development and Agile teams work more efficiently and can iterate quickly.

This is especially useful for MVP development because this approach helps get your app to market quickly.

And that can mean the difference between success and failure if you’re targeting a competitive market like this one.

So, let’s dive in!

Onboarding

For our cost breakdown, we first estimated the number of work days required to build the features in each epic and the total cost involved.

Just note that we gave a range of work days for the UI estimation – that’s because the time to build a specific feature differs for each platform, while all 3 (iOS, Android, and web app) use the same back-end.

Then, we took the average of each range and multiplied it by 3 to get the total cost of building the UI for all 3 platforms.

And finally, we added it up with our back-end estimation to get the total cost of each epic.

To start, here’s how much Threads’ onboarding features cost:

Feature

UI estimation

Back-end

Account registration

1-3

5

Create a profile

1-2

5

Follow other profiles

3-5

2

How it works

3-5

0

Total work days

8-15

12

Total cost: $21,120

And here’s what they look like:

Threads onboarding flow 1
Threads onboarding flow 2

Threads feed

Here’s how much the feed for an app like Threads costs to build:

Feature

UI estimation

Back-end

Create a new thread

5-8

10

Reply to a thread

3-5

5

Repost/quote thread

3-5

5

Thread detail

1-3

2

Total work days

12-21

22

Total cost: $32,120

And here’s what it looks like:

Threads feed 1
Threads feed 2

Thread actions

Here’s how much the various thread actions cost:

Feature

UI estimation

Back-end

Report a thread

1-3

3

Change reply settings

1-2

2

Add to Instagram story

1-3

2

Post to Instagram feed

1-2

2

Share thread

3-5

3

Total work days

7-15

12

Total cost: $19,800

And here’s what they look like:

Threads actions 1
Threads actions 2

Profile

Here’s how much the user profile features will cost:

Feature

UI estimation

Back-end

Followers and following

5-8

3

Edit profile

2-5

3

Privacy settings

5-8

3

Total work days

12-21

9

Total cost: $26,400

And here’s what they look like:

o DVMwQnZoY8 sa9kC 5F8Gt1WlqwKa t u3lRjnyFTFIeChkrbaZWS7k CADHc8Pc6y U3e0BF ftB 5MyfH8 SLF52ezDS GhSxtdyXQgL3bkYqQEYq2xbbaPgfkv1ghbRLHjbX5

Settings

Here’s how much features in the settings will cost:

Feature

UI estimation

Back-end

Invite friends

1-2

3

Pause notifications

2-5

3

Set break reminder

1-2

2

Report a problem

3-5

3

Privacy policy

1-2

0

Total work days

8-16

11

Total cost: $20,680

And here’s what they look like:

Threads settings 1
Threads settings 2

Overall total cost

Finally, all that’s left is to add everything up:

Agile epic

Cost

Onboarding

$21,120

Threads feed

$32,120

Thread actions

$19,800

Profile

$26,400

Settings

$20,680

Total cost

$120,120

Overall total cost: $120,120

Want an app like Threads?

If you want to build an app like Threads, we’ve got you covered.

We can help you build it from scratch, from validating your idea all the way to post-launch maintenance and support.

senior software developer

So, feel free to get in touch with us and let’s make your idea a reality.

Categories
Written by

Tarek Saghir

JS Team Lead

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