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Mar 28, 2023
3 minutes read

WhatsApp Business Platform: WhatsApp On-Premise API vs WhatsApp Cloud API

WhatsApp has released its new Cloud API. What are the key differences between the WhatsApp On-Premise API and the WhatsApp Cloud API?

WhatsApp Business Platform

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps. Statistics show that two billion people across the world use WhatsApp on a monthly basis, making it the most-used mobile messaging channel. Businesses worldwide have been using the WhatsApp Business Platform to leverage the benefits of this channel for their own growth. Answering customer questions, providing support, boosting sales, sending notifications, and any other use case you can think of is possible with the WhatsApp Business Platform.

Recently, WhatsApp has introduced a cloud-based version of its platform, hosted by Meta, to help make WhatsApp Business more accessible to businesses.

How does the WhatsApp Cloud API differ from the original On-Premise API set-up? And which software solution is the right fit for your business?

WhatsApp On-Premise API

Meta first offered WhatsApp Business via a GDPR-compliant on-premise REST API protocol called the WhatsApp On-Premise API. The API software is hosted individually or by Business Service Providers (BSPs), such as CM.com. This means the software is installed and runs on the BSP's infrastructure.

WhatsApp Cloud API

In 2022, Meta released the WhatsApp Cloud API, not as a replacement for the WhatsApp On-Premise API, but as an additional option for different use cases or goals. The Cloud API allows businesses to send and receive all types of messages and media, just like the On-Premise API, with additional features. In fact, the Cloud API will become the preferred platform for new, interactive features that enable automation and help you boost conversion.

WhatsApp Cloud API Key Features

  • End-to-end encryption by Meta instead of a BSP.

  • Earlier access to new product features

  • Automatic upgrading

  • A higher message output than on the on-premise API

  • Emoji Reactions are made possible, similar to the WhatsApp Chat feature

Contrary to the On-Premise API, the Cloud API is hosted by Meta cloud servers, with data storage centres in the UK and the US. These servers are, of course, GDPR-compliant.

The Cloud API is based on the Facebook Graph API, encompassing most Meta products, including Instagram and WhatsApp. Also interesting, especially for the developers among us, is that the Graph API is an HTTP-based API that can be used to programmatically query data, post new stories, manage ads, and upload photos, among other things.

Pick the most suitable WhatsApp Business Platform API for your business

Let's start by agreeing that the choice between the On-Premise API and the Cloud API depends heavily on the use cases and goals you set for your WhatsApp Business strategy. The features of the WhatsApp Business Platform are roughly the same on both APIs, with slight differences in hosting, pricing, and feature adoption.

Where the Cloud API’s cost-effectiveness and additional new features might seem perfect for some, the hosting services of the On-Premise API can be a crucial motivator for others.

To understand the best fit for your business, our experts are happy to brainstorm the possibilities with you.

Which WhatsApp Business Platform API Is Best Suited to My Business?

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Christel Brouwers
Copywriter at CM.com. Passionate about language and getting CM.com’s message out there. Shares content about CPaaS, Payments and more.

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