During Meta’s messaging-focused “Conversations” live event, Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the global, public availability of the cloud-based platform, now called the WhatsApp Cloud API.
As Meta said, there is growing traction in people interacting directly with businesses using its Whatsapp Business App:
“One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct – whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories.”
According to Meta, with the cloud API, they’re adding on to the current business solution with connectors getting such benefits as:
- Free, secure cloud hosting services so businesses and developers can easily access our service within minutes
- Build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience, and
- Increase their response time for their customers
What is the Cloud API
An application programming interface (API) is a connection between computers or between computer programs. It is a type of software interface offering a service to other pieces of software.
In the case of WhatsApp Cloud API, businesses can now integrate the API with their back-end systems. For many businesses, WhatsApp communication is usually just one part of their messaging and communication strategy. Their strategy may also include SMS, other messaging apps, emails and more – where they’d need to direct communications to.
Typically, businesses would work with a solutions provider like Zendesk or Twilio to help facilitate integrations with the different platforms they need to send messaging through, but with the cloud API open to businesses, their developers can connect their software directly to WhatsApp.
According to Zuckerberg, the new API will help businesses, both big and small, be able to connect with more people.
The Cloud API will also help partners to eliminate costly server expenses and provide customers with quick access to new features as they arrive.
Meta also announced the improvement of the original Whatsapp Business App.
Launched in 2018, the WhatsApp Business App is aimed at smaller businesses that want to establish an official presence on WhatsApp’s service and connect with customers.
It provides a set of features that wouldn’t be available to users of the free WhatsApp messaging app, like:
- Support for automated quick replies
- Greeting messages
- Away messaging
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