What’s the difference between WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business Platform?

With 2.7 billion active users a month, WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. If you’re looking for a platform to engage with your customers and enhance their customer experience, WhatsApp Business Platform could transform your customer communications.

Here, we’ll do a deep dive into WhatsApp Business App vs. WhatsApp Business Platform (API). We’ll explore the differences between the two and how WhatsApp Business Platform (API) can help strengthen your customer communications and establish your business’ professional image.

What can WhatsApp Business App do?

If you’re looking to introduce WhatsApp to your business, there are two routes you can take: the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business Platform, formerly known as WhatsApp Business API. Both WhatsApp enterprise products allow you to improve your customer support, engage with your audience, and ultimately meet your customers’ needs.

Like the standard version of WhatsApp you use to interact with your nearest and dearest, WhatsApp Business App is free to download on both Android and iPhone. It’s designed for small business owners looking to interact with their customers by allowing them to automate, sort, and respond to messages with ease. You can use WhatsApp Business to share photos and messages, just how you would with your family and friends, to create a personal connection with your customers.

Not only can you interact with your customers through WhatsApp Business App, you’ll also get to create a business profile to list important information about your company, such as your business address, email, and website.

What is WhatsApp Business Platform?

WhatsApp Business Platform is ideal for medium to large businesses striving for the best customer communication, and SMBs looking to scale. By paying for the service, you’ll be able to integrate WhatsApp Business API with your existing system, as well as CRMs and chatbots. WhatsApp Business Platform goes beyond the capabilities of WhatsApp Business App, giving you access to more functionalities, including being able to send automated messages and creating customer chatbots to engage with your customers.

To access the service, you’ll need to use a reliable third-party partner like Infobip. Don’t just take our word for it, 2000 brands worldwide have trusted WhatsApp powered by Infobip to revolutionize their interactions with their customers.

WhatsApp Business App vs. WhatsApp Business Platform

Looking to test the waters with the free WhatsApp Business App? Or do you feel ready to explore the benefits of the WhatsApp Business Platform? As we mentioned earlier, the main difference between the two is that the Business App is aimed at entrepreneurs and small businesses who are just starting out in their customer communications or are looking to connect with their smaller customer base. Whereas the WhatsApp Business Platform is designed with larger businesses in mind or SMBs looking to scale, meaning it can be integrated with a variety of systems from CRMs to AI.

We’ve put together a handy table to help you compare WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API’s key features:

WhatsApp Business AppWhatsApp Business Platform
AudienceSmall/medium size businesses and entrepreneursMedium/large size businesses or SMBs looking to scale
PlatformApp or browserSolution provider like Infobip
Number of usersUp to 4 agentsUnlimited
FeaturesBusiness profile

Product catalog

Broadcast messages (limited to one message)

Automated messages (limited)

Group chats (can both create and participate in)

Voice/video calls

Green tick verification is not supported

No buttons
Business profile

Product catalogue

Broadcast messages

Automated messages (unlimited, including chatbots)

Session messages

Group chats (create but not participate in)

Official Business Account (green tick) available

Various types of CTA buttons
IntegrationsNot supportedSupports integrations

How much is the WhatsApp Business Platform?

With Infobip, you’ll receive a free trial when you create an account for you to access all our SaaS products—so you can essentially try before you buy. Once you’ve spent all your free units (usually 100 messages per channel), you can decide whether WhatsApp Business API is something you want to commit to going forward.

Once you’re ready to transform your customer communications, WhatsApp charges you per 24-hour conversation and the rate you’ll be charged will depend on the type of conversation you’re having.

Three of the conversation categories are business-initiated which then require customer opt-in: Marketing, Utility, and Authentication.

Marketing conversations include sending cart abandonment notifications and promoting a new product or service. Utility category conversations include post-purchase and transactional notifications such as issuing e-receipts and sending order confirmations. Authentication conversations focus on security such as delivering verification codes and sending one-time passwords.

The fourth conversation category is Service conversations, which are user-initiated conversations that help a customer resolve a problem such as helping a customer with a complaint or answering questions. 

As mentioned, the cost of WhatsApp Business Platform will depend on the types of conversations you have. The 24-hour session for Marketing, Utility, and Authentication conversations starts when the template is delivered, meaning any time a template message is delivered you’ll be charged unless sent in a conversation of the same category in an open conversation. Service conversations will start when no other conversation window is open, and you respond to a customer with a free-form message during the 24-hour customer service window.

Your first 1000 user-initiated conversations per registered WhatsApp Business Account are free each month.

Check out how WhatsApp Business Platform pricing works for more information.

Start using WhatsApp Business Platform today!

If you’re looking to connect with your customers, our programmable communications platform can do the hard work for you. Try it out today.

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