The WhatsApp Business API is an API that is used to scale up customer engagements over WhatsApp with special features. It is used primarily by medium and large businesses to engage and interact with their customers all over the world in a secure and reliable manner.
It is only an API and has no app or front-end interface. It can be integrated and used with your business software (like the Engati platform).
How is the WhatsApp Business API different from the WhatsApp Business App?
The WhatsApp Business App is meant to be used by small businesses that only seek to engage their customers one-on-one.
The WhatsApp Business API is used by medium and large businesses that need a business suite that integrates with their other systems, software and data. This is used by businesses with a larger number of users that need to be engaged at scale.
The WhatsApp Business API allows you to engage more customers at a faster pace by bringing automation into the mix. It empowers you to interact with more customers over WhatsApp than ever before by using WhatsApp chatbots and live chat.
What are the features of the WhatsApp Business API?
Using the WhatsApp business API, you can only send messages to WhatsApp users who have already messaged your business or have provided consent to receiving messages from your business.
2. Session messages
These are messages that are sent within the ‘service window’. WhatsApp allows you to send messages to your customers within 24 hours of receiving a message from them. These messages can include text, emojis, stickers, links, images, videos, and documents.
3. Message templates
These are predefined templates that can be personalized for individual customers. You can use these to send broadcasts and notifications. These templates need to be approved by WhatsApp before you can send them to your customers.
WhatsApp message templates allow you to send interactive buttons within the message that your customers can use to reach a webpage or call you up.
5. End-to-end encryption
WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, which means that only you and your customers can read them.
The WhatsApp Business API can be integrated with your chatbot platform (Engati) as well as other backend systems like your CRM, ticketing system, and other marketing platforms.
What is the WhatsApp Business API used for?
You can use the WhatsApp Business API to build intelligent WhatsApp bots and scale up your customer engagements over the platform that your customers prefer and spend the most time using.
The message templates are another major reason why businesses use the API. This is because they help you reach customers outside the 24-hour window and can even be used to broadcast messages to WhatsApp users who haven’t interacted with your business yet.
The templates can be used to send broadcasts as well as notifications to your customers about order and payment confirmations, account updates, shipping details, etc.
How do you get access to the WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp only grants select businesses like Procter & Gamble, Apple, Uber, Singapore Airlines, etc. direct access to the API.
Other businesses need to get access from Business solution providers. Engati helps you get your WhatsApp Business API from providers like 360Dialog, Kaleyra, Vonage (Nexmo), Clickatell, and Twillio.
However, the fastest way to get access to the API would be to choose 360Dialog as your provider when you deploy an Engati chatbot on WhatsApp and click on the prompt to create an account with 360Dialog.
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This glossary about WhatsApp business API was originally published in Engati blogs.
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