If you have been following the latest WhatsApp news you’ll know that there’s been a lot of exciting things happening. At the start of 2018 WhatsApp launched a Business App bringing onboard a new sales and communication channel for entrepreneurs. Fast Forward to August 2018 and they’ve followed with a new Business API. So what’s the difference between the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API? Let’s lay it out.
WhatsApp might have been (fashionably?) late to the party, but they have certainly made an entrance. Since the start of the year, over 10 million businesses have downloaded the free WhatsApp Business App to communicate with their customers. Currently only available to Android users, the app is the first official tool of its kind launched by the messaging giant and companies can now create a verified profile (think the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram); outline their contact details and opening hours; list their website address, and include a small blurb about their services.
Some of the other features included in the free-to-use app are quick replies that let you save and reuse messages for faster responses, labels to organize your contacts, and most importantly - insights into messaging stats. The launch brings an exciting and much awaited B2C communication channel in the ever-evolving digisphere.
The WhatsApp Business API takes it a few steps further. Available since August 2018 to a select number of medium-to-large businesses, the API now brings automation, automation, automation. Businesses can use their current customer engagement platforms to integrate with WhatsApp through the API and reply to their customers promptly with notifications, shipping confirmations, appointment reminders or event tickets. Businesses can also build a chatbot to completely streamline the processes and provide immediate responses and answers to FAQs - key to customer engagement and satisfaction.
Replies to customer-initiated messages are free over the WhatsApp Business API. However, any communication outside of a 24-hour window from the first message will come at a fixed cost per message, depending on the country. This marks WhatsApp’s first step towards monetization; however, they have maintained they will remain ad-free.
Both the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API operate solely by opt-in and communication must be initiated by customers. All messages remain end-to-end encrypted keeping in line with WhatsApp stringent privacy conditions.
If you are looking to get started with WhatsApp for your business, sign up to our blog and keep up-to-date with the latest updates, tips, and how-to guides. In the next few posts, we will be walking you through setting up your own business account and outlining the features in detail.