how to make a similar app like telegram

With over a billion users, Telegram is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. All those users sign up because it offers more features than its competitors. In this article, we’ll find out what makes Telegram different and discover how you can create a texting app like it. 



Launch Date  August 14, 2013
Platform Available  Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, iPadOS
Founders  Nikolai and Pavel Durov
Number of Users About 500 million monthly active users
Rating 4.3
Category Instant messaging 
Competitors WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger

Source: Wikipedia

If you are wondering how to make a similar app like Telegram, here are some of the questions you should ask:

  • What is the killer feature that your app will have and that other apps don’t? 
  • Is it privacy, delivery speed, or group chat capability? 
  • How can your app differentiate itself from similar apps already out there? 
  • How can you make your app stand out in the crowd? 

First, let’s go over what messaging apps like Telegram offer their users. 

Why do people love apps like the Telegram messenger?

More than 1.3 billion people use IM apps each month. Everybody is swapping their social network sign-in for a messaging service like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, or Telegram. The question is, why? Here are the features messaging apps provide.

why people use messaging apps

1. Real-time text messaging

It is the ability to deliver and receive information in real-time that makes texting apps so successful. Messages can be dispatched immediately, even if the recipient is not online, and they can also be threaded together, which allows for an ongoing conversation between two users.

2. Convenient 

Convenience is what chatting apps offer. They are convenient for the sender because the message reaches its destination in seconds, without having to be copied to multiple other devices, without passing through an intermediate server that might get hacked or go down or limit what you can do with it.

3. Ease for multitasking 

A critical feature of messaging apps is that they are easy for multitasking. If you are on such an app, you can switch to any other app on your phone and quickly get back to the app later. It means you can do other things while talking to someone on a chatting app, so it’s easy for multitasking.

4. Records of chat history 

The chat history in apps like Telegram is one of the most valuable data sets in the world. It’s tough for anyone else to get it because chat history is private. And because for most people, chat is brief—you can delete it, unlike email—the data set is also tiny, making it easy to store and search.

5. Stickers 

Stickers started as a way of enhancing text messages with a bit of color and graphics. But they have evolved into a new kind of language. Where emoji have a little paint and a few simple images, stickers have a lot of colors and many different types of images: food, animals, cars, flowers, landscapes; you name it.

Stickers enable new ways to express yourself: you can use them to convey moods or personalities, comment on the air or character of someone else, or just as decoration for your message.

6. Operate from any time, anywhere

Messaging apps allow users to send multimedia content such as images, videos, GIFs, stickers, and tap backs from wherever they are – at any time – without incurring charges from SMS or MMS services.

18 Critical Features for an App Like Telegram

Telegram is a messaging app focusing on speed and security; it’s super-fast, simple, and accessible. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets, or computers.

It uses a decentralized infrastructure with data centers positioned around the globe to connect users to the closest possible mirror server. As a result, we can deliver your messages fast, without sacrificing privacy or security.

If you want to know how to make a similar app like Telegram, you should understand its unique features and how they keep its massive user base engaged. 

features of an app like telegram

1. Registration

Telegram’s registration process is as simple as it can be. Telegram requires a phone number to use its services.

2. Files and Image Sharing 

telegram app features image and file sharing


You can send an unlimited amount of messages, photos, videos, and files of any type (.doc, .zip, .pdf, etc.). They have also built the fastest possible document viewer with support for PDFs, Office files (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), and most common formats. The feature allows you to open all file formats from the app. 

3. Voice Messages

telegram app features voice message


Telegram has a feature that lets you send voice messages to people in the same chat as you. It is beneficial when you need to communicate on some issue but can’t find the time to type it out.

4. Voice and Video Calls

telegram app features video call


Voice calls are also encrypted so that no one can listen in on the conversation. You can have private conversations with up to 50 people simultaneously. Video calls are available too. Some of the video call options include:

– Group video calling with up to 10 participants

– Video messages, which can be used as status updates or sent privately to friends

– Full HD camera for the best selfie shots

5. Photo Editing

telegram app features Edit Photo


Many Telegram users have found it helpful to edit photos using Telegram’s photo editor. Add filters, crop images, rotate them, or draw on them with a wide choice of colors and line thicknesses.

6. Public Channels 

Telegram allows you to create public channels and private chats. Anyone can join a public medium, and all messages posted to it are broadcast to everyone on the track. Since public channels don’t have end-to-end encryption, one can use them safely only if their contents are publicly available anyway.

7. Integration with Social Networks

Telegram can be integrated with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, making it easy to share your favorite content with friends. You can quickly post updates on the go.

8. Stickers

telegram app features stickers


Stickers are a fun way to add some additional context to your messages. They allow you to express anything from emotions and moods to objects and places, even actions and events.

9. Delivery Status 

telegram app features delivery status


Telegram has one unique feature: it’s not just a way to send messages but also a means for you and the recipient to check the delivery status of messages. If this sounds like an insignificant feature, well, it is not. Being able to know when each message has been delivered gives you confidence in the system. When you send a message to someone, you can be sure it’s not going to disappear in transit.

10. Group Chats 

telegram app feature group chat

Telegram’s group chats are an excellent example of what you get when you combine an IM app with a cloud service.

The messages reside on Telegram’s servers, which means they’re available from multiple devices. The app also has a persistent user identifier for you and your friends so that even if some of you switch to a new phone or reinstall Telegram, you won’t have to re-add everyone again. Telegram groups can have up to 200 members.

11. Moderation

Telegram has a unique approach to banning spam. It puts the onus on the user, not the company. The way it works is this: if you see a message from someone you don’t recognize, you can forward it to Telegram’s servers, and they will check it to see if it’s spam. If enough other users have also flagged it as spam, then the message will be blocked from your account.

12. Encryption 

Messages in the Telegram app are encrypted using a combination of 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA encryption, and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange. Your messages are encrypted so only you and the recipient can read them. This encryption is secure because it’s based on the best publicly-known methods for encrypting texts.

13. Cloud Synchronization

Telegram has introduced cloud sync, so you can now auto-sync your Telegram account on multiple devices.

It is helpful for those who want to use Telegram on several devices. You can now use Telegram on your desktop computer, tablet, and mobile phone, with the same chats available everywhere.

14. Support Offline Mode 

The Telegram app on your device can receive messages even if it is running in offline mode. It means that you will always get messages sent while online, including messages sent while you were offline.

15. Bots

telegram app features bots


Telegram has a set of bots. These are simple programs that sit inside the Telegram system and can perform various functions for users. Many of them are games where you control some character or creature. Some provide information, like news or weather reports. Some bots can search for images or videos or send them to you. And most importantly for us here, some bots can send messages to other users without any input from you.

16. Available on Different Platforms 

telegram works across different platform


It can be accessed from your desktop using the official Telegram Desktop App, available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems. You can also download the Telegram Android app from Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

17. Light and Dark Mode 

telegram app features light and dark mode


Telegram has a light and a dark mode. In the light mode, Telegram is white with blue accents. In the dark mode, Telegram is black with gray accents.

18. E-Wallet 

The feature will support payments in multiple currencies and allow users to send money to other Telegram users who don’t have a bank account.

The long list of features shows that Telegram aims to not only be the fastest and most secure chatting app but as a 360-degree platform. From stickers to cryptocurrency, the app plans to bring all features under one umbrella. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Developing a Messaging App Like Telegram 

Okay, so back to the fundamental question: how to make a similar app like Telegram? You first need a point that differentiates your app from the ones already available in the market. For instance, Telegram’s USP is that it’s the fastest and most secure texting app. 

You do not need to come up with an entirely original idea. Such as Amazon didn’t invent e-commerce or online bookselling, or even online retailing — but in each case, it moved things forward in a way that no one else could, and in doing so, it created a new market.

Here is how you can create an app like Telegram. 

steps to develop an app like telegram

1. Discovery Phase 

The discovery phase is an essential part of the development process. It is when you figure out what your product should be.

The discovery phase is not the same as the idea phase, which happens before it. The idea phase is when you get the initial idea for a product and start thinking about its worth pursuing. Once you’ve decided to commit to an idea, you do the discovery phase.

2. UI and UX Design 

User interface refers to everything a user can touch, see, or hear when interacting with a digital product. That includes visual aesthetics, but it also has things that may not seem immediately visible, such as how easy it is for a user to navigate through your app’s menus, how quickly it responds to their input, and so on.

UI design is mostly about creating a consistent look and feel across all of these things. It’s important because it controls how easy it is for users to find their way around your app. The best UI designs are invisible; users don’t notice them because they work so well.

UX design is about consistency between UI and backend. It’s not just about data consistency but also about consistency of behavior. For example, if you have a form with ten numbers, then hitting enter should always take you to the following field for entering a number, not back to the previous screen.

3. Backend and Mobile App Development

The most important thing about an app is its backend development. A backend is the part of an application that does the heavy lifting, like storing and retrieving data. The front end is what people see and use, like the mobile app. If you want to attract advertisers and users, you’ll need a good backend developer who knows how to code in Java or C. You may decide to have someone else develop your app for you. If so, be sure you find a company with experience, such as Idea Usher. The company must have a portfolio to back its expertise.

The next step is hiring a mobile app development company. It would be best to consider looking for developers who have experience in creating apps for both Android and iOS devices. It’s also essential to ensure they have experience with the kind of apps you want to make.  

4. Launch and Gather Feedback 

Now that you’ve developed your app, you’re ready to launch it. Upload the completed app to the Apple App Store or Google Play. Make sure that all details of the app are correct, including any contact information.

When you launch your app, it’s essential to get feedback from customers. The more customers you can reach with your new product, the better you’ll change and improve it.

Test your app with users who represent different age groups and genders; if possible, try out the app on other devices. If users can’t figure out how to use your product quickly or have trouble with technical issues, this is valuable information for you! It will help you see what kind of questions potential customers might have once they start using your product.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop Such an App?

Estimating how much it costs to develop an app like Telegram is difficult because every company has different pricing and charges for development. But on average, it can cost between $200-$50,000 or more to develop an app on the iOS or Android platforms. It is the range of prices you would expect to see from a mobile app developer that is reputable and well-established.

On which factors do the cost of instant messaging mobile app development depend?

  1. The application functionality
  2. The app size
  3. The choice of the technology stack
  4. Extended support services (if any chosen by you)
  5. Design
  6. How soon do you need the product?
  7. The number of screens and functions
  8. The size and functional diversity of customer base
  9. Development team experience
  10. Choice of hosting solutions

If you’re looking for a bespoke chatbot app, a one-off project that requires extensive coding and API integration work, then the price will be higher – closer to $150,000. And suppose you want complex AI functionality or complex graphics or need your mobile application to work on multiple platforms (iOS and Android) simultaneously. In that case, the price will be significantly higher still.

App development agencies such as Idea Usher provide top-notch development services at a competitive price range. You can refer to the portfolio to know more about the various efficient services offered. 

How to Monetize a Chatting App?

Now, the question is how to make money with it. The apparent business model is ads, but ads are more complicated than they look. Telegram does not have ads or subscribers. It provides all the services for free. 

There are roughly 2 ways to make money from advertising on a messaging app:

1. Charge the advertiser for the ad

It is the model used by Google AdWords, Facebook’s ad network, and others. You have to get people to click on or otherwise engage with the ad. It has to be interesting enough that people will do that even though they’re annoyed at being interrupted by something irrelevant.

2. Charge the customer for the service you provide them in exchange for showing them ads

Online games do with “pay-to-win” items and what Twitter does by encouraging advertisers to pay extra for including user screen names in promoted tweets.

You can also try these strategies:

  1. Intelligently integrate your app in social media
  2. Let users participate in live video streaming
  3. Make money out of in-app purchases
  4. Use invites & promotions to improve user acquisition

Bonus: Case Study of a Failed Messaging App (Yik Yak)

yik yak



Launch Date  2013 (relaunched in 2021)
Platform Available  iOS
Founders  Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington
Number of Users 200 million active users (before shutdown in 2017)
Rating 4.2
USP Anonymous chat app


Yik Yak was aimed at college students. College students want to gossip and flirt and feel like insiders on their campus. And they want to do it in private. However, anonymity has an Achilles’ heel: if you don’t know someone, you can’t quickly call them out when they post something offensive. 

The app still works, but no one uses it anymore. Why? Because of this problem: you can’t build a community around anonymous posting. It would help if you had some identity—real or quasi-real—to give people the feeling that they are part of something larger than themselves.

Pros of Yik Yak messenger

  1. Its anonymous
  2. It’s fast and free
  3. There’s no need to download anything
  4. You can chat with people near you
  5. You can post pics and videos

Why did Yik Yak messenger fail?

  1. This app is pre-packaged
  2. The app failed to make inroads in the U.S
  3. Yik Yak messenger was not marketed well
  4. Peers were not encouraging its use
  5. There was nothing different about it

Last Words 

Do you want to not spend $200,000 on building an app like Telegram using open-source libraries? Building an app is hard work. It takes time and costs you both time and money. 

You can get our expert app developers and designers on board to create an app like Telegram. It’s an economical solution; it’s easy to deploy and available on all platforms (Android, iOS). Additionally, Telegram’s open-source platform makes it easier to create apps like Telegram using its API. 

A Skilled Developer For Every Project

Trusted by 100+ clients


1. How much does it cost to build an app like Telegram?

The cost of building an app like Telegram depends on factors such as features, functionalities, and the developer hired. 

2. Is it possible to clone Telegram?

As Telegram is open-source software, creating its clone is relatively easy. 

3. How does Telegram make money?

Telegram does not profit from its services and application. As per the business model followed, there was zero revenue made in 2021. 

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