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Create Your Own Free Instagram-Like App Clone

by on December 21, 2021

Create your own Instagram-like app in Backendless

There are plenty of Instagram alternatives in the kingdom of social media, but many of those different platforms on the app market fail to match the fun and functionality of the popular social photo-sharing service. You can easily build your own Instagram clone using Backendless.

One of our first App Blueprints, Insta Clone, is our Instagram lookalike app template that can be the basis for your own Instagram-style social network app.

App Blueprints are more than just templates from which to build a specific type of application. We design all of our App Blueprints to provide one or more key functions that a developer would want to add to their application, regardless of the app’s business use.

The free Instagram Clone App showcases how to build your own social media app featuring the most common functionality you’ll find in a typical social app. You can use the functionality highlighted in this template to build your own custom social app, or modify the template to launch your own Instagram app.

As with all of our App Blueprints, the entirety of this app blueprint was built without code using Backendless’ UI Builder. That means you can build your own Instagram app without writing a single line of code! The ease of use of this little app makes it easy to replicate the functionality of the social giant (without the ads and bots!).

Our premium Instagram Clone App Blueprint includes common social media functions including: creating posts with images and descriptions, liking posts, commenting on posts, and following users.

The app has a responsive design so that it can be looks great on web browser mobile apps. With a third-party service, you can also use a native wrapper to create mobile apps that can be submitted to the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

In this article, we will explore the some of the different features, including (click the link to jump to the appropriate section):

Additionally, all App Blueprints include thorough instructions to guide you through how to make your own modifications and customizations.

The web app, which functions identically to a website, can be purchased for free when creating a new app in Backendless Console. It features a beautiful, responsive design that will look great on mobile, tablet, or desktop.

Click here to view the live demo and follow along (opens in a new tab).

What is an Instagram clone?

The use of the term Instagram clone can be somewhat misleading, as a clone is not an exact copy of the popular product or its source code. Instead, a fully functional Instagram clone app template is a replica of the social media software based on the social network.

For legal purposes, it is not an exact copy of the software, but rather it is an application that provides many of the same features and functionality as Instagram. Key proprietary elements of Instagram, such as the algorithms that determine which posts users see and when, are not included in a typical clone app.

What are the minimum features needed for an Instagram-style app?

Before we jump into how the features work, let’s examine the minimum features needed to build an app like Instagram. When building clones of popular web apps such as social media platforms, it is important to include as many of the basic features that users expect as possible.

In order to get a running start on this project, you’ll want to have these core pages:

  • Login page for user authentication (signup and login)
  • User profiles
  • Ability to follow friends and popular accounts
  • Feed of posts from the user and the accounts the user accounts they follow
  • Ability to like other users’ posts
  • Ability to comment on posts

Backendless’ free Instagram clone solution includes all of these features. You can customize the template itself, or use it as a blueprint for building similar pages in another app.

Add likes to a post and see who has liked a post

Since any given post can have many likes and comments, these are stored as relations to separate data tables. Likes are related to the individual user in the Users data table.

Likes are structured this way for two reasons. First, a user can only like a post once, so it’s a relatively simple one-to-one relationship between the user and the post. (Of course, from the post perspective, the relationship is one-to-many users.)

Post likes data relations

Second, by linking the likes to the user, you can easily explore all of the posts that a given user has liked. You may choose to display this data (as apps like Twitter do, where you can specifically see the posts a user has liked) or, if you want to develop your own display algorithm, you can have a users liked posts show up in their followers’ feeds.

Instagram clone explore posts on mobile

Anyone that comes across a post can view a list of all of the users that have liked a post by clicking on the likes count.

Comment on a post

Comments appear in their own separate data table because a given user can post two or more comments on a given post. The comment, then, has a one-to-one relationship with the post that it is attached to.

Post comments data relations

Anyone that comes across a post can view all of the comments that have been made on a given post and add their own. To replicate the real Instagram app functionality, you can add your own additional feature that allows users to like comments as well. This would involve the same functionality that we see used on post likes.

Follow a user and view a user’s followers

No social media app would be complete without the ability to follow other users. As with the above features, the follow feature creates a one-to-one relationship between the user following and the user being followed.

Instagram user profile

A user can then view their profile page to see their follower count, following count, and even view exactly who is following them.

Publish a post by saving an image to file storage

Instagram is best known as a great place to show your photos with friends. Thus, first and foremost, the free Instagram clone lets you replicate the most basic use of Instagram: uploading awesome pictures to an online back-end system. The images that each user uploads are stored in Backendless’ File Storage.

Instagram clone create a post

When you publish a post, a new data object is created in the Posts data table. This object includes all of the important information that you’ll want to display from the post: image file reference, user description, likes, and comments.

Instagram clone post in the database

Users can explore posts of other network users by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the bottom menu.

Closing

If you’re looking to build your own Instagram app but you don’t want to do the development yourself, Backendless has partnered with a number of app development service providers that can take Backendless App Blueprints and turn them into stunning and unique apps.

The free Instagram Clone App showcases how to build a social network app using UI Builder. It can be modified to produce your own photo-sharing service for use with friends and family or to compete with the social media giants. Much of the same functionality can be used to replicate different platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well.

Most importantly, it provides Backendless users with a template to follow for a variety of key Backendless functions. Backendless provides a lot of tutorials that you can access for free to learn how to modify the app to make it your own.

Using this template, you can see first-hand how to use data relations to:

  • Add likes to a post and see who has liked a post
  • Comment on a post
  • Follow a user and view a user’s followers
  • Publish a post by saving an image to file storage

Happy Codeless Coding!

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