WhatsApp Business API Announced
Facebook has announced that it will be launching a new business API for its WhatsApp messaging products, giving a new angle to social media advertising
The WhatsApp Business 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.
As well as being able to interact and respond with information, Businesses taking part in the API programme will be able to use the platform to send notifications of “relevant, non-promotional” content (e.g., shipping confirmations, appointment reminders or event tickets). WhatsApp will charge businesses to send messages such as a boarding pass or delivery confirmation.
Customer replies reset the messaging window
Businesses will be able to respond to enquiries from the non-promotional material for free, as long as they are replying within a 24-hour timeframe. Replies outside of the 24 hour period will attract a charge. The charge for the UK has not yet been announced, but Facebook has confirmed that the reply will be a fixed fee in each country with rates expected to range from “roughly half of $0.01 to $0.09 per message delivered.”
The 24-hour free period will reset on when the customer responds, that restarts a 24-hour cycle. WhatsApp will again charge for replies to messages sent by the business outside of the 24-hour window.
WhatsApp Business to launch ads from Facebook Ads Manager
Along with the new WhatsApp Business API, Facebook will soon be offering ads via its Ads Manager that open a WhatsApp chat.
In a recent statement issued via a blog post, Facebook said:
“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.
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