Hello! My name is Shivam. I am the Co-CEO of Volumetree—a web/mobile app company that specializes in building impactful digital experiences for funded startups.
In this blog, I cover everything a CEO, CTO, Founder/Co-founder, or Product Manager will need to know before building a Cameo app clone. You’ll find insights on how to develop the app, how to leverage an MVP to reduce development costs, how to identify the best tech stack and cloud infrastructure for your idea, and how to prepare estimates and roadmaps.
Interestingly, a few months ago, I got a call from an existing (yes, we have a retention and repeat client ratio of over 95%) client who was interested in creating a Cameo app clone. Thanks to the birthday gift thing I did for my girlfriend, I knew what the Cameo app is and how it worked, which is what turned the deal for me.
My prospect loved my little birthday surprise story and thought no one would understand his celebrity shout out app idea more than a person who has already used a similar app. Now that you’ve landed on this page, it’s time to read insights on how to build a Cameo-like app.
How to develop your Cameo app clone
We have the client, who had the idea, we had all the information we needed, and we were at a juncture where we had to give my client a quote and answer his question—how much?
For businesses that work with us, we understand the importance of critical information and always provide them with everything needed to create a personalized celebrity video messages app like Cameo.
If you’re a CEO, CTO, or a founder of a startup in the funding stage, you may be relying on your product manager’s knowledge to make decisions – I intend for this blog to add to that and give you all that information, including an estimate of how much it’ll cost to build a Cameo app clone.
So how much does it cost to make an app like Cameo or to create a Cameo app clone? My team and I decided to drill deeper and figure out for ourselves. Although the mobile app development cost in this blog can’t be the same for every customer, it is the average cost of making an app for personalized video messages from celebrities.
You may have a different approach for a celebrity app, or have a completely different idea about how a personalized Cameo-like app would be. All these factors affect the final cost of developing your app. The cost of creating a personalized celebrity video messages app like Cameo depends on multiple factors that may include:
- Hourly rates of developers, designers, and testers
- Technology stack used
- Team size
- Your product roadmap
- The complexity of the MVP and final product(s)
- Features included in the MVP
- Design and features of the final product
How building a Cameo-like MVP can reduce your development cost
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to building an app for platforms like iOS and Android. Creating a Cameo-like MVP can significantly reduce the time spent in getting your app to the market, and reducing the upfront costs involved.
These MVP development activities include:
Researching your target market
Research is important to understand your user demographics and observe behavioural trends that can shape the way your mobile app is developed.
Defining and designing
After your UX team completes their research, a team of UX/UI/product designers, and a product manager can start defining the problem statements, information architecture, and low-fidelity wireframes for the app.
Selecting a monetization model
How your business mobile application is monetized will determine how you make money from it. You can choose to have a paid, freemium, ad-driven or click-driven model.
Hiring a development team
The development team you choose will have a major impact on the performance, growth, and final cost of your app. A good development partner will have the experience, and the foresight to help you with not just the code, but proper documentation required while creating an app, and turning an idea into reality while keeping your app development cost below an alarming level.
Launching your MVP
The moment of truth. Your MVP is the fruit of months of labour and toil by you and your teams. Your MVP will help you test the waters and see if your business plan is viable.
To keep this blog thorough here’s some more information to guide you through the app development process, along with the technologies that may best suit your requirements.
Proposed technologies and talent requirement
- Mobile App Framework: For mobile clients, we recommend using Flutter/React Native (for both iOS and Android). This requires at least 2 developers working full time on your project, along with one QA resource.
- Server App (backend): For the server app, we recommend using a combination of NodeJS/PHP for agility and ease of customization. This requires 2 developers working full time along with one shared QA resource. If you wish, you can also reduce your budget here by choosing a JAVA/Python combination and reduce the developer load to 1.
- Website: Most apps, including Cameo, rely on their website to keep their users updated. For your website, we recommend a combination of either:
Angular/VueJS + HTML5 + CSS3 – This requires a team of 2 developers and one shared QA resource.
JQuery + Twitter Bootstrap + HTML5 + CSS3 –this reduces your developer load to 1 developer and 1 shared QA resource.
- Payment integration: The world is your oyster here. You can either unify your payment with a portal or use a payment method of your preference to accept debit cards, credit cards, e-wallets, and much more.
Please understand that the technologies we recommend are examples, and these estimates may change based on different projects. Costs and tech talent requirements will differ accordingly.
IT Infrastructure and Hosting
- Static video and audio files: 1 bucket of AWS S3, to begin with, should be enough for your MVP. You can scale as per need.
- Video Processing: 1 calculation optimized instance of AWS EC2 (with FFMPEG) with an option to scale to a cluster if needed.
- Web App and website hosting: 2 medium AWS Linux or Ubuntu instances with an application server of choice (Apache HTTPd/Netty) along with a load balancer. The benefit of this is that you can also host your microservices with REST interfaces for serving mobile clients on the same instance.
- 1 instance of RDS DB for user data storage
- A code repository service such as GitHub or BitBucket
Estimates and roadmaps
Before you get an app development cost breakdown, you need to understand your requirements properly to be able to go in the right direction. Roadmaps are a great tool to help you plan your product research, design, development, and launch – something we also use at Volemtree.
Our roadmaps are focused on asking the right questions at the outset so that the product we deliver to our clients meets their expectations. Here is the process we follow at Volumetree to ensure timely and high-quality delivery:
A complete analysis and use case description by our business analysis team – up to 2 weeks depending on the details. You will be delivered a document that outlines all these details at the end of the analysis period.
Project architecture blueprints and wireframes for mobile clients and websites by our project management team. Up to 2 weeks. You will receive project documentation and wireframes.
Our design team will create UI/UX Sketch/Figma files for your app and website. Up to one week. You will be required to finalize the mockups and wireframes at this stage.
The initiation of development at Volumetree follows certain deadlines and milestones for each project. Estimated timelines for these include:
- Backend integration / Basic Development: Up to 2 weeks to complete the development of backend basic features such as user registration, authentication, video uploads, video processing, serving through REST or web apps. Deliverables here include your app/website’s code on your repository and deployment of staging servers.
- MVP skeleton with custom UI: Up to 3 weeks for creating a basic application skeleton with a customized UI and controls. This will include pushing the code to the repository, creating test apps using TestFlight and a Google PlayMarket beta program.
- Finalizing backend integrations and improvements: Up to 3 weeks. This includes integrating REST capabilities for apps, adding capabilities to stream, process and store videos on the cloud.
- Website Public Beta: Up to 4 weeks. This puts the website in public beta and deploys staging servers.
- App Public Beta: Up to 4 weeks. This moves mobile apps to public beta and starts your Google PlayMarket/TestFlight beta program.
- Full-system testing: Up to 2 weeks. This includes a full-scale test of the entire system using load and security testing, manual testing of apps.
- Bug fixes and QA revisit Up to 2 weeks. This includes fixing any known bugs, regressions, change requests, and improvements.
Up to 2 weeks. The final stage of work will include moving your app live, transitioning your code and apps to you for the management or as per agreement. Issues encountered (if any) will be fixed in real-time before launch. This will also include marketing activities (if included in the works agreement) and promotional campaigns for your website, app, and other deliverables.
Developing the clone of a celebrity video shoutout app like Cameo is step 1 in the process of launching a successful app. Step 2 is ensuring that your users stick with the app that you’ve created.
What are the benefits of regular app maintenance?
Maintaining your app is not an option anymore—it is your responsibility to provide your customers with an app that works reliably and consistently. Considering the fact that over 70% of users uninstall the app they have downloaded within the first 90 days, it is important that you ensure that your app is in your target audience’s most-used app list. This can only happen if your app is well-maintained. Additionally, mobile platforms keep updating their app guidelines and occasionally remove apps that do not conform to their latest guidelines.
Benefits of regularly maintaining your app include:
Lower chances of uninstallations:
Apps that have a lot of bugs, or crash right after an OS update are the first things that go into the uninstall bucket list. An app that runs smoothly for years to come will ensure high user retention rates and ratings.
Give an outstanding user experience to your customers:
There are dozens of apps vying for the top spot. To ensure that yours stays there needs users fall in love with your app. Providing constant updates and customer reach out through the app store will help you to build a rapport with your user base and build brand loyalty and trust.
Increase the ROI of your app:
Apps that are updated regularly need lower emergency maintenance procedures compared to those that are updated sporadically. Regular maintenance ensures that you continually address the problems of users as soon as they are reported, without having to address all of them in one go in a major release. You can also reduce the cost of development by removing features that are not in favour and focus your development effort on the most-sought-after updates.
Enhanced user data security:
When your app is updated constantly, any security breaches, threats and loopholes can be addressed at the outset. This can protect your users from loss of data and personal/financial information and will showcase you as a user-focused developer.
Creating a positive brand outlook:
Brands that engage with their users and update their apps on a regular basis reduce critical or negative reviews on the app stores, social media and other channels. This also builds your user base as brand advocates that keeps your users happy.
The average cost of developing a Cameo app clone
Whew! This was an exhausting list, but we still have not addressed an important question: How much?
According to the estimates for a previous client, the MVP of an app such as Cameo with all the bells and whistles can cost in the region of $40,000-$80,000
This may sound a lot, but the amount of time and effort that goes into creating an awesome app like Cameo speaks for itself. With a reliable development partner such as Volumetree, you can stay assured that our amazing team will ensure a high-quality, well-researched, quality personalized Cameo-like app that your customers will love.
The impact of our apps and technology
At Volumetree, we take great pride in the quality of our development acumen and the impact our apps have on the lives of those they touch. We build outstanding, user-centric apps that ensure that your business objectives and customer satisfaction go hand-in-hand while creating the app. A very recent example that I would love to add here is of Trukkin.
Apps created by Volumetree for Trukkin have helped them become the fastest-growing digital trucking platform in the Middle East in record time.
Trukkin is one of our premier clients in the Middle East and is revolutionizing the logistics industry in the region with every shipment they move. Trukkin’s world-class mobile apps are helping the fragmented logistics industry in over 12 countries in the Middle East and Pakistan.
Empowering truck drivers, transporters, shippers and brokers every day, Trukkin is helping people get paid in time, meet delivery timelines and bring about transparency, efficiency and reliability to the logistics industry. Apps created by Volumetree for Trukkin have helped them become the fastest-growing digital trucking platform in the Middle East in record time.
At Volumetree, we believe in the German saying “Nach dem spiel ist vor dem spiel” (the end of the game is the beginning). True to this belief, creating a Cameo app clone is not the end of the road.
Meeting and exceeding user expectations, maintaining the app to ensure top-notch quality and helping people make their lives better is what we strive for while writing every single line of code. This approach helps us turn customers into friends and their users into our guides that steer us in the right path while creating intelligent, user-friendly software.
I hope I have been able to answer all your questions in this short article. If you have any questions, comments or need any further info, feel free to reach out to me or schedule an appointment here.
I would love to help you further and create something awesome together! Good luck!