Whatsapp for Business to open up with cloud API, offer vanity URLs

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WhatsApp’s small business app, which has 50 million users, will get premium features like the option to create a vanity URL for consumers to contact you.

With the new easier-to-use cloud hosted version of its API, WhatsApp for Business is now open to all businesses and developers, Meta stated Thursday.
Premium capabilities, like as the option to create a vanity URL for consumers to contact you, will be available to the messaging platform’s 50 million-plus small business app users.

“The WhatsApp API has been available for larger enterprises, but it’s been a difficult product to get started with.”
You’ll need to hire someone to install, host, and maintain the programme for you.
And getting started requires a lot of effort and complexity.
All of that is removed with the cloud-hosted version of the WhatsApp API, and you can get started right away.

“Whether you are an individual developer, working on an entrepreneurial initiative of your own, or a smaller firm,” Idema added, the new platform will be something to graduate to.
He claims that the new API would allow “partners to focus on building the tools and services that they want to give to clients on top of WhatsApp,” while WhatsApp will take care of the API’s installation, maintenance, and hosting.

“It’s really similar to how you have a URL for your web page, or a name for your app,” Idema said of the unique URL option being handed out to corporate users.
Small businesses would also benefit from multi-device functionality, which will allow numerous phones to administer the same WhatsApp number, according to him.
He said that this is a service that many small businesses have requested for a long time.

WhatsApp believes that this is a natural progression, and that users want commerce to be a part of their messaging experience.
India, one of its largest markets with over 400 million users, provided a wealth of knowledge.
“Small business owners were already using WhatsApp, putting numbers up on their stores, and encouraging clients to just message when they needed food,” he said, adding that they hadn’t established the tools that made this interaction easier for businesses.

“It began with the notion that consumers wanted this since it was what we saw in app usage, and we gradually added capabilities to make it happen.”
We believe that this is a natural extension of what people want to do using WhatsApp.
And we saw that it was extremely beneficial during the pandemic,” he continued.

However, this has been done in such a way that individuals feel in command.
“They can control the conversation if it’s one they don’t want to have.”
“We need to make sure we’re establishing systems to ensure that the experience of talking to a business remains good quality,” he said, adding that businesses don’t want to make messaging with them an unpleasant experience, either.

The majority of the features are the consequence of what businesses requested and what WhatsApp observed them doing with the service.
“I recall meeting with a lot of them in Mumbai and Delhi, and they would show us around their businesses and explain how they had to hire an extra person just to answer all these WhatsApp messages.”
And most of the time, it’s the same inquiry, or they email me a photo of it or tell me what size it is,” Idema told on how they began to develop tools to help business owners reply to typical queries.

The following step of the business required “a profile that differs from what a regular user of the consumer app can do.”
This led to the creation of business profiles and catalogues, which allowed businesses to easily upload product images and answer simple inquiries.
“We’ve just kept listening to what small businesses have been asking for and incorporating those features into the product.”
That is one of the reasons why we are so enthusiastic about the premium options.
These are powerful capabilities for firms that run on WhatsApp.”
According to Idema, the unique URL capability will be used to market their business on Facebook and Instagram via click-to-message ads.

The ability to make payments over WhatsApp will also be a big component of it.
“We put a lot of time and effort into making payments feasible on WhatsApp.
You had a fantastic interaction with a company and decide to buy their goods; all you want is it to be simple.
You simply want to tap and pay electronically.
And that is what UPI promises.
We’re delighted we invested in it, and we’re optimistic that making it available to businesses will make it even more beneficial to consumers,” he said.

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