Yesterday, WhatsApp officially announced their API for WhatsApp for business. This will finally allow larger businesses to access the platform. Although WhatsApp has been shedding light on their plans bit-by-bit over the last year, the release brings a few surprises. Here are the most important takeaways:
- No ads in WhatsApp‘s chat interface. Facebook has decided to stay true to the starting principles of WhatsApp and not let in any advertisement in the app itself. Yet.
- Businesses will pay to send messages on WhatsApp. Additionally, they can create ads on facebook to get users into their WhatsApp channel in the first place.
- Bad news for businesses already using WhatsApp, through an unofficial hack or unofficial third-party-providers. WhatsApp writes in it’s release: “if you use anything other than the official WhatsApp Business API or other official WhatsApp tools, we reserve the right to limit or remove your access to WhatsApp”
- Verified Business profiles will be necessary to use the new functionality
- Full encryption, as users are used to in WhatsApp, will be upheld fully in Business-to-Consumer communication
- SMS is the target for WhatsApp, as the first use-cases all try to emulate and improve the most common SMS uses for business.
Of course, there is much more than meets the eye to this release. Check out the official WhatsApp Documentation, or read our Whatsapp White Paper, that elaborates on what this means for marketers.