WhatsApp’s Business API is now online.
According to a TechCrunch report, businesses will be able to respond to clients through the API for free for up to 24 hours – after which WhatsApp will charge a fixed rate per message.
Prices will vary by country.
Businesses will only be able to send messages to people who contact them first, and the API will help companies automate the sending of messages such as shipping confirmations, appointment reminders, and event tickets.
In addition to launching the Business API, the company will also launch a new display advertisement product on Facebook which will encourage people to start WhatsApp conversations with them.
Facebook announced in September 2017 that it was testing new features to make it easier for people to communicate with businesses on WhatsApp.
This came after Mark Zuckerberg outlined to investors how Facebook approaches the progression from viable product to making money.