Hackernoon logoWhatsapp Business API : A Chat Market Disruptor ? by@mohammedshahbaazshareef

Whatsapp Business API : A Chat Market Disruptor ?

Mohammed Shahbaaz Shareef Hacker Noon profile picture

@mohammedshahbaazshareefMohammed Shahbaaz Shareef

Is it a new era of chat marketing ?

Chat marketing is prevalent these days.So, is WhatsApp new to this market ?

No,not at all infact it is the customer base and the user experience which the new API is promising contributing to all that jazz.

There are slight nuances with which whatapp is trying to enter the market — whether it is in terms of user interaction,feedback or user queries. whatsapp has it all. i think it will be a lot easier to deal with for both the end user and businesses.

For more than 1.5 billion people, WhatsApp is the messaging app of choice. They use it to stay in touch in their personal lives, sending more than 60 billion messages every day.

Last September, WhatsApp rolled out their latest business feature for selected partners. After almost a year of testing, they published a blog post announcing the expansion of this feature to more vendors.

read here

One fact is undeniable, there is only one true king when it comes to a messaging app. That is WhatsApp! With as many as 180 countries and approx 40% market share, it is undoubtedly the true torch bearer.

Whatsapp has been able to grow at such a magnanimous speed because of few important and ideal components: No ads and a Better User Experience. In other words, a focus on the utility, the simplicity and the quality of their service. Apps like WhatsApp serve to continuously convince us, that when it comes to acquiring users, all you have to care about is your product.

Such incremental numbers would never have been possible if it weren’t for their simple and elegant user interface. Whatsapp’s entire journey was focused on staying true to their initial goal: “Just simply let people text each other.”

The question they were trying to address was: why should sending or receiving an SMS cost money when you have an unlimited data plan? In reality, SMS IS data. It is a few hundred bytes of data. If companies are telling their customers that they need to pay for something that falls under the purview of data even when they have an unlimited data plan, isn’t it wrong? It doesn’t make sense. WhatsApp provided a sensible alternative by becoming an SMS replacement.

The central reason for their success, however, was timing. Whatsapp rolled out when App stores were just gaining traction. In the wake of mobile app popularity, WhatsApp made their move. They didn’t just drop their app into the app store…they made sure that WhatsApp was always visible. While giving a lecture for Y-Combinator Startup School, Jon Koum shared how they used to make minor changes in the app and push it into the app store again. Because, at that time, there were very few apps available in the app store, WhatsApp would always end up at the top of “Latest Apps” category.

Clearly, timing plays a major role in the success of any startup. This is more broadly explained by Bill Gross in his Ted Talk

Whatsapp achieved several great milestones in the next few years and in early 2014, Facebook was ready to buy the most popular messaging platform at the enormous value of 19 billion dollars. This was quite a shock, considering that WhatsApp, at that time, was hardly making any money. The analysts predicted that the deal would be a disaster, but, it wasn’t. And shortly after Cambridge Analytica Controversy, Jan Koum decided to quit facebook leaving a lot of money on the table.

Whatsapp founder writing three things he never wanted in his app

You must be wondering why I’m telling you all of this? Why can’t I just cut out the foreplay and jump right into discussing all the possibilities of the new WhatsApp business API? Well, in order to understand the significance of this new tool, what you need is to embrace its’ journey, understand the core principles of WhatsApp and learn about the events that led to this new API.

While the founders of WhatsApp had a fairly simple mindset of not collecting user data and allowing it to sit on the servers, the parent company had other plans. Facebook understands that at the end of the day, the app is still a BUSINESS.

Whatsapp managed to run itself by getting away from user subscription fees and running no any kind of advertising model to-date, we’ve all been curious to know the plan for Whatsapp’s monetization.

Despite the fact that WhatsApp was never intended to be a utility for small businesses, they have used it to perform business activities. Consider a country like India that has an online population of over 460 million. It is hands down WhatsApp’s biggest customer base. In India alone, there are numerous small businesses using WhatsApp to reach their customers in an unofficial way.a lot can happen over a broadcast and a cup of coffee isn’t it ?

So, in 2017, Whatsapp started experimenting with new tools to help people and businesses communicate with each other. This feature was rolled out for few of their partners. After receiving feedback, they decided to take a step closer to bringing in more businesses over time.

Why Should it matter?

When you check your mobile, chances are 70% of your screen time will be spent texting your friends. family or colleagues. We are literally living in the messaging era. Millennial prefer texting over any other medium of communication. It is quicker and easier to send a text than it is to make a call or send an e-mail.

Is the Whatsapp Business similar to Facebook Messenger Chatbots?

No! Whatsapp businesses do not work the way messenger chatbots work. Messenger takes a different approach — seeking to create marketing campaigns, bots, automation, and a variety of other use cases. Messenger gives flexibility to developers in creating bots.

Whereas Whatsapp is trying to be selective about its’ use case. Anything that doesn’t fit into the idea of the customer to business communication is to be rejected.

Quick Note- Whatsapp has twice as many users on its whatsapp for business app compared to the traditional one.

WhatsApp Business Use Case

WhatsApp’s idea of using their business API is explained by these three use cases:

In their own words:

Request helpful information: When you need a shipping confirmation or boarding pass, you can give your mobile number to a business on their website, on their app, or in their store to send you information on WhatsApp.

Start a conversation: You may see a click-to-chat button on a website or Facebook ad to quickly message a business.

Help Support: Some businesses may provide real-time support on WhatsApp to answer questions about their products or help you resolve an issue.

Not sure, if chatbots are useful for your business?

This course beautifully explains blueprints for various business use cases — check here

Companies that are using Whatsapp Business

Redbus: Get a WhatsApp message when you book a bus

Bookmyshow: Get your ticket on WhatsApp when you book a movie

Makemytrip: Get your ticket on WhatsApp when you book a trip

How do I get started?

The Good News! Whatsapp has officially released its API publicly, meaning brands have now the opportunity to use it just like other enterprise companies.

Please make a note that business feature is not available to every user. They are gradually rolling out and on-boarding businesses slowly.

In order to start using their API’s, you must first sign up to become a WhatsApp Business API Client. After your application is validated, you gain access to developing your business case on WhatsApp.

Whatsapp, in general, don’t want companies to exploit their new platform and are approving discreetly.

Make sure you are a technically profound person cause the steps to follow after business approval requires good technical knowledge.

Were you waiting to leverage the power of whatsapp for your business over the years ?Do let me know! I’m very easy to reach out to.

Btw our team is already working on Chat Automation Builder for whatsapp,get a free invite from our side when we are done -google form

If you are curious to know how much it cost to build a whatsapp bot then make sure to check out this link

Know how much chatbots cost by answering simple questions


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