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.