Who is not familiar with WhatsApp, the instant messaging application that was first introduced by Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2009? Eleven years since it was first released, the popularity of WhatsApp has skyrocketed and now the number of WhatsApp users per month (MAU) in the world has surpassed 2 billion as of March 2020. WhatsApp has become an application that is a must to be on anyone’s smartphone to chat and communication with others.
One interesting question that you might have is: what made it possible for WhatsApp to transform into the world’s most popular application despite intense competition with similar applications? For its users, WhatsApp has always provided security, ease of use, reliability, and is free from ads and bloatware compared to other chat applications. Besides, the basic features that WhatsApp presents through its simple application interface is also a main attraction and differentiator to other applications.
Seeing a change of trends in developing countries that are starting to adopt the latest digital technologies, supported with the number of businesses who have used WhatsApp as the main channel of communication with consumers, WhatsApp introduced the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API into its ecosystem in 2018. Both of these applications are intended to target business owners who want to optimize their customers’ experience in communicating with their businesses. As business owners yourselves, you might be wondering which of the WhatsApp services is the most suitable for you and your business. In this article, we summarize the differences between the three services that WhatsApp has.
WhatsApp is certainly the most popular service compared to its two siblings, WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API. WhatsApp is an application that is mainly used to support communication with your friends, family and relatives. Various features such as chat and call for personal and group used are equipped with intuitive convenience and its user-friendly interface. Users only need to enter the phone number they want to register with before they can use all the features available on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Business App
WhatsApp Business App is primarily aimed at MSMEs, which generally are made up of small numbers of consumers and teams. Since its release in 2018, WhatsApp Business App has become a fairly popular application, with more than 100 million downloads on the Google Playstore. This shows a very rapid growth because in 2019, just one year after its release, the number of new users only reached 5 million.
In registering your business with WhatsApp Business App, the process you need to go through is more or less similar to the regular WhatsApp registration steps. You can easily download the WhatsApp Business App on both the Google Playstore and the App Store on your smartphone for free. The application can be installed in parallel with the regular WhatsApp application, which means you can have both applications on one device.
Just like WhatsApp that we use daily, you need a phone number to register your business on the WhatsApp Business App. However, you cannot use a number that has already been registered on your regular WhatsApp. Therefore, even though you can have WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business App on one device, using both will require you to use two different numbers. Furthermore, when the account creation and verification process is complete, you will be asked to set up your business profile. You will then be asked to fill in detailed information about your business such as its name, address and telephone number as a representation of your business.
From the WhatsApp Business App, you will be able to access various additional features such as Quick Reply, Greeting Message, and Conversation Label. As with the regular WhatsApp application, you can also send broadcast messages to your customers about your brand’s latest offer but this is limited to 256 subscribers only.
Unfortunately, WhatsApp Business App can only be used via 1 device connected to the registered number. In addition, you also will not be able to receive a green tick verification to show the credibility of your business. Therefore, the shortcomings in the WhatsApp Business App feature gave birth to What’s latest chat software: WhatsApp Business API.
WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp Business API is a natural choice for businesses because this new WhatsApp service will give you extra support in dealing with a large number of consumers. Before getting deeper into WhatsApp Business API, we must first understand what an API is.
API stands for Application Programming Interface, a software system that allows servers to connect two or more systems or applications simultaneously.
You will not be able to access the WhatsApp Business API for free and you will need to subscribe to it through WhatsApp Business Solution Providers (BSPs), a group of WhatsApp and Facebook partners from various countries around the world who have been trusted to provide the services of the WhatsApp Business API in order to maximize conversations between business people and customers. Therefore, the process of creating an account and interface for your business will be assisted by the WhatsApp BSP of your choice. BSPs will later also help your business to maximize the benefits offered from the WhatsApp Business API.
Talking about its benefits is not ideal if we don’t discuss the features that the WhatsApp Business API offers which you can’t access on the WhatsApp Business App and regular WhatsApp. With the WhatsApp Business API, you have the freedom to integrate various messaging channels onto your dashboard so that it provides you with extra convenience to serve customers who contact from various communication channels.
In addition, you will also be able to integrate a human-chatbot collaboration feature that will help you answer consumers for simpler questions immediately upon receiving the enquiry. If a customer calls you outside of working hours, the WhatsApp Business API is equipped with an auto-responder to automatically reply to messages from your customers according to your wishes.
Unlike the WhatsApp Business App, WhatsApp Business API gives you unlimited access, which means you can log onto your accounts from five, ten, and even hundreds of devices. This allows you to take advantage of employing multiple agents who can then help your business respond to customer questions and complaints more efficiently. As a complement, the WhatsApp Business API will also give you a green tick that will increase the credibility of your business in the eyes of consumers. Best of all, all of the features above can be fully customized according to the needs of your respective businesses.
Already Know Which WhatsApp Services is Suitable for You?
Comparing the difference between these three services by WhatsApp presents you with many options to take advantage of. If you want something different and would like to improve your customers’ experience in interacting with your business, the WhatsApp Business API will be an attractive choice. Qiscus is an official WhatsApp Business API service provider. Contact us to find out more here!