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Facebook-owned Whatsapp has launched a free cloud-based API, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced, at the company’s messaging event on May 19. Speaking at Meta’s ‘Conversations’ event, Zuckerberg said that the new offering would allow businesses and developers to easily access their service and build directly on top of WhatsApp to customise their experience. This also helps in speeding up the response time to customers by providing a secure WhatsApp Cloud API.
The company has been building the business API platform over the past few years, which helps the otherwise free messaging platform in making money. Businesses pay WhatsApp on a per-message basis, rates for which vary depending on the region and the number of messages sent. Tens of thousands of businesses were set up on the non-cloud Business API version. The on-premise version of the API is free to use. The cloud-based version is aimed at attracting smaller businesses and reducing the integration time from weeks to only a few minutes. WhatsApp is also planning to provide an optional paid feature as part of its premium service for users of the business app.