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Facebook and WhatsApp have announced a new WhatsApp Business API which can be used by businesses to manage their conversations with customers. Along with the WhatsApp Business API, Facebook will also offer ads on Facebook which will allow marketers to show ads on Facebook that click to WhatsApp, automatically opening a pre-filled WhatsApp chat between the user and business.
WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp business which was officially launched in January this year has over 3 million users as compared to the massive 1.5 billion user base that uses the regular app. The new API will allow businesses to send end-to-end encrypted messages to people who start a chat with the company via the app and to message people who have requested information.
Charges for WhatsApp Business API
A WhatsApp spokesperson shared the following explanation to help clarify the charges for messages sent via the Business API:
“WhatsApp will charge businesses to send messages such as a boarding pass or delivery confirmation. When a customer reaches out to a business with a question such as how do they book their travel or when their order will be delivered, the business will be able to respond for free within 24 hours. If/when the customer responds, that restarts a 24-hour cycle. WhatsApp will charge for messages sent by the business outside of the 24-hour window.”
There is a fixed rate per country for messages delivered via WhatsApp and that prices vary significantly per country: “In general, the range for these messages are roughly half of $0.01 to $0.09 per message delivered.
Facebook Ads that click to whats App
Facebook will soon be offering ads via its Ads Manager that open a WhatsApp chat. “When a person taps on an Ad that clicks to WhatsApp, they will be transferred to a pre-filled WhatsApp chat where they can message your business quickly,” writes Facebook. Businesses will also be able to include a “click-to-message” WhatsApp feature on their website and Facebook Page.