How to Create an App like WhatsApp? Stages of Development


It’s no secret that messaging apps are in great demand, whether we are talking about Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber or another contributor to efficient communication. So there’s no wonder why messaging app development services are on the rise.

But how to build a worthy solution to ensure its success, for example, the one like WhatsApp? In this article, we are going to guide you through all the essential steps of WhatsApp-like app development and provide you with a clear understanding of what really makes a difference to your potential project.

Pointing Out Essential Project Stages

While the model of messaging app development services can slightly differ from one provider to another, there are basic steps to consider. Those we point out below are generally offered in terms of WhatsApp-like development at Emerline — a company with a vast experience in social media and messaging app creation. These are:


  • Market Analysis
  • Business Analysis
  • Feature Definition
  • App Design
  • MVP Development


Now, let’s dive deeper into each stage to see what it involves and why it matters.

Market Analysis

To ensure that the app you want to develop will be demanded in the constantly changing environment, market analysis is of high importance. It allows you not just to determine what your users want and need but also to see how their preferences changed from past to present, and come up with the idea of what you can expect from the future (it could be implementation of AR, AI, etc.).

Market analysis is all about the creation of a unique app that ensures demand, and generally is conducted to answer the following questions:


  • What’s the purpose of your app?
  • Who’s your targeted audience?
  • What will make your app stand out from the competition?
  • What additional information do you need to consider (on the app’s industry outlook, future enhancements and the creation of grounds ensure they can happen, etc.)?

After the market research, analyze your findings to put the outcomes into action.

Business Analysis

Because your app needs to meet all the business goals, it is  crucial to accurately define them before the development starts. Requirements can vary, because WhatsApp-like apps for entertainment differ much from a messaging app like WhatsApp for internal business purposes. Consider such issues as privacy and security, architecture and roles, etc.

Feature Definition

To explain everything you want from your app to your technology partner, think of all the features you want to see in it, whether it’s a dark mode, animated stickers, AR mode, etc. You can come up with a long list of features and consult with your provider on those to include in the first version of your app (MVP), and those to include later.

Also, if you are planning to take advantage of innovations like ML, AI, AR, Lidar and others, make sure that your provider is capable of meeting your needs. For example, have an R&D (Research and Development) department that works with the latest trending techs.

There’s such a department at Emerline and here are some points for you to consider on why it makes a difference:


  • R&D has access to the latest innovations and can work with them even before their official release, so it’s possible to implement something really unique and trending.
  • R&D is focused entirely on innovations, which means the quality of solution development.

App Design

Being a pillarstone of any solution, UI/UX design matters a lot. For messaging apps like WhatsApp, it has to be simple yet catching. And while there is a lot of talk around the implementation of the latest trends in design to make it stand out, it’s always better to start with the proven essentials, such as those once formulated by Dieter Rams. It’s an UI/UX approach used by Emerline for the delivery of designs that serve clients for decades and attract users with a pleasant look, good feel, and intuitive navigation.

MVP Development

After everything is summed up, you can start with the development of a Minimum Valuable Product. Because development takes time, and there are various after-release issues that can change your vision of the product you need, it’s recommended to focus on the minimum, and after the first version of your product is on the market, analyse how it is used and can be improved to meet the demand. Your WhatsApp-like app should not copy the existing solution, so giving yourself time to think of what you can offer to attract the public’s attention is a good option that, in addition, saves your money on unneeded things.

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