WhatsApp Business App vs WhatsApp API: What’s the Difference & Which One Should You Use

Both WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API have a different and significant role to play. Choose the right one for your business.

WhatsApp Business App vs WhatsApp API: What’s the Difference & Which One Should You Use

One of the most popular messaging apps today, WhatsApp has over 2.79 billion monthly users worldwide (as per latest statistics on whatsapp business). And it's clear that WhatsApp makes it much simpler and easier for you to connect with your customers.

Facebook granted access to the WhatsApp API shortly after the launch of the WhatsApp Business app, keeping the needs of medium and big businesses in mind.

While the distinctions between the WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business API are obvious to developers, non-technical individuals find it challenging to understand them.

So what are you still holding out for? 

Okay – Having trouble deciding between the WhatsApp Business API and the WhatsApp Business App? 

We've got you covered, so don't worry!

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WhatsApp Business App

WhatsApp Business is a free app that can be downloaded on Android and iPhone for the small business owners. 

It was developed to fill a gap in the market. WhatsApp was being used by businesses to interact with clients, but it lacked the functionality necessary to do so efficiently. 

Their issues were resolved by the WhatsApp Business app, which also assisted business owners in setting up automated welcome and away messages, displaying working hours, showcasing their product catalog, and linking back to their websites. 

It is important for new businesses to know what is the difference between WhatsApp and WhatsApp business.

WhatsApp business API

The WhatsApp Business API can be accessed by requesting access from WhatsApp or by signing up with an API provider. It was developed with the needs of medium to big organizations in mind. 

WhatsApp created the API after realizing that the Business app's 2 active sessions restriction prevented organizations with larger teams from using it.

With the help of the WhatsApp Business API benefits, programmers can create tools that do away with these restrictions and increase WhatsApp's capability. Only the tools that businesses integrate with or design themselves can limit the functionalities of the API, which is incredibly flexible. 

Differences between WhatsApp Business App vs WhatsApp Business API

Let me quickly summarize the differences between the WhatsApp business app and the WhatsApp business API before we go any further in our conversation.

Features WhatsApp Business App WhatsApp Business API
Designed for Small businesses Medium and large businesses
Team inbox Cannot be shared Easily shareable with entire team
Team management No Yes (by third party tools)
Automated replies Support is limited Rule-based auto replies
WhatsApp voice call Supported Not supported by API
Cost Free Pricing as per conversation
Broadcasts Hard to use, limited to 256 recipients Send to 1,00,000 users in one go
Notifications No Yes
Chatbot No Yes (by third party tools)

Designed for

For small enterprises with few client inquiries, WhatsApp Business is a stand-alone smartphone app.

Large companies with support staff and plenty of client communications can use the WhatsApp Business API to meet their demands.

Team inbox

Sharing your WhatsApp Business virtual phone number and app with other team members is not a simple process. They might be able to browse WhatsApp Web, but they risk being logged out.

A Shared Team Inbox may be used with third-party applications thanks to WhatsApp API. Your entire staff will find it very simple to handle a WhatsApp number and all consumer inquiries from a single, convenient inbox thanks to this.

Ticket management

There is no way for you to know which team member is replying to which customer, if customers have actually received a response, or whether their issue has been handled, even if you are able to share the Business app's access with select team members.

You may maintain track of each WhatsApp chat, the team member assigned to it, and the date the client's request was resolved by closing the ticket by using WhatsApp customer support software that uses the Official API.

Automated replies

In the WhatsApp Business app, you may set up simple auto-responders, such as a welcome message for when a customer messages you for the first time. Or an after-hours message for when the office is closed.

Software programmes can assist you in doing this and many other things with the WhatsApp API. 

For instance, you might use WhatsApp automation tools to automatically designate a customer communication as [Urgent] if it contains the phrase "refund" and to send a different auto-reply than you would for a typical customer message. With the use of third-party software, this is doable.

WhatsApp voice call

On the Business app, you may make and receive WhatsApp calls.

Currently, voice calling is not supported by the WhatsApp API. However, they might soon add support for it.

Voice calling feature on WhatsApp business account.


Use of the Business App is totally free.

Pricing for the WhatsApp API is determined per conversation, checkout Meta’s WhatsApp Business pricing policy for the same. 


The Business app allows you to send broadcasts to a maximum of 256 recipients. Even so, only those receivers who have saved your phone number would receive the message.

Even if a customer has not stored your phone number, you can send broadcasts to up to 100,000 customers each day using the WhatsApp API. Using WhatsApp CRM software like Zixflow that connects to the API, this is achievable.

Button messages

Using the Business App, you can only send standard text or media messages.

The message templates feature of the WhatsApp API supports button-style messages. There are three sorts of buttons:

  • CTA Button: Go to the website
  • Call a phone number with the CTA Button
  • Up to three quick reply buttons per message


Neither the WhatsApp Business app nor its use of chatbot flows are supported.

You can easily construct chatbot flows because WhatsApp API can communicate with external programmes.


A standard Business app number can participate in Groups, but not a WhatsApp API number. Well, that’s the only drawback! 

Automated notifications

You can build up and deliver automatic notifications to your clients using the WhatsApp API, such as:

  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Order confirmation
  • Order tracking
  • Cash on delivery verification
Order tracking and shipping updates by Nykaa for its customers.

Technically, you could send these messages by hand using the Business app, but doing so would be time-consuming and impractical as your company expands.

FB business manager verification

A verified Facebook Business Manager is required before requesting access to the WhatsApp API. 

Not applicable to the Business app.

Convert business number to API number

Your WhatsApp business app can be deleted, and the same number can then be changed to a WhatsApp API number.

This technique, however, is one-time only and cannot be undone.

24-hour rule

You can send and receive messages from clients at any time with the WhatsApp Business app.

The API does, however, support the idea of 24-hour discussion blocks, beyond which you are unable to respond to the customer. 

Compose new WhatsApp messages

If you have a customer's phone number or WhatsApp click-to-chat link, you can effortlessly use WhatsApp marketing messages with the help of  the Business app.

It is more difficult to use WhatsApp API. To start a conversation with the consumer, you would need to send a template message.

WhatsApp catalog

The new WhatsApp Catalog functionality is supported by both the Business app and API.

Features of the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API

Is it worthwhile to include WhatsApp in your extensive toolkit for support? 


With more than 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp tops the list of messaging services. This ranks higher than Instagram and Facebook Messenger. 

Therefore, it is always beneficial for your business to be where your clients are. Consider some of the advantages of utilizing the API and WhatsApp Business app for your online store.

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WhatsApp Business App features that make 1-to-1 customer conversations easier

Downloading and using the WhatsApp Business app are both free. It was designed with owners of small businesses in mind. 

You may interact with your clients through the app, highlight your goods and services, and respond to their inquiries while they shop. 

Here are 6 WhatsApp Business app features that facilitate communication:

To help customers identify your store by creating a business profile

So that your consumers can quickly identify who they are speaking with, add a logo, a brief description, and your company website to your business account. 

Mention your business hours for customers to know that you are available

Your customers will know when you're available for orders and customer service as well as when they might have to wait for a response to their inquiry if you display your company hours.

Display your product catalog to make ordering and browsing products easy

Create a product catalog and make your goods and services accessible to customers. They may specifically call attention to a product and request that you order it for them. The business app's WhatsApp Pay feature can be used to complete the transaction. 

Set welcome and away messages

When a customer writes to you for the first time using the WhatsApp Business platform, you may compose a welcome message that is sent in response. When a consumer sends a question outside of office hours, an away message can be specified to be sent.

Quick replies for the repetitive questions

Repetitive questions and answers are common. You can rapidly use /quick reply name> to preserve your standard responses when utilizing quick replies.

Tag customers with labels for easier management

Tag customers that have made a purchase or who have a payment due, habitual clients, and more. Create unique tags to aid in consumer identification and categorization so you don't communicate with them ineffectively.

WhatsApp Business API features that help you scale customer support

Pay-per-use option for medium- to large-sized organizations is the WhatsApp Business API. All members of your staff may respond to client inquiries from a single WhatsApp Business number, and it interacts with your current e-commerce customer care solutions.

A service like Zixflow offers API subscriptions that are affordable and make it simple for you to get started.

Let's get down to business and examine the key components of a WhatsApp Business API.

Verified green tick business profiles

Do you want to know how to get a green tick on WhatsApp?

You may build a WhatsApp Business profile using the API, much like the WhatsApp Business app. To the business profile, you can enter information like your company name, a description, and a website.

API users can also receive a validated green tick. You must submit your company information to Facebook for verification in order to do this. If you match the requirements for verification, a green checkmark appears in your company profile image, which helps WhatsApp users recognise your profile as legitimate. 

Since Facebook has validated your business, users can see your company name even if you aren't on their contact list. 

Chatbot and conversation flow

Your developers can use the API to quickly react to client inquiries by utilizing NLP. The possibilities for automation are only limited by your creativity. With the assistance of a skilled developer, you may construct any use-case that will aid your business using WhatsApp's Business API.

Additionally, you can develop interactive chat bots that send messages with buttons integrated for typical requests. This improves customer satisfaction, speeds up customer service resolutions, and lightens the workload of your customer care staff.

Unlimited team members to support customers

You are not restricted to a set number of concurrent users once the API is linked with a customer care product. Each member of your team should have their own support account so they may respond to clients without ever disclosing the primary account details.

Connect API with the booking and POS system

By linking with your backend systems, you can instantly confirm orders and payments on WhatsApp. When most of your users are engaged & active on WhatsApp, you don't need to be restricted to email or SMS. 

Customers won't be inundated with spam messages from hundreds of companies since Facebook controls API misuse, which increases their propensity to reply and engage.

Benefits of using WhatsApp for your store’s customer support

Increased trust is one of the key advantages that we've observed with businesses adopting WhatsApp. 

Customers are delighted by the considerably faster responses they receive, which turns them into repeat customers and eventually brand evangelists by sales engagement. This is possible because Facebook technically requires businesses to respond to customer inquiries within 24 hours. 

Following the addition of WhatsApp to your shop's support options, you get:

  • Increase in opt-ins: Users are more likely to consent to get notifications on their WhatsApp number because WhatsApp is a daily driver.
  • Off-the-charts engagement: Comparing WhatsApp users to those on Facebook Messenger and even Instagram, WhatsApp users are 1.5 times more active! They only send and receive messages to people they know, which is the main explanation. As a result, if you run an online store, you'll notice engagement rates that will distort the averages in your favor!
  • Happier customers and faster resolutions: Businesses must answer promptly due to Facebook's 24-hour restrictions on API responses, which makes customers happier and more loyal.
  • Higher conversion rates with interactive messages: Due to its users' high levels of activity, WhatsApp has a higher message-to-conversation ratio than any other medium.
  • Increase in customer retention: Because you provide quicker solutions, superior after-sales care, and a contact point for them whenever necessary, customers stay with you.
  • Improvement in brand visibility: There aren't many marketing channels that let you be visible constantly. As a result of WhatsApp, you are now visible to them whenever they go through their chat history or look for contacts. 

WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp API: Which one to choose?

There aren't many marketing channels that let you be visible constantly. As a result of WhatsApp, you are now visible to them whenever they go through their chat history or look for contacts. 

WhatsApp business app

You're just getting started and gaining clients. The majority of your clients send you WhatsApp messages, and you are the only one who responds to their inquiries. 20 texts are delivered to you daily. And you don't have any immediate plans to hire a dedicated employee for customer service.

WhatsApp business API provider

Through recommendations and various forms of marketing, your company is flourishing and consistently obtaining new clients. You get WhatsApp messages from customers, but you can no longer respond to them on your own. 

With the help of  WhatsApp API providers, you must respond to more than 50 messages every day. You've already outlined hiring a customer service representative in your business plan.

Shared WhatsApp business inbox for teams

You receive communications from WhatsApp in addition to emails, Facebook, Instagram, and other sources. When the same consumer messages from various locations and you wind up answering repeatedly, it is a waste of time. To make sure that no customer is unattended, your team members must manage and transition between different tabs. 

The stage your business is at will determine whether you choose the WhatsApp Business App or the WhatsApp Business API. 

Zixflow: WhatsApp Support & Marketing Solution

Try Zixflow if you've opted to use WhatsApp for your company. Along with some useful hacks to automate your whatsapp and see some amazing results.

It is a one-stop marketing platform specifically designed for companies.

What you receive with Zixflow is:

  • Intelligent automations, quick response times using templates, and simple team cooperation on support questions.
  • Personalized messages for every customer.
  • Features for WhatsApp marketing include broadcasting to consumer lists.
You can create a WhatsApp campaign for customers on Zixflow.
You can personalize templates for customers on Zixflow.
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