WhatsApp will be open to all businesses through Cloud API: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg
At Meta's (previously Facebook) flagship Conversations event, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that they are opening WhatsApp to businesses of all sizes around the world with WhatsApp Cloud API.
At Conversations, Meta's (previously Facebook) inaugural business messaging conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to stage to announce that the social media giant will be opening WhatsApp to businesses of all sizes around the world with WhatsApp Cloud API.
"Within a few minutes, any business or developer can easily access our service, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customise 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," Zuckerberg said in the conference.
For WhatsApp partners, the new service will eliminate costly server expenses and give them instant access to new features. The service also aims to enable people to chat with more of their favourite businesses on WhatsApp. However, businesses cannot message users unless they have requested to be contacted.
To make this a reality, the team will be offering free, secure cloud hosting services provided by Meta. This will allow businesses and developers to get up and running on WhatsApp within minutes – and will allow them to build directly on top of WhatsApp to further customise their experience and increase the speed at which they can respond to their customers.
At the start of the conference, Mark took to the stage and said,
"In recent years, the way that we connect online has seen some meaningful shifts. And you might remember that in the early days of Facebook, we used to share everything on our wall. And then eventually to our feed and out in public for all our friends to see and react to. Today, most of us use our feeds to discover interesting content and stay up to date. But for deeper levels of interaction, messaging has become the centre of our digital lives."
He added that messaging is more intimate and private, and encryption makes it more secure.
"At Meta, we run some of the world's best messaging platforms, from WhatsApp to Messenger to Instagram DMs. We are constantly working to improve them to make it easier to communicate with friends, family, and the close knit groups that matter most to you. Increasingly, we're seeing that people want the same ease of communication with businesses, too," said Mark.
He explained that nowadays, people don't just want to call customer service or jump between apps or have to send an email to businesses. Users want support and make the right purchases with the help of chat, and this is where businesses want to be
"The best business experiences entail meeting people where they are. Already, more than one 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.
He explained that any business or developer can easily access the service in just a few minutes. The service is built directly on top of WhatsApp to customise their experience and speed up their response time to customers by using WhatsApp Cloud API hosted by Meta. This enables more businesses of all sizes to connect with people.
The team also aims to support small businesses with additional tools. While some SMBs will want to use the cloud-based API, many are expected to continue using the WhatsApp Business app.
"We are also working on advanced features for these businesses to help them run their operations beyond just a few people, and further amplify their brand online – like the ability to manage chats across up to 10 devices so they can better handle an influx of chats. We’ll also provide new customisable WhatsApp click-to-chat links to help businesses attract customers across their online presence. We plan to offer these as additional, optional features for a fee in the WhatsApp Business app as part of a new premium service," said the WhatsApp team.
Edited by Kanishk Singh