When WhatsApp introduced the WhatsApp Business app, it came out as a great tool for small businesses to interact with customers. However, Facebook soon realized that medium and large businesses had more complex needs,so keeping their needs in mind, they opened up access to the WhatsApp Business API.
Now, you might wonder what the difference is between the app and the API. Well, for those who aren't technically inclined, it can be a bit confusing. If you’re struggling to understand the differences between App and API, keep reading the blog to know the right choice for your business solutions.
The WhatsApp Business app is like a standalone application that anyone can easily install on their mobile phones. It is a free app basically made for small business owners.
Whatsapp comes out as a popular messaging app with 2 million users worldwide, businesses starting using it to communicate with their customers, but normal WhatsApp didn't have the right features.
With the WhatsApp Business app, those problems were solved. Now, small business owners can make detailed business profiles, show their working hours, and display their products. They can even set up automatic welcome and away messages.
It's a useful tool that helps small businesses to communicate better with their customers and manage their business interactions more efficiently.
On the other hand, the WhatsApp Business API is more suited for medium and large businesses. Since WhatsApp Business App’s Capabilities were limited, whatsapp decided to introduce a new solution for growing businesses called the WhatsApp Business API.
The WhatsApp Business API, Launched by Facebook in 2018, lets businesses send and receive unlimited messages to people all around the world through WhatsApp.
By using this API, businesses can create better experiences for their customers on WhatsApp and reach a wider audience.
It's not a standalone app, but rather a set of tools and functions that developers can integrate into their existing systems.
WhatsApp Business API gives developers the freedom to build tools that eliminate these restrictions and even add new features. This flexibility allows businesses to integrate various tools to make WhatsApp even more powerful and tailored to their specific needs.
With the API, you can send messages programmatically, set up chatbots, and manage a large volume of customer conversations efficiently.
Differences between WhatsApp Business App vs WhatsApp Business API
Before we go deeper into the topic, let me quickly explain the main differences between the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API in simple words.
We'll compare WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business Platform (API) based on a number of factors:
WhatsApp Business App is designed for small businesses and can handle only a few customer conversations. It's easy to use and doesn't cost anything.
On the flip side, WhatsApp Business Platform (API) is meant for bigger businesses with dedicated teams managing large customer communications.
When sending broadcast messages, WhatsApp Business App can only send them to groups of up to 256 people.
On the other hand, WhatsApp Business Platform (API) can send broadcasts to any number of people depending upon your tier level. That is a different concept though.
Moreover, the reach of WhatsApp Business App broadcasts is limited to those who have saved the business number in their contacts. But with WhatsApp Business Platform (API), there are no such restrictions, and the messages can reach anyone.
In WhatsApp Business App, it's not simple to share your inbox with team members. You can try using WhatsApp Web, but it has some drawbacks.
For example, if someone gets logged out, you need to help them log back in. Also, you won't know who replied to a message, and it's challenging to see which conversations have been handled.
Whereas, WhatsApp Business API software doesn't have any limits on team size, lets you assign conversations, and helps you keep track of pending tasks. It makes working together as a team easy and efficient.
In WhatsApp Business App, you can make voice calls like you do in regular WhatsApp. But, as of now, the WhatsApp Business Platform (API) doesn't support voice calls. This means partner services cannot offer this feature.
However, don't worry! You can still make voice calls using your phone's regular phone services with the same WhatsApp Business number.
Multi User Access
WhatsApp Business App can only be installed on one phone, but you can use WhatsApp Web on up to 4 devices to access it. However, WhatsApp Web is not suitable for multiple users, leading to some limitations:
- 1. You won't know who responded to a customer message..
- 2. When viewing conversations, you can't tell if someone else is already replying, causing confusion.
On the other hand, WhatsApp Business Platform (API) works through a partner service like Enchant, offering a more robust interface for team collaboration. With Enchant, you get these benefits:
- 1. Real-time visibility of team members typing or viewing a conversation.
- 2. Ability to assign conversations to specific team members.
- 3. Collaboration through in-conversation private notes that customers can't see.
Moreover, WhatsApp Business Platform (API) can be used on an unlimited number of devices, making it more flexible and convenient for teams.
In WhatsApp Business App, you won't find any chatbot functionality or a way to integrate them into your conversations.
But in WhatsApp Business Platform (API), you have the option to use chatbots, which can be quite handy. These chatbots can help gather additional information from customers and manage conversations, even when you're not available to respond.
In WhatsApp Business App, you can automate only greeting messages for new customers and away messages when you're unavailable
But with WhatsApp Business Platform (API), you can do so much more! It allows you to automate various types of messages, like order notifications, shipping updates, drip campaigns, and nurturing leads.
Verified Green Tick
Having a green tick on your WhatsApp business profile assures potential customers that you are a verified business they can trust.
In WhatsApp Business App, there is no way to enable the green verification tick on your profile.
However, in WhatsApp Business Platform (API), you can have a green tick on your profile, for this you have to go through a business verification process.
Clickable Messages / Button Messages
Button messages are messages with clickable buttons that customers can tap to respond quickly.
This feature is only available on WhatsApp Business Platform (API).
Using WhatsApp Business API, you have the option to run Click-to-WhatsApp ads, enabling you to connect with potential customers effortlessly and start conversations with just a click.
Which is right for your business - WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp Business Platform (API)?
Here's a simpler breakdown:
WhatsApp Business App is best if:
- • You have fewer than 500 customers.
- • One or two people can handle your customer chats.
- • It's okay to take your time in replying to customers.
- • You don't need to sync WhatsApp with other online tools.
- • You want to use WhatsApp without spending extra money.
WhatsApp Business Platform (API) is better if:
- • You have more than 500 customers.
- • You need more than two people to manage chats efficiently.
- • Quick response time is crucial for your business.
- • You want to sync WhatsApp with other software you use.
In a word, the WhatsApp Business app is ideal for small business owners searching for an easy solution to manage customer communications. However, if you run a bigger company and require elaborate features and automation, the WhatsApp Business API is the best option.
We hope this clarifies things for you and helps you in making the best decision for your company!