Meta Launch WhatsApp Cloud API for Public

After the success of the previous solution, WhatsApp Business API —which was launched in August 2018 – Meta re-launched a similar solution but with a different name called WhatsApp Cloud API. This new solution was first created in November 2021. To put it simply, the WhatsApp Cloud API allows businesses to integrate WhatsApp APIs into their dashboards without working with third party vendors, such as a Business Solution Provider (BSP). The convenience offered certainly attracts a lot of public attention.

But how are the details of using the WhatsApp Cloud API made by Meta? Read more in detail in this article.

Understanding WhatsApp Cloud API by Meta

The WhatsApp Cloud API is a solution launched by Meta as a “twin” of the WhatsApp Business API. The WhatsApp Cloud API is a cloud version of the WhatsApp Business API. This cloud-based solution allows businesses to integrate the WhatsApp Business API into their platforms or dashboards independently without working with a third party such as a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP).

As is known previously, businesses were required to cooperate with an official WhatsApp BSP to gain access to the use of the WhatsApp Business API. The process definitely appears complicated and takes a lot of time.

This new solution from Meta certainly attracts the attention of many businesses from various industries. There is now a simple way to use the WhatsApp Business API without the hassle of working with an appropriate BSP. It also gives the impression to businesses that the WhatsApp API can be installed independently and for free. Furthermore, Meta claims that the WhatsApp Cloud API solution can receive and send up to 80 text and media messages per second.

So, what are some of the exciting features of the WhatsApp Cloud API you could try?

WhatsApp Cloud API Features

The WhatsApp Cloud API will be equipped with basic features already present in the existing WhatsApp Business API. These features include:

  1. Freedom to integrate your WhatsApp account with various supporting solutions, including CRM, chatbot, analytics, and others
  2. Opportunity to get a verified sign from WhatsApp in the form of a green tick for qualified businesses
  3. No limitations to sending broadcast messages
  4. A message template feature for sending interactive messages

Once again, keep in mind that the features above are basic features that every business will definitely receive. As for other additional features, it will be entirely up to you to decide whether to cooperate these with a third-party solution provider or not.

With an innumerable number of features, is the WhatsApp Cloud API still feasible? Read more in the section below.

Differences between WhatsApp Business API and WhatsApp Cloud API

Although these two solutions are considered to resemble each other closely, there are some key differences between both the WhatsApp Business API and the WhatsApp Cloud API. The table below lines out the differences:

WhatsApp Cloud APIWhatsApp Business API
Able to integrate WhatsApp Cloud API independently via MetaWill be facilitated by WhatsApp BSP end-to-end
No dashboard and User Interface (UI)Readily available dashboard (by your BSP) that suits your various needs
In light of a technical problem, businesses must deal directly and independently with MetaAll technical problems can be helped by WhatsApp BSP so that businesses don’t have to solve them independently
Table 1: Differences between WhatsApp Business API and WhatsApp Cloud API

WhatsApp Cloud API Usage Fee

Meta claims that the WhatsApp Cloud API is going to be made freely accessible to the public, and this is true as reflected on the following link: developers.facebook.com. However, it should be emphasized that businesses will still be charged a conversation-based fee for each message sent via the WhatsApp Cloud API.

There are two conversation models, which are also applicable to the use of the WhatsApp Business API, as explained below:

  1. Business-Initiated Conversations → It is a conversation model initiated by a business. In this model, businesses will send messages to customers in advance by using a message template, and a fee will be charged.
  2. User-Initiated Conversations → A customer-initiated conversation model. In this model, the customer will contact the business first. When that happens, the 24 Hour Conversation Window will automatically be activated and businesses will be allowed to reply to customer messages without using any templated messages and for free.

The fees charged will follow the rules of Facebook. So even though businesses can access it for free, you will still have to pay to send messages through the WhatsApp Cloud API. As for User-Initiated Conversations, although businesses can send messages for free, this is only valid for 24 hours after the customer initiates the message for the first time. After 24 hours have lapsed, businesses will need to reactivate the window by initiating messages using the message templates, which will then be considered as a Business-Initiated Conversations

WhatsApp Cloud API Access Tutorial

Here is a tutorial on how to get the WhatsApp Cloud API and how to use it:

Tutorial to Get WhatsApp Cloud API

  1. First, make sure you are registered as a Facebook Developer. If not, you will need to register at developers.facebook.com after which, you should follow the steps on this page. Then, click the following link: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/development/register/ and click the Create button. Follow the steps thereafter until you are able to access the App.
Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 11.54.20.png
Picture 1: WhatsApp Cloud API Access Tutorial

2. Click the App that you already have, which is Cloud API Onboarding

3, Next, click WhatsApp, then click the Setup button

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 10.42.39.png
Picture 2: WhatsApp Cloud API Access Tutorial

4. You will see the WhatsApp menu in the Products section on the left sidebar when you are done. After that, you can click Getting Started to start using the WhatsApp Cloud API.

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 10.38.40.png
Picture 3: WhatsApp Cloud API Access Tutorial

5. Select the Facebook Business account that you will use for WhatsApp Cloud API. Follow all the steps to complete the initial configuration.

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Picture 4: WhatsApp Cloud API Access Tutorial

Tutorial on how to access WhatsApp Cloud API via Qiscus Omnichannel Chat

Apart from visiting the Facebook Developers page directly, you can also access the WhatsApp Cloud API via Qiscus Omnichannel Chat. The steps are also relatively easy and instant compared to the previous tutorial.

Here’s a tutorial on how to get access to the WhatsApp Cloud API via Qiscus Omnichannel Chat:

  1. Log in to Qiscus Omnichannel Chat dashboard using a registered account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can register here first.
  2. Visit the Integrations menu on the left, then click WhatsApp Integrations
image.png

3. After that, click Apply with Facebook, then login with your Facebook account and follow the next few steps

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4. If you already have the WhatsApp Cloud API, then you will be asked to fill in the recipient’s phone number by clicking Add Recipient’s Phone Number

5. The last step you need to complete is to create a message template that will be used to send messages on WhatsApp Cloud API

Maximize the Use of WhatsApp Cloud API with Qiscus

WhatsApp Cloud API is certainly a fascinating solution to support the communication needs of businesses. Now businesses of all sizes, small to large, can rely entirely on the WhatsApp Cloud API to provide personalized and real-time communication services. The WhatsApp Cloud API is also equipped with various other supporting features to help businesses.

Even so, the use of the WhatsApp Cloud API will be complete if it is integrated with the solutions offered by Qiscus. Qiscus, as an official WhatsApp Solution Business Provider, can help your business to provide WhatsApp Business Platform services that are more advanced and applicable for many tried-and-tested use cases that your business needs.

The following are some of the advantages if you use the WhatsApp Business Platform through Qiscus:

  1. Your usage of the WhatsApp Business Platform will be on the Qiscus Omnichannel Chat dashboard interface, which is user-friendly, even for novice users
  2. Businesses will also automatically enjoy additional features that can only be found when using the Qiscus Omnichannel Chat dashboard. Some of the features include
    1. Message allocation to each available agent automatically and evenly
    2. Handle simple messages using chatbot and automatically handover to agents if customer messages become more complex
    3. Save detailed consumer data with the Contact feature
    4. Get detailed and accurate insights regarding sending and receiving messages through the Analytics tool
    5. There is no agent limitation and a mobile app is available so that it can be accessed anytime and anywhere
  3. Integrated with more than 20 other channels, which can also be accessed simultaneously through only one dashboard
  4. Installation can be done independently or with the help of various other support systems such as CRM, chatbots, and more
  5. Qiscus will fully manage all technical matters so that your business does not need to intervene directly with Meta to resolve existing technical problems.c
  6. Qiscus has experience in overcoming many use cases from different industries so that your implementation of the WhatsApp Business pslatform can be maximized and on target.

    Thus the explanation of the WhatsApp Cloud API. You can follow the tutorial we have provided above if you want to access the WhatsApp Cloud API independently. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team via the following link if you want to use WhatsApp Cloud API through Qiscus.
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