Blog / Business / App Development

How to Build a Photo-Sharing App For Android/iOS

  • Rating — 5 (2 votes)
  • by Igor Zviagin
  • Updated on December 28, 2019
  • Read —
    6-7 minutes

Photo-sharing apps are among the most popular types of apps. It is known that when a certain kind of app becomes a huge success, its features and functionality gain popularity as well. Photo-sharing is a simple process. Usually, it requires just a possibility of image hosting and photo exchange while also allowing to start discussions and comment on the shared images. 

Not all apps have access to camera, though. Even though video-streaming apps are the next big thing, the revival of simple photo-sharing apps has already began, since a photo is not less than video, especially today when cameras in our smartphones allow a ubiquitous photo and video experience to follow us every step of the daily lives.   

How to Make a Photo-Sharing App for Android/iOS

Your photo-sharing application can serve different purposes. For example, it can automatically identify the photos that contain license plate numbers of trucks that park in a garage. With an app like that a garage owner will have the information on every vehicle parked in the garage. Or it can be a simple workplace onboarding app with the photos of a company’s employees and their titles for inbound communication. 

There is a million and one idea for this kind of functionality to be useful and fun. Follow us in our more detailed coverage of the functionality and business opportunities of the image-exchange apps.

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Much Value With Little Complexity

Today even the app that has nothing to do with photos or images is equipped with a way to connect with your camera and use it. For example, Tinder allows making a photo of yourself to add to your profile without leaving the app. Thus, essentially, Tinder has access to both your gallery to upload the photos you already have and your camera to make a new photo and have it instantly in your Tinder as a profile picture. 

Access to camera and your gallery are the core features of a photo-sharing app. These features are pretty mainstream, so it goes without saying that their implementation won’t be a problem for your development team. It is up to business logic of your project to make photo-sharing useful and valuable to a certain target audience.

Define Your Target Audience

Your TA should consist of users that rely on prompt and smooth image exchange with a possibility to comment on the shared photos. Like Facebook or Instagram, your app is going to look like a feed consisting of the posts (images and comments). Unlike social media apps, however, the users and the photos should be helpful to optimize and streamline certain business processes. 

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Image sharing will be helpful in those types of business processes that require product tracking and comparison. For example, let’s take bakery. Usually, each new cake is a different one because clients order exclusive and original cakes for unique occasions like weddings and anniversaries. If a bakery has its own app, it can add a picture of a ready cake or a cake being prepared for everybody to know be it other employees or even clients. Such a move continues a tendency of choosing to use your own software platform instead of promoting your business via Social Media Marketing (using Instagram and/or Facebook). 

Target Your Market

To launch your app successfully it should be marketed appropriately to reach the end users that belong to a previously defined target audience. You may already own a business that needs a photo-sharing app or the app itself can be a start of your business. The main thing is for your project to serve a particular purpose for certain users. 

One of our late clients decided to develop the app that works as a platform for a community of freelance photographers. We advised him to include photo-sharing to allow photographers show the examples of their work, though there was no feed, so the photos appeared just in in the profile section without a possibility to comment on them. 

Storing photos locally in the app can be substituted with integration of a third-party photo hosting service like Behance or Pinterest. But to go this way means trading your chance to control a photo-asset of your own for less valuable user proposition to just connect to Behance or Pinterest. Why use your app if the photos will all be needed to uploaded first to Behance? It is one reason for your potential future users not to use your app at all.

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Did you know?

Around 19% of all apps have some kind of photo-sharing features in them.

Quality – Built to Last

A photo-sharing app with internal storage capacity should have a proper back-end infrastructure. Users should have access to the stored photos for years and so as a business owner your objective is to make sure that hosting and data storage allow secure uploading and exchange of the photos. 

Functionality – User Roles, Feed and Comments

To upload a photo user attaches a new image to the album in his profile inside the app. Other users can see it and leave comments. So there should be profiles with albums, a chronological feed made out of the newest album entries, and commentary subsections under every photo in every album. This is basic functionality as it is. 

It is not by chance that visual content attracts attention and helps retain users in the app. Pictures and especially photos that users make on their own can be captivating. Adding animations and short videos is not only good for making the content you distribute in the app more informative but interesting as well. And it’s not hard to do once you dealt with pictures. 

Here’s another example: a parking lot app instead of a parking lot attendant. Based on the pictures of cars and their license plates the app can distribute parking fees to be paid without cash. Users can also show whoever parked in the wrong spot, find a car in the vast and occupied parking lot, etc. Simple photo-sharing allows for better monitoring of the parking lot, making it easier for drivers and parking lot owners at the same time.  That’s a 3rd business idea for your potential photo-sharing app and it’s not difficult to come up with a dozen or a hundred more. 

Not any kind of business but photo-sharing features have a very wide array of use cases.
Instagram is the most popular photo-sharing app that has around 1 billion active users around the world
If you tell us about the nature of your operation, we would most definitely give a solid answer, if photo-sharing functionality suits your needs or not.

Wrapping Up

All in all, as you can now see, photo-sharing functionality can be widely useful in a variety of different spheres and industry niches. Therefore, it is 100% proven that this simple functionality is very useful if one  knows how to build a business around it. It won’t be a wild guess to say that your project is more likely to benefit from this kind of functionality than the other way around.   

Want a photo-sharing app of your own?

Igor Zviagin I'm a tech journalist and market analyst. Software development, apps, tech trends, and digital innovations are all among my interests. Why? Simply, because it's the future. You can have more of that future in my blog entries. I have 5+ years of experience in online journalism and blogging but I've been a tech enthusiasts and even something of a geek my whole life. It is my pleasure to share with you the knowledge I have. Reading my articles, you can be sure to find expert opinions of senior developers, market tendencies, design tips, and info on outsourcing, business industries or specific Web and Mobile projects.

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