On this page, you learn what WhatsApp Business is, its products, their general applications, their costs and who they serve.
All of the WhatsApp products aimed at businesses fall under WhatsApp Business. There are two main categories for WhatsApp Business: WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business Platform. Businesses that want to use any of these products must comply with WhatsApp Commerce Policy and WhatsApp Business Messaging Policy.
It is a free app that one can download on their phone (android and iOS). It’s aimed at micro-businesses and, in many ways, is similar to the WhatsApp Messenger app. Business owners download the app on their phones and talk to customers via their WhatsApp Messenger app. We talk about its features and benefits under WhatsApp Business App.
It is a free app that one can download on their phone (android and iOS). It’s aimed at micro-businesses and, in many ways, is similar to the WhatsApp Messenger app. Business owners download the app on their phones and talk to customers via their WhatsApp Messenger app. We talk about its features and benefits under WhatsApp Business App Features.
Who is the WhatsApp Business Platform for?
WhatsApp Business Platform is for small businesses to enterprises that want to talk with their customers at scale and do complex customer communication tasks, such as team collaboration in WhatsApp chats, automation, integration with other tools like an eCommerce store, and more.
It consists of three APIs, two of which businesses can use for customer communications:
- WhatsApp on-premises API (Also known as WhatsApp Business API)
- WhatsApp Cloud API
- WhatsApp Management API
Only the first 2 APIs are for customer communications and throughout this book, we talk about them only.
What are WhatsApp Business API and WhatsApp Cloud API?/
They are programming interfaces that let you connect your business’s WhatsApp account to other software and tools so that you can use the features and benefits of your other tools in your WhatsApp communications. For example, you can connect a chatbot to your WhatsApp account using either of WhatsApp Business API or WhatsApp Cloud API and automate your WhatsApp conversations.
How to Access the WhatsApp Business Platform?
You can access WhatsApp Cloud API through Meta and WhatsApp Business API through Meta’s partners, Business Solution Providers (BSPs). Unlike the WhatsApp Business App, the APIs of WhatsApp Business Platform don’t have a chat interface (an inbox). Therefore, to use them for customer communications, a business needs to get an inbox.
How Much Does It Cost to Use the WhatsApp Business Platform?
WhatsApp Cloud API is available for free from Meta.
If you want to use the WhatsApp Business API, you must pay a Business Solution Provider (BSP) to give you access to it. BSPs have different pricing models and charge differently. You must also pay for a WhatsApp inbox (like Rasayel) and WhatsApp’s conversations.
To learn more about how much it costs in total to use WhatsApp Business API and WhatsApp Cloud API, read WhatsApp Business Platform Cost.
|WhatsApp Business App||WhatsApp Business Platform|
|What is it?||A downloadable app||Not an app (Application Programming Interfaces)|
|Who is it for?||Micro-businesses||Small businesses to enterprises|
|How can you get access to it?||Download it from App Store or Google Play on your phone||From Meta (WhatsApp Cloud API) or Business Solution Providers (WhatsApp Business API)|
|Has a chat interface (inbox)?||Yes||No. You must purchase separately.|
|How much does it cost to use it for customer communications?||Free (some extra features come at a cost)||Variable cost|
|How long does it take to get access to it?||A few minutes||A few minutes for the WhatsApp Cloud API. For WhatsApp Business API it could take a few minutes to few weeks depending on the Business Solution Provider you choose|