Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated at WhatsApp’s messaging event on Thursday that the firm is giving free cloud-based API services in an effort to entice more businesses to use the app.
Facebook-owned Meta has released new commerce and business-focused services on numerous platforms, including the messaging app, which has increasingly courted business users.
“Any business or developer can easily access our service, build directly on top of WhatsApp to tailor their experience and speed up their response time to customers by using our secure WhatsApp Cloud API hosted by Meta,” Zuckerberg stated at Meta’s “Conversations” event.
Businesses may already use WhatsApp’s API, or application programming interface, to link their systems and engage in customer support discussions.
Businesses will not be able to message people on WhatsApp unless they have requested to be contacted, according to Meta, which bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in a blockbuster 2014 acquisition.
WhatsApp also said on Thursday that it plans to offer optional paid capabilities as part of a new premium service for users of its dedicated business app for small enterprises.
Options to manage chats across up to 10 devices and customizable click-to-chat links that businesses may put on their websites and share with clients are among the features that are still being developed.
In a conversation with Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg at the conference, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi revealed that a third of consumers ordering rides using WhatsApp.