Facebook pushing to make money from WhatsApp

WhatsApp has announced that it will launch a new premium service tier for its WhatsApp Business platform.

Paying users will get access to customisable click-to-chat links and have the ability to manage chats across ten devices.

Alongside this announcement, WhatsApp owner Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) launched the WhatsApp Cloud API.

This new product is a cloud-based version of the messaging app’s Business API, which launched in 2018.

According to communications platform provider Infobip, the self-hosted WhatsApp Business API lets companies access additional features.

These include Product Messages, Identity Change, and anti-virus scanning of incoming media.

“Cloud API is better suited to small and medium businesses, especially in the e-commerce sector, who don’t require the highest level of transaction security,” Infobip stated.

Meta said the launch of Cloud API makes it possible for smaller businesses to use WhatsApp’s API features by eliminating server expenses for its partners.

They will also get instant access to new features, the company promised.

TechCrunch reported that using the API is free. However, it should be noted that Meta charges WhatsApp Business customers per conversation on the platform.

The first 1,000 conversations are free, after which companies are charged rates depending on the region and volume of messages.

In South Africa, the prices are $0.0280 (R0.44) for user-initiated conversations and $0.0168 (R0.27) for business-initiated conversations.

In addition to reducing costs, Meta promised the WhatsApp Cloud API would reduce integration time.

“With this new API, we’ve cut down start-up time from months to minutes so businesses and developers can quickly and easily access our service, build directly on top of WhatsApp to further customise their experience and increase the speed at which they can respond to their customers,” Whatsapp said.

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Facebook pushing to make money from WhatsApp