Difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business [Updated for 2024]

The biggest differences between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business are the number of features, advanced customization options, and cost of using the platform.

Difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business [Updated for 2024]

Strong communication is the foundation of building a profitable business.

When you contact a business that has streamlined communication channels, it not only elevates your shopping experience but also gives you the correct medium to reach out to whenever you need it. 

So, to make it easy for your business to stay in touch with your customers, you can use various channels depending on your target audience and the products or services you offer. And one of the most used platforms for this is WhatsApp. 

WhatsApp has become a go-to choice for many small and medium-sized businesses, so much so that more than 200 million companies actively use it each month. However, WhatsApp has a couple of variants that you can use as per your business needs. 

Having said that, let’s look at both of these options and learn more about the differences between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business to find the right platform to execute WhatsApp marketing

What is WhatsApp Messenger?

WhatsApp Messenger, also known simply as WhatsApp, is a user-first WhatsApp account designed for people to communicate with each other around the world. It is a personal WhatsApp app that allows you to create an account using your mobile number and connect it to this number to access your contacts.

Since this is a standard WhatsApp account, you can download the app for free on both iOS and Android devices. You can use it to talk with your friends via text, voice, or video calls. Plus, you can create group chats and add numerous people to it to chat with them all at once. 

Although, WhatsApp Messenger is a great app for communicating with other people, but from a business’s point-of-view, there isn’t much it offers. Only very small businesses might use it for their business communication but after you scale your business enough, you may need to get the business version.

What is WhatsApp Business?

Unlike WhatsApp Messenger which only comes in the form of a mobile app, WhatsApp Business Platform offers two variants: WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp API. Let’s talk about the Business app first.

WhatsApp Business app

The WhatsApp Business app is created for SMBs and startups that you can download from the Play Store or App Store for free. In this variant, you can add multiple users to your business account and access it via a browser as well. 

Using the WhatsApp Business app, you can give your contacts a phone number they can use to reach out to you. On top of that, you can use the app to send broadcast messages to your customers to promote your products and services. 

However, there are a few limitations to using the WhatsApp Business app. These are:

  • With the Business app, you can reach out to only 256 contacts at a time. Meaning, that if you want to expand your reach to more people, you need to get the WhatsApp API.
  • There is no analytics dashboard available in the Business app to track how well your outreach has been going. 
  • You cannot personalize your broadcast messages to fit the needs of each customer. 
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WhatsApp API

As I mentioned above, the WhatsApp Business app is suitable only for startups and small businesses with a limited number of contacts. 

So, if you are a large business with hundreds and thousands of contacts as your target market, your best bet is to use the WhatsApp API. Using it, you can access the robust capabilities of WhatsApp to provide an all-around sales engagement experience to your customers. 

But there’s a catch. Unlike the WhatsApp Business app that you can download and start using immediately, the API doesn’t have a front-end application. What that means is you will need a marketing platform that supports integration with WhatsApp API. 

Zixflow is a multi-channel communication platform that comes with WhatsApp marketing capabilities to let you run fully personalized WhatsApp campaigns. With an integration process that takes no more than 15 minutes, you can link Zixflow with WhatsApp and get started with your outreach. 

WhatsApp API integration steps to link Zixflow with WhatsApp.

Once you are done linking WhatsApp with Zixflow, you can create tailored campaigns using Zixflow's visual campaign builder. This way, you don’t need any technical expertise to get your WhatsApp campaigns up and running. 

Zixflow WhatsApp Campaign Builder to run tailored WhatsApp marketing campaigns.

Difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business

There are a few differences between WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business Suite. Here is a table to help you understand these differences at a glance:

WhatsApp Messenger WhatsApp Business app WhatsApp API
Designed mainly for personal communication For startups and small businesses For large companies with thousands of contacts
One-on-one conversations Basic marketing functionality in the form of broadcast messages Fully-customizable outreach campaigns
Available as a mobile app and browser Available as a mobile app and browser Need a marketing platform that supports WhatsApp API
No business capabilities Business profile creation
Send product catalogs
Create and manage group chats (broadcast list)
Bulk messaging (broadcasts)
Automated messages (chatbots, canned replies, transactional)
Green tick for verified business accounts
Business Display Name
CTA buttons & auto-responses
Unlimited users
Templates for outreach messaging
Contacts are accessed using your phonebook who have a WhatsApp account Contacts are accessed using your phonebook who have a WhatsApp account You have to import contacts’ details into the business solution to run marketing campaigns
Free to use Free to use Conversation-based pricing

The biggest difference between WhatsApp vs. WhatsApp Business is that WhatsApp Messenger is a mobile application used for communication by individuals. In comparison, WhatsApp Business is designed for businesses to connect with their contacts in an effective manner. 

By using the WhatsApp Business suite, you can access the dynamic feature set including, product catalogs, automated messages, office hours, and chatbots for responding to frequently asked questions.

On top of that, you can create your business profile on the WhatsApp Business account with a profile picture, address, and website to reassure customers that you are a legitimate business. Plus, once you get your account verified by Meta, you can get the green tick next to your display name as proof that your profile is credible. 

Although WhatsApp offers all of these features to every business that registers, to make the most of them you require a robust marketing solution. And Zixflow is one of the best when it comes to that.

With Zixflow’s centralized inbox, you can respond to all your incoming messages from a single location without having to switch between accounts or numbers. Also, you can view your contacts’ details straight from the inbox and manage interactions, notes, and files.

Zixflow Inbox allows you to manage all your conversations from a single location.

WhatsApp Business vs. WhatsApp: Which is the right choice for your business?

The type of WhatsApp variant you want to use depends on the requirements and goals of your business. If you’re a small business or a startup, you can get by using WhatsApp Messenger or WhatsApp Business app without dedicating any budget to your outreach.  

However, if you’re a mid or large-size business with hundreds and thousands of customers spread all around the world, then WhatsApp API is the best suited for you. And if you do decide to go with the WhatsApp API, then Zixflow is an excellent choice.

Furthermore, Zixflow is a free-to-use platform where you don’t have to pay a monthly usage charge for running your WhatsApp initiatives. So sign up for a free account today and streamline your conversations with one of the most popular messaging channels in the world.

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