Know the difference between WhatsApp Business App and Cloud API

WhatsApp Business app vs API

With increasing usage of chatbots, businesses can serve more customers in different platforms. One of the popular platform a business can use for its growth is Whatsapp. Lets see how business can use the best features of whatsapp business app and API for the growth.

WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service that allows users to send text messages, voice messages, make voice, video calls, and share media(images, documents) . It has made everything easy for businesses to reach and serve many customers as fast as possible. With WhatsApp business App and API doing the great job, but i would like one to know the differences between the two and how his/her business can benefit from them.

Its good to point out that WhatsApp started with messenger app before the launch of business app. Let's start by knowing the differences between the two apps, messenger and business app.

Messenger Vs Business App

Messenger app vs business app

Messenger App

With this app you can have personal conversations between friends and family. Besides sending text messages ,you can share pictures, documents, start a video call and much more... .

You can also use stickers to spice up your conversations. This is suited for non-business people as it will not provide the user ability to do any automation.

Business App

WhatsApp Business App is built with focus of small-medium business operation to easy customer communication. The app allows sharing of the same number across devices (limit to 5 devices). With the app, the business is provided with rich features such as business profile, product catalog, quick messaging(away messages, greeting messages). This is focused on small to medium businesses.

✅ Business App can do all messenger app can do with added bonus to work in a business manner...

With the differences between the apps(messenger and business) being clear, lets get into the journey of knowing the difference between business app and API

Business App Vs API

Now lets dive into the main activity right now,

With WhatsApp business, there are two distinct products namely whatsapp business app(discussed above) and WhatsApp business API. Lets dive into business API.

Let's do a quick recap of what an API is. An API(Application Programming Interface) is communication mechanism that allows two software/programs to communicate together under set communication protocols.

The use of WhatsApp business API is to enable businesses perform advanced automation of their operations such as using A.I power chatbots, customer care services, hence preferred by large organizations. Though this does not stop small-medium from using it.

The differences

Lets see some major differences between the two basing on the following criteria.

  1. Set up

With an App, the set up is fast as you just need to download the app, register your number for whatsapp business and fill some important information(profile, catalogs,...) about your business.

With API, you need an Meta for developer account or use whatsapp business partners to have your business number verified. The process may take some work days though.

2. Cost

WhatsApp Business app is free 🆓 to use while Business API costs some cents 💵 to utilize it fully in production. With an API, business can obtain a verification tick.

WhatsApp business Verified Account green tick
WhatsApp business green tick

This shows your customers that the account is genuine and safe to interact with, resulting in more engagement.(Though the application process takes time).

3. Usage and number of devices

With the App, the target is small to medium businesses that can manage to handle customers with few automation needs. It allows up to 5 connected devices to enable businesses to work with a shared business account. It allows business operators to chat individually with customers. With an App, you can make calls where as an API protocol does not allow making calls

The API, is mainly focused on large organizations that would like to rely more on advanced automation to serve their huge customers. The business can build its own interface as API does not have one.

This is no limit that only large organizations can use the API, even small and medium businesses can apply for API usage in production to leverage the power of Advanced automation such as A.I powered chatbots like those built using sarufi.

4. Messaging

WhatsApp business App allows the business to send unlimited messages and of any content at any time.

For Business API, conversations fall into two categories that are priced differently with all having a 24 hours reply window.

  • User-initiated: A conversation that initiates in response to a user message. Whenever a business replies to a user within the 24 hour customer service window, that message will be associated with a user-initiated conversation. Businesses can send free-form messages within this 24 hour customer service window. With user initiated conversation, the business can reply without message limits and no content limit(you can use medias here such as images, videos, files,...)
  • Business-initiated: A conversation that initiates a business initiates by sending a user a message outside a 24 hour customer service window. These messages use message templates which have limited contents that can be used, also templates are to be verified by whatsapp before getting into usage.

WhatsApp business App limits broadcasts to 256 contacts while an API can allow more broadcasts

5. WhatsApp Automation

On automation side, an app provides few automation techniques such as qiuck replies, greeting messages and away messages.

Using API, a business will have ability to do more advanced automations mostly important using A.I powered chatbots. You can build chatbot using sarufi.

With whatsapp business app, you can not integrate it with a chatbot. You will need to use API to do this integration. This is the major difference for this discuss, when it comes to automation an API provides more options.

✅ When we speak of Chatbot integration with whatsapp, we generally mean whatsapp business API

Final word

We have reached our short-journey destination discussing the difference between the two. But why the differences, there was a need to know the difference as when it comes to chatbot integration.

So when we talk about whatsapp integration of chatbots, we generally mean using whatsapp cloud api. By using Sarufi your business can build a production WhatsApp integration-ready chatbot.

To build a next-generation customer experience solution whatsapp-ready at scale and elevate the customer experience using Sarufi, get in touch with us right away.