What is API?
Application Programming Interface (API) is a software interface that offers communication services between two or more computer programs, software, and applications.
It executes such interactions in the form of requests and responses. A request from one application to another results in getting an appropriate response.
What is WhatsApp Cloud API?
WhatsApp Cloud API is a cloud server owned by Meta (Previously known as Facebook). Mark Zuckerberg made a public announcement on 19 May 2022 about launching WhatsApp Cloud API to enhance the experience for WhatsApp Business users. How?
WhatsApp Cloud API acts as a host server for the data from all the other applications involved in API. So, businesses can create an experience on top of WhatsApp more accessibly than ever.
In addition, WhatsApp Cloud API reduces the cost of hosting infrastructure, allows multiple users, and reduces approval time for businesses to get started.
Before WhatsApp Cloud API, businesses used to rely on WhatsApp Partners and Business Service Providers (BSPs) to get verified and access WhatsApp Business API. You can read more about it here.
But with the introduction of WhatsApp Cloud API, utilizing the features of WhatsApp Business has been more feasible and better.
Although, businesses still need third-party applications like Ameyo for optimum utilization of WhatsApp Business as it does not have its platform to execute.
Steps to Set Up WhatsApp Cloud API:
1. Log In to the Facebook Developer Account
The first step is to log in to a Facebook Developer Account and click on the “Create App” icon.
Login > Create App
2. Choose Application Type
Then a dialogue box will appear asking the kind of application type that is required. There, click on the “Business” option.
Select an App Type > Business
3. Fill In The Necessary Information
The next step is to fill in basic information about the business. If there is a Facebook Business Manager account, then link it.
If there is none, select “no business manager account selected” and move to “create an app.”
4. Set Up WhatsApp
Meta dashboard will showcase the list of their services and application. Scroll down to find WhatsApp and click on “set up” to complete the installation.
5. Read And Accept T&C
A dialogue box showing Terms and Conditions will appear. Accept them before continuing with the process.
6. Unique Business Account Id And Contact Number
A temporary contact number valid for up to 23 hours will be assigned along with a Unique Business Account ID. Then, send a text to a WhatsApp-enabled number to facilitate text messaging.
To complete the verification process enter the verification code sent to the previously mentioned mobile number.
8. Get Started With Sending Texts
Send texts on the verified number from the test number assigned, and experience the features of WhatsApp Cloud API.
After completing the setup of WhatsApp Cloud API, it can be integrated with different applications to access the complete features.
Features of WhatsApp Cloud API:
1. Integrations by developers and businesses with third-party apps like- CRM and analytics on top of WhatsApp to reduce start-up time.
2. Reduce external hosting costs for WhatsApp Business API users.
3. Access WhatsApp Cloud API on multiple devices (up to 10) and manage the influx of chats with broadcast and bulk messaging.
4. Interactive and customizable messaging options to attract new customers and increase online presence.
5. Use chatbots and other automation with the help of third-party applications.
6. Access to a verified WhatsApp Business Profile with a green tick, directly approved by Meta.
Registered users get access to all the new features as it gets updated periodically.
Pricing of WhatsApp Cloud API:
Meta has made getting access to WhatsApp Cloud API cost-free. It does not charge anything for providing hosting services that used to incur in the case of WhatsApp Business API.
There are a lot of changes and upgraded features. The plan is to provide these features and the current pricing plan to the existing WhatsApp Business API users.
They will have the option to choose if they want to include these features or not. If the user opts for these services, an additional fee may incur for offering premium services. The pricing has not been announced yet.
WhatsApp has shifted its pricing policy from notification-basis to conversation-basis from 1 February 2022.
Now businesses have to pay based on conversations or messages sent. There are two ways of charging for conversations:
1. User-Initiated Conversations-
These are the conversations where a user reaches out to a business, and they reply within 24 hours. In India, the current cost of a User-Initiated Conversation (UIC) is 0.35 Rs per conversation.
2. Business-Initiated Conversations-
These are the conversations where a business reaches out to a customer- either in response to an existing text after 24 hours or for the first time using a template message.
In India, the current cost of a Business-Initiated Conversation (BIC) is 0.55 Rs per conversation.
Key Takeaways about WhatsApp Cloud API:
1. It is an upgraded version of WhatsApp Business API with advanced and premium features.
2. It removes the hassle of intermediaries and helps businesses get direct verification from Meta.
3. It does not have an interactive platform and requires a third-party vendor like Ameyo.
4. It reduces expenses spent on hosting services and infrastructure.
If there are still any queries or you would like an in-depth take on WhatsApp Cloud API, then you can Contact Us to get in touch with our experts!