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Meta Unveils WhatsApp Cloud API For Businesses

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Meta has taken the wraps off WhatsApp Cloud API, a cloud version of the existing WhatsApp Business API. The new API is open to all businesses worldwide, as per the company.

Meta first started beta testing the new WhatsApp Cloud API in November 2021

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about WhatsApp Cloud API during the company’s “Conversations” live event. “The best business experiences meet people where they are. Already more than 1 billion users connect with a business account across our messaging services every week,” Zuckerberg said (via TechCrunch).

“They’re reaching out for help, to find products and services, and to buy anything from big-ticket items to everyday goods. And today, I am excited to announce that we’re opening WhatsApp to any business of any size around the world with WhatsApp Cloud API.”

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The new WhatsApp Cloud API is hosted entirely on Meta’s servers and is free to use. The company began beta testing the new cloud-based API in November last year. Unlike the Business API, it will target smaller businesses while reducing integration time from weeks to minutes. Businesses will need to integrate the Cloud API on the back-end, meaning WhatsApp messages will only be a branch of their overall communications strategy (texts, emails, and so on).

The WhatsApp Business API was one of the chat app’s first enterprise products designed to generate revenue. Moreover, this on-premise API is available for free to businesses. As TechCrunch reports, several major brands are part of the non-cloud Business API, including BMW, Vodafone, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and several others. Meta says the Cloud API will significantly speed up integration, particularly in comparison to the on-premise Business API.

Meta is also bringing new features to the WhatsApp Business app

The WhatsApp Business app was first introduced in 2018 to help small businesses leverage the app’s tools to reach a wider audience. Meta is now bringing new features to this app, allowing businesses to manage chats on up to 10 devices. Businesses will also get new customizable WhatsApp click-to-chat links. The company said this would be part of a “Premium” version of WhatsApp Business. However, it’s unclear how much it would cost or when it would be available for businesses.

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