Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced significant updates for WhatsApp’s Business Messaging services. The meta-owned messaging app is offering cloud-based API services for free to get more companies to use the messaging application.
WhatsApp has announced tons of unique features for business users.
Zuckerberg revealed it at Meta’s “Conversations” event. The Meta CEO claimed that this service was a new one, and anyone, whether developer or business, could access the service and personalize their experience and improve their service to their customers.
“We have used the WhatsApp API in the past with larger organizations. However, it’s been a difficult product to start with. You’ll need someone to set up the software, host it, and manage the application. That’s a lot of work and complexity, to begin with. Cloud-hosted versions of WhatsApp API remove all that hassle and can be started in only a few hours,” Matt Idema, vice president, business messaging, Meta, said from California.
Zuckerberg said WhatsApp users would be able to use improved features with WhatsApp Cloud API.
The company has been working to build the Business API platform over the last few years, one of the primary ways that the essentially free messaging application could make profits. Companies pay WhatsApp on an individual basis for each message. The rates vary depending on the location and the number of messages delivered. In the last quarter, tens of thousands of companies had been set up on the non-cloud version of Business API. Business API includes brands like Vodafone, Coppel, Sears Mexico, BMW, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Itau Brazil, iFood, Bank Mandiri, and others. The on-premise version that the Business API uses is entirely free to use.
The cloud-based version seeks to appeal to a segment of smaller enterprises. According to the business started, it cuts the time for integration from weeks to just a few moments. It’s also cost-free.
Idema also stated that the company plans to enhance its free small-business application features by adding premium features over the next few months, such as providing an individual branded URL to companies that function like a website address and the capability to control the same phone number across several devices.
Interestingly, WhatsApp Cloud API was announced in beta in November 2021.
“So If you’re a small-sized business with an employee team of 5-6 who respond to emails. Instead, each of them needs their number. There is only one number for your business, making it simpler for your customers. We’ll be adding these premium features to our small business app for free in the months ahead,” he said.
According to a study by Meta. Three out of three respondents said that messaging was their preferred method of communication with the company.
Idema stated that Meta had seen significant acceptance and growth in business-related messaging through WhatsApp in India.