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WhatsApp Cloud API: Everything You Need to Know About Meta WhatsApp Cloud API

Gabriella
Content Writer, Respond.io
September 13, 2022

Businesses of all sizes can now scale their conversations on WhatsApp following the launch of WhatsApp Cloud API to all businesses worldwide. This blog post will cover everything you need to know about WhatsApp Cloud API, how it works and the difference between Cloud API WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business API. Then, we’ll help you decide if Meta WhatsApp Cloud API is the right choice for you and show you how to set it up.

What is WhatsApp Cloud API

WhatsApp Cloud API is the cloud-hosted version of WhatsApp Business API. It has similar features to WhatsApp Business API, but is hosted on Meta’s cloud servers instead of an on-premise Business Solutions Provider (BSP) server or a business’s private server.

Because the main difference between the two is the hosting type, Meta refers to WhatsApp Business API as On-premise API to distinguish it from WhatsApp Cloud API.

Meta has announced the release of meta whatsapp cloud api smbs whatsapp. However, may wonder what is whatsapp cloud api meaning. WhatsApp Cloud API is the cloud-hosted version of WhatsApp Business API. It has similar features to WhatsApp Business API, but it is hosted on Meta’s servers instead of a Business Solutions Provider BSP’s server. Because the main difference between the two is the hosting type, Meta refers to WhatsApp Business API as On-premise API to distinguish it from meta whatsapp cloud api smbs.
WhatsApp API hosting type

Meta's initial business model required businesses to go through a BSP to get WhatsApp API. However, it realized that the application process was time-consuming, API updates took a while to become available to businesses and some businesses couldn't afford the fees imposed by BSPs.

For that reason, Meta decided to offer WhatsApp Cloud API as a quicker and more cost-effective way to get WhatsApp API. We’ll discuss WhatsApp Cloud API pricing in the section below.

WhatsApp Cloud API Pricing

Getting a WhatsApp Cloud API account is free. You only need to pay WhatsApp API’s conversation-based fees without paying additional per message fees, which are set by some BSPs. There are two categories of conversation-based pricing.

User-initiated conversations are conversations initiated by customers. Businesses will be charged user-initiated conversation fees when they reply to messages within the 24-hour messaging window.

whatsapp launches cloud api all businesses. It is cheaper compared to WhatsApp on-premise API. This is an image of whatsapp cloud api price. Getting a WhatsApp Cloud API account is free. By signing up for WhatsApp Cloud API, you only need to pay conversation-based pricing without paying additional per message fees, which are set by some BSPs. There are two types of cloud api whatsapp pricing: User-initiated conversations and business-initiated conversations whatsapp cloud api cost. Read this blog to know how to sign up for whatsapp cloud api free.
WhatsApp Cloud API pricing

Business-initiated conversations are conversations initiated by businesses outside the 24-hour messaging window. Businesses have to use a message template to start a business-initiated conversation.

Check out our WhatsApp Business API pricing blog for more detailed information. Now, let’s look at WhatsApp Cloud API features.

WhatsApp Cloud API Features

WhatsApp Cloud API is just an API. It does not have an interface, so it must be connected to a business messaging inbox like respond.io to use WhatsApp Cloud API features.

Once connected, you can send broadcasts and interactive messages, apply for the WhatsApp green tick by verifying your WhatsApp Business Account and create advance automation for marketing, sales and support.

This image shows meta cloud api smbs whatsappfeatures. meta cloud api whatsapp  is just an API. It does not have an interface so it must be connected to a business messaging inbox like respond.io to use whatsapp api cloud API Features. Once connected, you can send broadcasts, interactive messages, get the green tick when you verify your WhatsApp Business profile and advance automation for marketing sales and support.
WhatsApp Cloud API features

These features are similar to the on-premise API. However, there are some key differences businesses must note.

Differences Between WhatsApp Cloud API and WhatsApp On-premises API

WhatsApp Cloud API and WhatsApp On-premises API have a few back-end differences. While these do not affect end users, businesses should understand them. Below is a table summarizing the differences between both.

With WhatsApp Cloud API, Meta provides both API access and hosting directly to businesses allowing them to get automatic access to API software upgrades and security upgrades. Plus, they only need to pay per conversation fees as Meta does not impose any server charges.

The difference between cloud whatsapp API and WhatsApp On-premises API does not affect end users as they are more back-end focused. However, businesses considering WhatsApp Cloud API should understand the differences between the two. Read this blog to understand the differences between whatsapp business cloud API and WhatsApp On-premises API.
Differences between WhatsApp Cloud API and On-premises API

WhatsApp On-premises API on the other hand involves two parties: Meta and BSPs. The API is provided by Meta to BSPs. So, businesses must get WhatsApp API from BSPs along with their hosting or by hosting WhatsApp API on their own servers.

Because of that, businesses using On-premise WhatsApp API will have delays in API software updates. Additionally, businesses need to pay for server setup and maintenance charges on top of per conversation or per message fees.

For more information on the differences, read the WhatsApp Cloud API documentation. Now, that you understand the basics of WhatsApp Cloud API, we’ll help you decide if it is the right choice for your business.

Should You Get WhatsApp Cloud API?

This section will cover the benefits of WhatsApp Cloud API and the things to consider if WhatsApp Cloud API is the best choice for you.

Benefits of Getting WhatsApp Cloud API

Businesses can eliminate the middleman (BSPs) by getting WhatsApp Cloud API. Instead of the lengthy application process and additional charges like server maintenance fees imposed by BSPs, businesses can now access Cloud API directly from Meta with no setup fees involved.

The benefits of WhatsApp Cloud API come from eliminating the middleman (BSPs) and allowing businesses to get the API directly from Meta. With the new whatsapp cloud api all businesses worldwide don't have to pay any setup fee and they can get direct access to Cloud API from Meta. We’ll show you how to get whatsapp business api cloud in this blog. Since Meta is responsible for all infrastructure-related maintenance and update, all the API updates done by Meta will be instantly available for businesses. This includes feature updates, security updates and more.
Benefits of WhatsApp Cloud API

Since Meta is responsible for all infrastructure-related maintenance and developments, businesses will be able to instantly access API updates by Meta, such as new features or security updates.

What You Should Know Before Getting WhatsApp Cloud API

First, you need to know that some BSPs do offer WhatsApp Cloud API. If you have an existing relationship with a BSP that offers Cloud API, you can get it from them.

However, Meta recommends businesses get WhatApp Cloud API directly from Meta for ease of implementation and maintenance.

whatsapp launches cloud api businesses worldwide? Here’s what you need to know. Some BSPs do offer WhatsApp Cloud API. If you have an existing relationship with a BSP that offers Cloud API, you can get WhatsApp Cloud API from them. However, Meta recommends businesses to get WhatApp Cloud API directly from Meta due to the ease of implementation and maintenance. Besides that, businesses can only use a phone number either with an On-premise WhatsApp API or with a WhatsApp cloud API. They cannot use the same number for both APIs. If you have an On-premise API number and want to use it for WhatsApp Cloud API, contact your BSP to assist you with the migration process.
What you should know before getting WhatsApp Cloud API

Besides that, businesses can only use a phone number either with On-premise WhatsApp API or with WhatsApp Cloud API. They cannot use the same number for both APIs.

If you want to use your current WhatsApp On-premise API number for WhatsApp Cloud API, contact your BSP to assist you with the migration process.

Which API Should You Use?

The type of WhatsApp API you should use depends on your business needs. WhatsApp Cloud API is perfect for businesses wanting to manage their WhatsApp API account themselves and get both the API and hosting from a single provider (Meta).

The type of WhatsApp API you should use depends on your business needs. WhatsApp Cloud API is perfect for businesses wanting to manage their own WhatsApp API and get both the API and hosting from a single provider (Meta). However, businesses should get WhatsApp On-Premises API if they want a BSP to manage their WhatsApp API and hosting or if they want to host WhatsApp API on their own server. Now, let’s look at how to get WhatsApp Cloud API and how to connect it with the respond.io business messaging inbox.
WhatsApp Cloud API or On-Premises API?

Businesses should get WhatsApp On-Premises API if they want a BSP to manage their WhatsApp API and hosting. This can be a good option for businesses that need additional support to set up their WhatsApp API, require assistance with the green tick application, get personalized support for WhatsApp API-related issues and more.

Now, let’s look at how to get WhatsApp Cloud API and how to connect it with the respond.io business messaging inbox.

How to Get WhatsApp Cloud API

To get WhatsApp Cloud API, you need to set it up on your Facebook Developer Account. Follow the steps below or watch our WhatsApp Cloud API tutorial video.

How to setup WhatsApp Cloud API

Set up Your Facebook Developer Account

1. Sign up or log in to the Facebook for Developers account and click on Create App.

To get WhatsApp Cloud API, you need to set up your Facebook Developer Account. Follow the steps below to set up WhatsApp Cloud API on your Facebook Developer Account. Alternatively, you can watch our WhatsApp Cloud API tutorial video. First, Sign up or Log in to the Facebook developer account and click on Create App.
Sign up or log in to the Facebook developer account and click on Create App

2. Select Business as your app type.

how to use whatsapp cloud api: Select Business as your app type.
Select Business as your app type

3. Provide basic information about your business. If you don’t have a Business Manager account, you may leave it unselected. Click Create app. You will be directed to your Meta dashboard.

Provide basic information about your business. For the business account section, you may leave it unselected and Facebook will automatically create a business account later. Click Create App. You will be directed to your Meta dashboard.
Provide basic information about your business

4. Scroll down until you see WhatsApp and click Set up.

On your meta dashboard, look for WhatsApp and click Set up.
Scroll down until you see WhatsApp and click Set up

5. Click Continue to accept WhatsApp Cloud API’s terms and conditions. If you left your Business Manager account unselected in step 3, you may leave your Business Account unselected here and Facebook will automatically create a business account later.

Click Continue to accept WhatsApp Cloud API’s terms and conditions. If you left your Business Manager account unselected in step 3, you may leave your Business Account unselected here and Facebook will automatically create a business account later.
Click Continue to accept WhatsApp Cloud API Terms and Conditions

6. Send a message with the test number generated by WhatsApp to your personal or business WhatsApp number to test if your integration is a success.

Send a message with the test number generated by WhatsApp to a phone number registered with WhatsApp to test if your integration is a success. Note that this step is optional. You can skip this step and add your own phone number to your WhatsApp Cloud API Account.
Send a message with the test number generated by WhatsApp

Note that this step is optional. You can skip this step and add your phone number to your WhatsApp Cloud API account. We'll show you how to do it in the next section.

Connect Your Phone Number

1. Click Add Phone Number to connect a phone number to your WhatsApp Cloud API account.

How to connect your phone number with your WhatsApp Cloud API: Click Add Phone Number to connect a phone number to your WhatsApp Cloud API account.
Connect a phone number to your WhatsApp Cloud API account.

2. Fill in your business information and click Next.

Fill in your business information and click Next.
Fill in your business information and click Next

3. Fill in your WhatsApp business profile information and click Next.

Fill in your WhatsApp business profile information and click Next.
Fill in your WhatsApp business profile information and click Next

4. Add a phone number for your WhatsApp Cloud API. Note that the number you add cannot be tied to an existing WhatsApp account.

Add a phone number for your WhatsApp Cloud API. Note that the number you add cannot be tied to an existing WhatsApp account.
Add a phone number for your WhatsApp Cloud API

5. Verify the phone number you’ve added. A 6-digit verification code will be sent to the number. Enter the verification code once you receive it.

Verify the phone number you’ve added. A 6-digit verification code will be sent to the number. Enter the verification code once you receive it.
Verify the phone number you’ve added

6. Look at the Send and receive messages section. The number you’ve added will be shown.

The number you’ve added will be shown in the Send and receive messages section. You have connected your phone number with your WhatsApp Cloud API account! Now that you've set up WhatsApp Cloud API on your Facebook Developer Account, you need to connect it to a messaging inbox like respond.io to start sending and receiving messages.
The phone number connected to your WhatsApp Cloud API account

You have connected your phone number with your WhatsApp Cloud API account! Now that you've set up WhatsApp Cloud API on your Facebook Developer Account, you need to connect it to a messaging inbox like respond.io to start sending and receiving messages.

Connect WhatsApp Cloud API to respond.io

1. Click on the Settings module, choose Channels and click on Add Channel. Then, click on the WhatsApp Cloud API.

Click on the Settings module, choose channels and click on ADD CHANNEL. Then, click on the WhatsApp icon.
Connect WhatsApp Cloud API to your respond.io account

2. Click Connect With Facebook. You’ll be prompted to choose the WhatsApp Cloud API Account and Business Manager account you want to use with respond.io.

Click Connect With Facebook. You’ll be prompted to choose the WhatsApp Cloud API Account you want to use with respond.io and the Business Manager account tied to the WhatsApp Cloud API Account you've selected.
Connect respond.io with Facebook

3. Select the phone number you want to connect to respond.io and click Next. The phone number shown in the drop-down menu are the phone numbers connected to the WhatsApp Cloud API account you’ve selected in step 2.

Select the phone number you want to connect to respond.io and click Next. The phone number shown in the drop-down menu are the phone numbers connected to the WhatsApp Cloud API account you’ve selected in step 2.
Select the phone number you want to connect to respond.io

4. Copy the Callback URL and Verify Token. You’ll need to add it to your WhatsApp Cloud API configuration page. Note that you need to complete the setup on your WhatsApp Cloud API configuration page before clicking Done.

Copy the Callback URL and Verify Token and add it to your WhatsApp Cloud API configuration page. Then, click Done.
Copy the Callback URL and Verify Token

5. Add the Callback URL and Verify Token to your WhatsApp Cloud API configuration page. Click Verify and Save.

Add the Callback URL and Verify Token to your WhatsApp Cloud API configuration page. Click Verify and Save.
Add the Callback URL and Verify Token to your WhatsApp Cloud API configuration page

6. Subscribe to the Message Webhook event.

Subscribe to the Message Webhook event.
Subscribe to the Message Webhook event

7. Go back to respond.io and click Done. Just like that, you’ve successfully connected your WhatsApp Cloud API to respond.io!

Go back to respond.io and click Done. Just like that, you’ve successfully connected your WhatsApp Cloud API to respond.io!
Connecting WhatsApp Cloud API to respond.io

8. Click on the Quality button to get the latest quality rating of your WhatsApp Business phone number.

Click on the Quality button to get the latest quality rating of your WhatsApp Business phone number.
WhatsApp Business phone number quality rating on respond.io

Now that you have connected your WhatsApp Cloud API to respond.io, you’ll be able to use your WhatsApp with a CRM integration or use WhatsApp for marketing, sales and support.

Further Reading

We hope you found this blog beneficial. Here are some reading suggestions that might be of interest to you.

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