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Know why Should Develop a Photo Editing App in 2021? (Low Investment, High Return, and Zero Risk)

In 2021, there are majorly three types of mobile apps. 

  • Apps that require high investment, guarantee a low-medium return, and pose a high risk. E.g., apps like Uber. 
  • Apps that require medium investment, guarantee a medium return, and pose a medium risk. E.g., wallpaper apps
  • Apps that require low investment, guarantee a high return, and pose a low risk. E.g., photo or video editing apps. 

Yes, developing a photo editing app in 2021 would be your best investment if you have a limited budget yet want to make a lot of money from ad revenue and premium users. 

Unlike other popular apps such as Uber, Zomato, BigBasket, a photo editing app does not solve any significant challenge of the users. 

However, it taps on the everyday activity & needs of generation Z who are fond of photography & selfies and use photo editing apps before sharing pictures on social media. 

Because of this, you will only need some basic features, and basic app UI. This results in low app development costs. 

In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know to develop a photo editing app in 2021. 

Things you will learn in this blog, 

  1. Why should you create a photo editing app? 
  2. Top features you must integrate into your photo editing app
  3. Best photo editing apps 
  4. How can you make money with image editing apps? 
  5. What will be the operating cost of the app? 
  6. How much does photo editing app development cost? 

Why Should You Invest in Photo Editing App Development in 2021?

The following are top factors that drive the crazy success of the photo editing apps and let you claim high ROI. 

  • A Global App ‘In True Sense’ 

Be it Uber, Zomato, or Big Basket, it serves a limited number of areas as they need licenses and other resources to offer app service in a city, state, and country. 

But a photo editing app is a global app as anyone from any country can download it and use it. Thus, an image editor enjoys a very larger user base. 

In other words, a photo editing app is one of the few apps which lets you target users from all countries. 

This of course backs a high success rate with low risk. 

  • A Market Worth a Billion 

A photo editing app isn’t a new idea. It has been in existence for many years and people have adopted it very well. 

According to the report, the global photo editing solution market is expected to reach $1042.9 million in 2025 from $868.2 million in 2019. 

  • People Don’t Like the Raw Images! 

Today all smartphones come with the best built-in camera and image processing software. However, the image captured by a smartphone camera still requires some treatment. 

Since the built-in cameras of smartphones aren’t able to capture the photos people feel confident to share on social media without editing, people tend to download photo editing apps. 

  • Convenience It Offers 

Yes, we know what you must be thinking. Why would a user use an app to edit his photos when he can use some editing software on a computer equipped with more features? 

The answer is the convenience a mobile app offers. 

Unlike photo editing software, the UI and editing tools in editing apps are very easy to understand and use. 

It is also a time consuming and tedious task to send images captured into the mobile to computer or laptop and get it back on mobile once editing has been done. 


People’s income isn’t the factor that influences the number of people who use image editing apps. 

The following is the graph showing the share of household members in the United States who used camera or photo editing apps on their smartphone in 2018, by income. 

If You’re Planning to Make Money With Photo Editing App, Here Are Top Features You Must Integrate Into App

Feature set defines the success of the photo editing app as users only seek multiple ways to edit their photos from such apps.

The following are the top must-have features you should add to your app. 

  • Built-In Filters

There should be multiple built-in filters into your app that allows users to edit the image with just a single click.   

These filters are very helpful to first-time users or users who like some quick basic editing. 

  • Image Alignment 

Many times when someone captures the image, he fails to keep the object in the center or he captures the image with a tilted hand. 

Thus, there should be a feature that allows users to play with image alignment. 

  • Changing Brightness and Contrast

These are the basic requirements as every image editing starts with adjusting the brightness and contrast of the image. 

  • Temperature and Tint 

Some images look nicer in warmer tones while some need to have colder tones. Therefore, there should be dedicated features to adjust the temperature and tint of the images.  

  • Crop and Rotate 

This is another very common feature that you need to have in your app. Under crop features, there should be by default aspect ratio such as 3:2, 4:3, 5:4, 7.8, etc. 

  • Blur 

This is the need of the hour. Everyone likes to add a blurry effect to their images and it looks fabulous. However, there should be a smooth transition between the edges. 

There should also be options to apply different types of blur such as box blur, motion blur, lens blur, etc. 

(Motion Blur)

  • Gradient, Grain, Color Attenuation, Lightening, Text, Frames 

These are some nice-to-have features that facilitate users to give some final touch to the images. 

Best Photo Editing Apps You Should Look After in 2021 to Successfully Launch Your App in Competitive Market 

SnapseedFree  Clean UI
Feature-Packed (29+ editing tools)
No Login Required
No Ads 
No Significant Updates Over the Years 
VSCO $20 Per Year  Real-time Camera Support
A large Number of Natural Filters
Social Media Kind an Experience 
Struggle a Bit With High-Resolution Images
No Batch Editing
Paid Filters 
Adobe Photoshop Express Free With In-App Purchases  Best User Community
Plenty of Tutorial
More Options to Edit Images
Best for Photo Retouching and Manipulation 
Users Need To Sign-Up.
A Bit Complex App
Larger App Size 
Adobe Lightroom Free With In-App Purchases  Supports Batch Editing
Best Image Lighting Effects
Easier to Learn and Master
Make Your Own Filter
Powerful RAW Image Processor 
Lacks Many Features
Force Users to Sign Up 
PicsArtFree With Subscription Plan  Sticker Maker
Multiple Users Can Collaborate and Edit Remotely
Endless Features and Filters
Very Easy to Use
Lots of Ads

How Can You Make Money With Photo Editing Apps? 

If you’re planning to develop a Snapseed clone or VSCO clone app, you must be wondering how to make money with these apps. 

The following are the top 3 tested and legal monetization strategies. 

  1. Ads 

There are many popular and trustworthy platforms that allow you to publish ads of other brands on your app. 

Based on the number of clicks and impressions, those platforms pay you a commission. 

One such platform is Google AdMob. According to the report, PicsArt is earning 90% of its revenue through AdMob. 

  1. Subscription 

PicsArt has launched a subscription plan called PicsArt Gold. By spending $4.67 per month, the users get exclusive access to many premium features such as 1K+ fonts, 1K+ templates, 50K+ stock images, no watermarks, etc. 

  1. In-App Purchase 

You can add many packages of ready-to-use filters, effects, settings, stickers, etc into the app and ask a fixed amount from the users for each package. 

There are many professional photographers and users who don’t think twice to spend on such packages for the time and efforts it saves. 

The Operating Cost of the Photo Editing App 

Well, the photo editing app development is not a one-time investment. To keep the app running, you have to pay monthly API fees. 

An API is basically a code from third-party providers. Developers use such APIs to develop your app quickly with no error. 

They achieve editing tools in your photo editor app using editing APIs. 

Top editing APIs are Aviary, Adobe Lightroom, and Pixo Editor. 

These APIs provide subscription and pay-as-you-go pricing plans. 

The Step-By-Step Process to Successfully Achieving Photo Editing App Development & How Much Does it Cost 

App development is the process, not a task. 

It involves many crucial elements such as business model, app design, feature set, user journey, company registration, trademark, etc. 

We aim to ease not only the app development cycle but also the entire business journey. 

Step 1: Define the target audience. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 2: List out the requirements of the target audience. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 3: Prepare the feature set that can address the requirements of the target audience. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 4: Define the user journey and create the wireframes (basic design of the app on paper). (GED will do it for you.) 

Step 5: Prepare the technical documentation that includes the technologies and platform your app would work on. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 6: Code the frontend or UI of the mobile app. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 7: Code the backend part of the mobile app. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 8: Test the app for any bugs. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 9: Define the app launch and marketing strategy. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 10: Register the company and get the trademark. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 11: Add an app on Google Play Store and Apple App Store for approval. (GED will do it for you.)

Step 12: Once launched, collect the feedback of the users and make changes in the app. (GED will do it for you.)

In essence, GED will help you with everything you need to develop, launch, and succeed in the photo editing app. 

Talking about the cost to develop an image editing app like Snapseed or PicsArt, it depends on the number of features you want to add and the complexity of the features. 

However, we have delivered many feature-packed photo editing apps within $5K. 

So, it indeed requires a very low investment. 

As far as the return is concerned, our experts are just a click away. They will give you a free consultation for everything – business, technology, and market.