WhatsApp is a popular, reliable, and secure cross-platform communication service that prides itself with over two billion monthly active users across the world. All these users have picked its apps as the go-to method for interacting with their friends, family, colleagues, and customers.
It isn’t hard to see why. The platform is exceptionally user-friendly, intuitive, and offers lots of features that extend its functionality beyond mere text message exchange. Depending on the solution, these features include end-to-end encryption, support for multimedia sharing (photos, videos, audio, PDF documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, and so on), group chats, voice and video calls, voice messages, you name it.
The company has designed its platform to suit various types of users, including individuals, local businesses, and even large enterprises. Its range includes:
- WhatsApp Messenger
- WhatsApp Business App
- WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business vs Business API
Each of these solutions has its own advantages and specialized features. In this post, we’ll explain the differences (as well as similarities) between them. So let’s see what is the difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business (and Business API):
The regular WhatsApp app targets individual users who want to stay in touch and interact with their friends, families, colleagues, and acquaintances, in one-on-one and group messaging sessions.
It is less formal in nature and features essential functionality. This includes free messaging, synchronizing contacts from your phone, and plug-and-play usability . Just download and install the app, and you can start messaging and calling immediately.
2. WhatsApp Business
WhatsApp Business, on the other hand, is designed for small and local businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to benefit from instant messaging in their everyday customer interactions. It can be installed and used side-by-side with the regular WhatsApp app.
The free WhatsApp Business app extends the platform’s core functionality by adding templates, contact labelling, and basic automation that includes quick replies, greetings, and away messages. WhatsApp Business also helps with business-focused workflows like customer support, payment notifications, as well as marketing and sales. Moreover, it lets you create a catalog to showcase your products and services.
WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business have their similarities as well. Both are free to download and use, facilitate making voice and video calls, and allow exchanging of text messages, multimedia, audio clips, and other files and documents up to 100MB in size. They also enable broadcasting content to a maximum of 256 contacts.
Ultimately, the choice of Whatsapp Business vs Whatsapp Messenger depends on whether you’re an individual or business user.
3. WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp’s Business API differs quite a lot from both WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business. Above all, it is tailored to larger, growing companies and enterprises. It provides them with advanced and enterprise-level features you will not find in the other two products. One of them is the recognizable green tick next to the name of your business in the profile and chat headers. This confirms your business is verified and legitimate.
While both WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business can be downloaded for free and allow you to create your account using a mobile or landline phone number (latter is available in WhatsApp Business only), the API is acquired differently. Namely, any business wanting to get access to it will have to subscribe to services of a business solution provider (BSP) and WhatsApp partner like WATI. To grant you access to its API, WhatsApp requires official approval of your account, made possible by its BSP partners.
These services are paid for but they provide advanced features, including state-of-the-art automation of processes and contact synchronization, team inbox, centralized dashboard, and more. WATI gives you access to all of this. For example, the conversation automation is possible with its chat bot, allowing you to provide quick and detailed answers to your customers’ common queries and/or take over when no customer support agents are available.
Furthermore, it enables multiple agents to sign in at the same time and use its centralized dashboard and team inbox to communicate with customers, send them multimedia files and documents, and access useful features such as detailed analytics, granulated reports and more.
None of this is possible with the other two solutions.
While the other two options have apps for Android and iOS devices, WhatsApp Business API doesn’t have a real mobile interface . That is, unless one is provided by the BSP. For instance, WATI has designed a mobile app for its platform, allowing you to continue communicating with your customers on-the-go, outside the office, or wherever you may be, reducing the risk of customers’ queries left unanswered.
As we have witnessed, both WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business allow you to exchange messages and multimedia with a 100MB limitation. With API, however, your BSP acts as a mediator. This enables it to send unlimited messages on your behalf, charging predefined fees for this service. You can read all about WATI’s pricing here or contact us directly for information. Also, the API doesn’t involve any restrictions on the number of contacts to which you can broadcast. This isn’t the case with WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business free apps.
There’s another important difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business on one side, and WhatsApp Business API on the other. The former allow you to make voice and video calls via their apps, while the latter typically has no calling capabilities.
Both WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business API differ from the basic WhatsApp messenger account in that they offer options for better engagement with your target audiences. This allows businesses of all shapes and sizes to benefit from access to a large number of people.
The choice is up to you
Hopefully, this post has managed to provide a clear answer to those who were wondering what is the difference between WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business.
All three of WhatsApp’s solutions we analyzed above have their advantages and are great solutions for different types of users. That said, WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business entail lots of limitations that the API successfully removes.
Is your business too large for the regular WhatsApp Business app and requires something more powerful? Then sign up for API access and let WATI connect you with WhatsApp’s Business API. This way, you will be able to utilize the numerous advantages it offers. Unsure whether our platform is the right one for you yet? Don’t worry. You can take it for a spin during a 7-day free trial before you make the final decision.
WATI is the product of Clare.AI, the digital assistant company and platform utilizing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and proprietary language processing technology to produce prized solutions in the field of customer communication. Its clients include multinational and Fortune 500 companies like Cigna, AIG, AXA, Fidelity, Bupa, Birdie, as well as Everbright Sun Hung Kai.