WhatsApp DECODED: With a Little “Hack” Here and There

Mario Žderić

Messaging apps—not that difficult to make with a little 3rd party help.

Remember the olden days, namely, January 2014, when monetization was the buzzword everyone was fretting about, but no one was really sure how to efficiently achieve it?

Well, except for WhatsApp’s founder Jan Koum, who coolly declared that monetization just wasn’t something he was concerned about.

Come February 2014, and the main headline in every tech media was about Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for $19 000 000 000. As far as reasons not to worry about monetization go, this is a pretty good one.

Now, if you want to build a messaging app and chance upon a nineteen billion dollar acquisition, that’s probably not going to happen.

But if you’re looking to shake up the somewhat dormant market of messaging apps with something fresh, the time is right for that.

And it might just cost you less than you think!

First you need the apps

Now you’re probably going: “No, I need back end and servers first!”

No you don’t, and we’ll get to why in a minute. Let’s first marvel at how relatively simple it is to build WhatsApp-like apps for iOS and Android, as opposed to some other we decoded, like Airbnb, or Etsy or even Tinder!

Now onto the hacks

Now we get to the good stuff. How do you make a messaging app without doing some massive work with the servers and backend and all that jazz?

With a little magic, you can avoid all that. 🎩🐰💥

Well, not magic, 3rd party services, but still, cutting the time and cost of development like that is kind of magic.

We used Sinch for voice and video calls, and Firebase for just about everything else like messaging and file transfer, and integrating those services takes just 27 days per platform.

A WhatsApp delivered, under 80K

All in all, with 2 of our iOS developers and 2 Android developers working on it, you can have your WhatsApp-like platform for iOS and Android in 65 days, or a bit over 2 months, and for under €80 000.

Not a bad start isn’t it?