The realtime client-side database

Instant is for building real-time and offline-enabled applications. We make it easy to build collaborative products like Notion or Figma.

Backed by Y Combinator
This is live. Try it with a friend on their device!
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You write your frontend, and we handle the rest

The best apps today have a common feature set. Every interaction happens instantly, you rarely see loading screens, collaboration is easy and delightful, and the app still works when offline.

But building them is a schlep: spin up servers, auth, permissions, endpoints, sockets, then shuffle data, handle optimistic updates, and deal with rollbacks.

Instant solves these problems for you by giving you a database you can subscribe to directly in the browser. You write relational queries in your app, and we handle the rest.

Want to try it yourself? Build a live app in less than 5 minutes.

// ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Real-time Chat
// ----------------------------------
// * Instant updates
// * Multiplayer
// * Works offline
function Chat() {
  // 1. Read
  const { isLoading, error, data } = useQuery({
    messages: {},

  // 2. Write
  const addMessage = (message) => {

  // 3. Render!
  return <UI data={data} onAdd={addMessage} />

"I wanted to build relational capabilities into Firebase (but it would have required us to build another database and we never got around to it). I'm glad to see Instant is doing it."

James Tamplin
James Tamplin
Co-Founder, Firebase

"Most generic database query tools like react-query etc. are cached at the browser tab level. So if you rename a file, the tab bar can easily become out of sync unless you have a great local first sync provider... and I got it working easily with Instant."

AJ Nandi
AJ Nandi

"I built a cross-platform app across mobile and React Native. I copy-pasted my data logic, and it all just worked!"

Alex Reichert
Alex Reichert
Engineer, Stripe

"Deeply nested, GraphQL-like queries that update in realtime are a dream come true."

Hunter Tinney
Hunter Tinney
CTO, Palette

"I built an “email inbox” simulation with user auth/login, permissions, multiple folders (inbox /_ sent), and live updates (including sending across user accounts) in ~50 minutes or so. Very impressive stuff, and a lot of fun!"

Sean Grove
Sean Grove
Engineer, OpenAI

"Hey guys, I've been prepping mentor v2 with a lot more data and much heavier db usage. Just wanted to say Instant is feeling awesome."

Igancio De Haedo
Igancio De Haedo
Engineer, Meta

A new kind of client-side infrastructure

Instant was born when we realized that some of the hardest UI problems are actually database problems in disguise. When you solve problems at the database layer, your software becomes more powerful and succinct. Here’s how:

Instant Updates

When apps are at their best, every change a user make should reflect instantly. There should be few spinners, loading states, or refresh buttons.

To do this today, you write custom code for endpoints, logic to apply optimistic updates, and to handle rollbacks.

Databases already know how to apply changes and handle rollbacks. With Instant, you write `transact`, and optimistic updates are handled for you.


Users seek collaborative experiences and sync across devices. To get this right, you need to set up sockets, cache and invalidate queries, and set up permission filters.

Instant takes inspiration from systems like Figma’s LiveGraph and Linear’s sync. We built the infrastructure that listens to transactions, and updates relevant queries.

Offline Mode

Users want your app to work even when they're offline. Not only does this make your app available everywhere, it makes your app feel faster. The first time your app loads, users see a loading screen. Every load afterwards gets satisfied by the local cache.

To support this, you need a way to apply changes locally, persist to disk, and reconcile when users come back online.

Instant comes with this logic baked in: the local database knows what is committed to the server and what is pending. No need to deal with queues.

Sync Off
Check-ins: 0
Check-ins: 0

Cursors, Typing Indicators, and Presence at your fingertips

Once your application becomes multiplayer, you see opportunities for new experiences everywhere: who’s online, who’s typing, and where are their cursors?

Instant supports these use cases — you can add shared cursors in 10 lines.

Start without a backend, scale to complex use cases

When you use Instant, you can focus on what’s important: building a great UX for your users, and doing it quickly.

You don’t need servers, separate auth providers, custom endpoints, front-end stores, or different APIs for mobile vs web. You get a real-time architecture that makes your frontend smooth.

When time comes for custom backend logic, you can spin up a server and use Instant’s admin SDK. Build your next SaaS app, React Native app, web app, or collaborative app on Instant. We’ll help you move fast, and scale alongside you.

About the team

Instant is built by senior and staff engineers from Facebook and Airbnb. We spent multiple years thinking deeply about this problem and have built a product that we believe is the future of application development.

We're backed by YCombinator, SV Angel, and top investors like:

James Tamplin
CEO of Firebase
Paul Graham
Co-Founder of YCombinator
Karri Saarinen
CEO of Linear
Amjad Masad
CEO of Replit
Zach Sims
CEO of Codecademy
Greg Brockman
Co-Founder of OpenAI
Jeff Dean
Chief Scientist of Google DeepMind
And 50+ technical founders
Sendbird, Panther, Segment and more

Check out our essay below to learn more why we think Instant is solving one of the largest problems in frontend development today.

Engineered in New York & San Francisco