Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company will open WhatsApp to businesses of all sizes around the world with WhatsApp Cloud API.
“In just a few minutes, any business or developer can easily access our service, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience and speed up their response time to customers by using our secure WhatsApp Cloud API hosted by Meta. And this is an important step to help more businesses connect with people and help more people message the businesses that they want to support – big and small,” said Zuckerberg.
“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. 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”, he added.
Meta said that with this new development, businesses will benefit from the elimination of costly server expenses and gain instant access to new WhatsApp features. Users will now be able to communicate with more businesses on the app. However, Meta has stressed that users will be in full control over which businesses they communicate with. Businesses will not be able to initiate conversations with people unless those people have requested the business to contact them.
Meta will also be introducing new power features for its WhatsApp Business app that will be offered for a fee. The new features include the capability of managing chats across up to 10 devices, new customizable WhatsApp click-to-chat links for businesses to attract customers across their online presence, including applications like Facebook and Instagram. These features will be a part of the forthcoming Premium service for WhatsApp Business app users.
WhatsApp had started business offerings with the introduction of the WhatsApp for Business application in 2018 for Android and 2019 for iOS. After the WhatsApp Business API was launched in August 2018, the WhatsApp Cloud API is the next step to enable businesses of all sizes across the globe to establish a presence on WhatsApp by leveraging free secure cloud hosting services provided by Meta.