Introduction to WhatsApp Cloud API
WhatsApp Cloud API, released in May 2022, is the latest API of Meta for customer communications. Similar to the WhatsApp Business API, the Cloud API a tool for small businesses to enterprises to connect their WhatsApp account to other software to use the features of those software in their WhatsApp communications. For instance, it lets you connect your WhatsApp account to your online store and a chatbot, so that every time someone buys a service or a product from you, they automatically receive a confirmation message via WhatsApp.
The Cloud API has almost the same features and capabilities as the WhatsApp Business API such as different message types. Meta gives direct access to the Cloud API for free, meaning any new features that Meta releases for it will be instantly available to its users. Similar to the Busines API, WhatsApp Cloud API doesn’t have a chat interface. You need a WhatsApp inbox, such as Rasayel, or a CRM for it to send and receive messages.
Meta released the WhatsApp Cloud API to gradually replace the WhatsApp Business API so that businesses wouldn’t need to rely on BSPs. However, for now, WhatsApp Cloud API is not a replacement for the WhatsApp Business API. For example, Meta doesn’t offer SLA, disaster recovery or personalized support to the users of the Cloud API. In WhatsApp Business API vs. WhatsApp Cloud API, there is a summary of their differences so that you can decide which one suits your business needs best.
If you’d like to learn how much it costs to use the Cloud API for your customer communications, read WhatsApp Business Platform Costs.
To access the WhatsApp Cloud API, you must create a WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) with Meta. The steps are outlined in How to Access the WhatsApp Cloud API.