An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: WhatsApp continues to move into the business market with today’s news of the launch of the WhatsApp Cloud API for all businesses around the world. The new developer tool, which was introduced in beta testing last November, is a cloud version of the WhatsApp Business API – the first WhatsApp enterprise product to generate revenue – but is housed in the infrastructure of the parent company Meta. The company has been building its Business API platform over the past few years as one of the key ways to make money with a free messaging program. Companies pay WhatsApp based on each message, and rates vary depending on the region and the number of messages sent. As of the end of last year, tens of thousands of businesses have been set up on the cloudless version of the Business API, including brands such as Vodafone, Coppel, Sears Mexico, BMW, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Itau Brazil, iFood, Bank Mandiri and others. This local version of the API is free to use.

However, the cloud version aims to attract small businesses and reduces integration time from weeks to minutes, the company said. It’s also free. Businesses integrate APIs with their internal systems, where WhatsApp communication is usually only one part of their messaging and communications strategy. They can also direct their communication to SMS, other messaging programs, email and more. Typically, businesses will work with solution providers such as Zendeks or Twilio to help facilitate this integration. Providers during the cloud API beta included Zendesk in the US, Take in Brazil and MessageBird in the EU. “The best business experience meets people where they are,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during today’s live broadcast of Conversations. “More than 1 billion users are already connecting to a business account in our messaging services every week. They are asking for help to find products and services, and to buy anything from big tickets to everyday goods. And today I’m is pleased to announce that we are opening WhatsApp for any company of any size worldwide with the WhatsApp Cloud API ”.

Meta also claims that the Cloud API “will help partners eliminate costly server costs and help them provide customers with quick access to new features as they arrive,” adds TechCrunch.

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