Meta-owned WhatsApp has evolved over the years – it has branched out from its initial days of providing instant messaging service to enter new areas such as payments and business.
And while it has not been successful in making a dent in the digital payments sector, its Business API has been instrumental in bringing home lots of dollars, having a user base in the millions, and tens of thousands of businesses (including names such as Vodafone, Coppel, Sears Mexico, and BMW) setting up shop. Those have resulted in decent money inflow as well, something that Whatsapp has generally been not known for.
Now, Meta is taking it one step further as it is starting to roll out WhatsApp Cloud API, the cloud-based version of the WhatsApp Business API. With this, Meta is effectively opening up WhatsApp to more businesses, regardless of size, across the world.
Meta CEO announced the same in a Facebook post. “Today we’re launching WhatsApp Cloud API for any business of any size around the world. This will allow businesses and developers to build on top of WhatsApp to customize their experiences and respond to customers quickly and easily. The best business experiences meet people where they are and that’s WhatsApp, so I’m excited to open this to businesses everywhere,” he wrote.
With WhatsApp Cloud API, businesses will be able to build a customized dashboard to chat with customers quickly and offer customer services, and they can do all of this without having to pay a single penny. It will also cut down the time for businesses to get started on WhatsApp from weeks to mere minutes. It will also help partners to eliminate expensive server expenses and help them provide customers with quick access to new features as they arrive.
To sweeten the pot, Meta will be bringing several premium features to add to the capabilities of the specialized business app in the coming months. These premium features are still in the works and will include a dedicated branded URL for businesses that is similar to a website address, the options to manage chats across up to 10 devices, as well as customized click-to-chat links that businesses can post on their websites and share with customers.
If this succeeds, then it will significantly ramp up Whatsapp revenue received by Meta. If you remember, the four-year-old WhatsApp Business API was WhatsApp’s first enterprise product that generated revenue. Today, businesses engage with customers on the platform and pay WhatsApp on a per-message basis.