WhatsApp launches free cloud-based API services

WhatsApp launches free cloud-based API services

In a move to get more businesses to use the app, WhatsApp is introducing free cloud-based API services, according to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, one of several platforms where Facebook-owned Meta has launched more shopping and business-focused features.

According to Zuckerberg, who spoke at Meta's Conversations event, the offering will allow businesses to easily access our service, build directly on top of WhatsApp, and speed up response time to customers by using our secure WhatsApp Cloud API hosted by Meta. WhatsApp already has an API, or type of software interface, which allows businesses to connect their systems and engage in customer service chats on the service, which generates revenue for Meta.

Meta, which bought WhatsApp for US $19 billion in a landmark deal in 2014, said businesses would not be able to message people on WhatsApp unless they requested to be contacted.

WhatsApp is planning to provide optional paid features as part of a new premium service for users of its specialised business app, which is geared towards small businesses.

The features are still being developed and include options to manage chats across up to 10 devices and customised click-to chat links that businesses can post on their websites and share with customers.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, speaking at the conference with Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, said that a third of the users ordering rides via WhatsApp in India are new customers.

He said that the ride-hailing company, which launched its WhatsApp chatbot in December, plans to add more features to the service, starting with users in and around Delhi and expanding to markets like Brazil.