20, Jul 2021

A Complete Guide to Creating a Face Editing App

Do you want to develop a worthy FaceApp alternative? But how much does it cost to develop an AI photo editor? Learn the best practices, tips, and the cost in our complete guide. Make your app go viral.

Face-editing app


Dmitry Boyko, Android Team Lead

Dima Hapich,
iOS Team Tead

Dima Hapich, iOS Team Tead

Dima knows Swift and iOS development in general like the back of his hand. He's got a great eye for AR application development for iOS and follows Apple's user experience guidelines, to make every app he builds easy to use.

Do you remember the hugely popular mobile application FaceApp? Developed with AI technology, it allows you to transform photos and see how you would look in old age or in deep childhood. Since its release on Android in February 2017, over 100 million users have downloaded the app on Google Play alone.

Face app clone

Such applications also enable you to try on the faces of DiCaprio, Britney Spears, and other world-renowned celebrities. Are you interested in creating such a solution of your own? The specialists of our company eagerly share some pro tips on developing a viral face photo editor, finding efficient ways to monetize it, and figuring out the cost to make an app like FaceApp.

The Basics of a Face Photo Editor - How Software Changes Faces

Applications like FaceApp let you select a photo from the gallery on your device and edit it using one of the offered filters. The ability to "age" the photo is one of the most used features available in such editors. You can "switch gender", transform into a popular personality, or see what your facial features would look like if you were born of a different nationality.

All this becomes possible thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The neural network independently analyzes the image and captures important features in a person's appearance. For instance, it locates a mouth area and identifies closed lips to transform them into a smile. In this case, for developers, it is important enabling the app to make the edited image as realistic as possible.

Three major factors are responsible for the level of quality in filtered images:

  1. The length of the training of the neural network;
  2. WebRTC is more secure;
  3. At the moment, WebRTC is only supported by certain browsers while WebSockets is compatible with almost all existing browsers;

FaceApp example

Tech Stack For the Funny Face App Development

  1. Swift and Kotlin - according to the specialists of our company, are for the development of a photo editor funny face. It is optimal to use Swift as a programming language for implementation on iOS devices and for developing an application on Android.
  2. Python - the artificial intelligence base also includes the use of Python for server-side development.
  3. OpenGL or OpenCV - open-source computer vision libraries are the necessary part of the technical stack when developing an app to change face features. This is because image processing must be done in real time.
  4. Apple API - most FaceApp alternatives use an application programming interface developed and introduced by Apple in iOS 11 to edit uploaded photos.

Funny face app development

Best Faceapp Alternatives in 2020

From filters, that even out skin tones and remove wrinkles to “virtual gender reassignment”, photo editors are on the rise right now. We have selected a list of applications that will serve as a great alternative to FaceApp for you. Most are free, but contain ads or paid features.

AgingBooth. The application enables the aging effect, and the result is very realistic. Free for Android and iOS device owners.

Face Changer Photo Gender Editor. In this one, you can change your gender and edit photos in-depth. It can be used to change the size and shape of parts of the face, hairstyle, etc. The application is available only on Android.

Face Booth. A wide range of filters, aging effects, facial hair and hairstyles are available here. You can process images from the device gallery or take photos in real time. Free for Android owners.

AI Portraits Art. The application is based on neural network technologies and gives the pictures an artistic effect. One of the technologies is responsible for face recognition, and the second is trained on 45 thousand paintings and redraws faces. Photo processing takes a few seconds.

AI Portraits art

Zombify. The application turns the user photos into a zombie and contains many other features, including an animation effect.


Superemoji. The creators borrowed the idea for this software from Apple developers. Superemoji is an alternative to Animoji for iPhone X. Users can choose from 6 emojis that animate when they hover the device's camera. The application provides background change and many other features.


How Much Does It Cost to Make AI Photo Editor?

The cost of the photo editing app development with capabilities similar to FaceApp depends on the complexity of the project (the number of filters, application functionality, and so on).

The end cost is calculated depending on the pricing of the developers you choose to implement the project. It usually takes about 850 man-hours to develop a funny face editing app. The cost of the work is $45-$75 thousand US dollars on average (may differ depending on the country where the developers team is based).

Key elements of the ai photo editing app development

Creating an AI-based editing app, the following features should be paid the most attention to:

  1. User login: Since the AI photo manipulation service needs to access user data, registration and login will be required.
  2. Image uploading: making a face editing app, you need to provide users with the ability to upload photos from both their smartphones and social networks or storage like Gmail, Dropbox.
  3. Application of AI filters: The main reason for the popularity of FaceApp is the filters built into the application processed by artificial intelligence. They are face swap filters that allow you to achieve a different age in the photo, gender change, or make-up effect.
  4. Editing tools: In addition to filters, implemented the regular image editing function. For example, the ability to change hairstyles, facial hair, makeup effects, and so on.
  5. In-app payments: FaceApp is free to download and you can use several features without paying a single penny. Access to other tools opens only after purchasing a premium subscription. So keep in mind some ways to monetize your solution.
  6. Social media integration: Allow users to share edited images on social media and expand the number of product downloads.

Monetizing an AI face editing app

There are several ways you can monetize the solution you are looking to pose as the best face photo editing app in the market.

  • The first method is to display ads. This is the most common way to earn from freeware solutions in the application market.
  • Method number two is selling subscriptions. Allow users who purchase a subscription to use the app without ads. You can also open access to premium filters and cool extra features after a certain payment. For instance, there are 21 free and 28 premium filters available in FaceApp.
  • Last but not least, you can make a deal with other companies to promote their filters inside your app. Just like Instagram masks, which allow you to promote commercial or business profiles on a social network.

2 faceapp-based tips for successful face editing app development

To make your picture editor face swap truly demanded and engaging, you should take care of two major things.

Pro tip #1: Analyze the current state of the market Trends in the world of photo editors are changing rapidly and it is important to keep up with them if you are interested in truly efficient software development. FaceApp was created on the basis of artificial intelligence technology, integrating unique algorithms for changing the face. AI remains quite a trendy technology in the modern market.

Pro tip #2: Learn from the best FaceApp developers have been studying the features of competitor applications for a long time, paying particular attention to Meitu - a Chinese photo editor, the Russian application Prisma, and MSQRD - which adds masks from cartoons to the image.

Face swap app development is a balance of trends and timeless features. Integrate the solutions that are popular right now with your product. Also, don't forget about features that have been in demand for a long time.

How to Make an App Like Faceapp: Conclusion

Do you have an awesome concept of a photo or video processing solution in mind, but you don’t really know how to make a face-changing app?

  1. Analyze the market;
  2. Learn from the strongest competitors;
  3. Use innovative technologies and features;
  4. Combine hyped-up features with the well-tried-and-tested capabilities;
  5. Entrust the project development to experienced specialists in the niche.

Share your idea with the Requestum team of software aces! We’ll provide a detailed consultation on the topic and calculate the approximate pricing of developing a mobile face editor app for iOS and Android. Contact us to get a free consultation.



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