WhatsApp Business App vs. WhatsApp Business API

“WhatsApp for businesses has enabled us to reach our customers quickly and effectively. This is a great example of how technology creates customer-centric experiences.”

Saujanya Shrivastava, Group Chief Marketing Officer at MakeMyTrip

We all know the “WhatsApp App” from private communication. In the business and enterprise sector, official solutions from WhatsApp have been available since 2018: an app and an API!

1a) WhatsApp App: For private use only

✋⛔ This app is for private communication only. The WhatsApp terms of use exclude commercial use. Also GDPR and data protection are not guaranteed here! Companies are threatened with warnings from competitors and data protection authorities as well as with blocking of WhatsApp and even Facebook accounts!

1b) The WhatsApp Business App: The free app for small businesses

WhatsApp Business is a free app designed specifically for small business owners. Use it to create a catalog to showcase your products and services. With tools to automate, sort, and quickly respond to messages, it makes it easy to communicate with customers.

The WhatsApp Business App offers these features: Verified WhatsApp Account, text modules, product catalog, opening hours, etc.

👎 The disadvantages of the WhatsApp Business App:

  • GDPR and data protection are not guaranteed!
  • Requires a smartphone – problematic if other colleagues are to work with it
  • Multiple users at different locations not possible
  • No automation e.g. via chatbots possible

Conclusion: The free WhatsApp Business App is the (almost) perfect solution for small businesses like cafés, florists, consultants or trainers. So if you have a maximum of 1 – 3 employees, don’t take the issue of data protection too seriously and want to use WhatsApp for businesses free of charge, you’ve come to the right place!

1c) WhatsApp Business API: the GDPR-compliant WhatsApp Enterprise solution

In August 2018, a business solution for larger companies, the official WhatsApp Business API, was launched. It is designed for medium and large companies. Unlike the app, the API is not free of charge and companies usually need so-called “WhatsApp Business Solution Providers” like smsgatewayhub to get access to the API interface.

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