WhatsApp, a meta-messaging platform, has introduced a cloud API service to give businesses a way to quickly embrace WhatsApp and use it as another way to communicate with customers.
“The best business experience is meeting people where they already are. More than a billion users connect to the business account in our messaging services every week, “said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the company’s Conversations conference.
“They turn for help to find products and services and to buy everything from big tickets to everyday goods. And today … we are opening WhatsApp for any business of any size worldwide with the WhatsApp Cloud API.
Zuckerberg explained that through the cloud-based platform, any business or developer will be able to build a custom dashboard on WhatsApp software to “personalize their experience and speed up their response time to customers.”
The dashboard will also give businesses a look at their WhatsApp accounts, current account limits, the latest product news and access to four main account tools – insights, messages, templates, phone numbers and product catalog.
Using the WhatsApp Cloud API is free for the first 1000 messages per month, which can be initiated by the business or the user. Businesses can then choose to expand and expand more through paid levels, with fees based on the number of customer calls per day. The price varies from one cent to nearly 20 cents, depending on whether the calls are business or consumer-initiated and in which market.
The company has been building its business offering since 2017, when it began piloting a special chat app for businesses. WhatsApp Business for Android was launched about six months later.