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Regular or Official WhatsApp API: Comparative Analysis, Advantages and Disadvantages

What is the difference between the Regular WhatsApp API and the Official WhatsApp Business API?

Regular WhatsApp API, including the Chat API, was developed at a time when the Official WhatsApp Business API was not available for businesses and programmers. The WhatsApp API is usually based on the WhatsApp WEB protocols and allows you to automate and optimize communication with users in WhatsApp. To work with the Regular WhatsApp API, it is enough to scan the QR code and you can already start sending messages.
Chat API initially positioned itself as a secure tool for expanding the capabilities of developers and businesses to work with users in WhatsApp. We are against spam and incorrect marketing mailings.
Official WhatsApp Business API is an interface for optimizing work with WhatsApp from Facebook. Connecting to the Official WhatsApp Business API is a more complex process associated with business confirmation and verification. In addition, the price for the WhatsApp Business API is higher than for the WhatsApp API, but the undeniable advantage of the WhatsApp Business API is its status as an "official API" and protection from being banned.

Okay. So, would it be right to use the WhatsApp official API?

The answer to this question is not as obvious as it may seem. The first thing you should ask yourself is: what do you need the API for? After all, both options have their upsides and downsides.
The first seemingly obvious upside of Regular WhatsApp API is its “officialness” and safety. However, because of some substantial limitations, not every company can benefit from them. The list of limitations is presented below:
  1. 1.
    The price. the subscription fee for the Official WhatsApp Business API can reach from RM500 to RM1500 per month, including the connection fee, sent template messages and additional services. In addition, the price of tariffs is dictated by WhatsApp itself (in currency), and it is not always possible to agree with intermediaries on a more individual approach. More information about prices can be found on the official website of the developer: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/whatsapp/pricing
  2. 2.
    System restrictions - Facebook artificially restricts and controls the work with the API. This is the right approach, but for users it is associated with a number of restrictions, for example, paid template messages, limiting the number of messages sent, numbers linked to the rating, or possibly blocking unsuccessful, from the point of view of Facebook, messages.
  3. 3.
    Restrictions on business areas - WhatsApp does not approve of partnerships with certain business sectors. For example, medicine, alcohol, veterinary medicine, part of financial advice may be denied access to the Official WhatsApp Business API.
  4. 4.
    Achieving the Official WhatsApp Business API can be fraught with a number of difficulties. Be prepared that this is an energy and resource-consuming process.

Okay, but it’s still better than to be banned by WhatsApp!

It is true that to have a work phone number banned is every company’s nightmare. No one would like to find themselves in a situation like this. According to WhatsApp’s statistics, every month, the messenger bans around 2,000,000 users for violating their policy.
Of course, this does not mean that WhatsApp API providers do not care about their customers. For example, in the case of our Chat API, we protect our clients by offering them individual IPs, safe authorization, and a system of artificial guards, such as a messaging queue to prevent bulk messaging and escape a ban. There are also systems that allow for emulating phones on a computer so that your activity would not depend on a physical device. Of course, these measures will not help if users ignore WhatsApp’s rules and spam their clients. Even with the official API, you can still be banned for violating WhatsApp’s policy. But if you combine all the safety tools offered by Chat API with an intelligent use of the service, your phone number will be absolutely safe. And if you are more interested in the status of the number or the green check mark, then you definitely should connect to the WhatsApp Business API.
Having analyzed the main points, you can go directly to the most interesting, namely, dry analytics, and compare the two ways of working with WhatsApp.

Let’s begin with the advantages of Chat API

Regular WhatsApp API (Chat API)
Official WhatsApp Business API (360Dialog)
You can connect any personal or work phone numbers.
It only works with new numbers. It is possible to connect existing numbers, but this involves a number of additional procedures.
You can connect your phone number immediately after you registered it, but it’s important to follow our recommendations.
The number must be registered and verified. It is important for Facebook to collect information about the business before providing access to the API.
Available for all categories of customers.
Only for legal entities. Taking into account the connection costs, then for medium and large businesses.
You can send any kind of content (that does not violate the law).
Message templates must be pre-approved. You can't send audio files.
Physically unlimited messaging for a fixed fee (from RM125 per month).
Paid outgoing template messages. Limit on the number of messages sent per day, linked to the” rating " of the number.
Easy registration, no special requirements.
Strict compliance with the rules and a comprehensive implementation process. At the same time, there is a tendency to simplify access to the WhatsApp Business API.
Permission is not required, you can write first.
The first outgoing messages are paid. It is necessary to create and approve templates for such messages.
You can start using the API right away.
Now instant access to the WhatsApp Business API is possible, but with restrictions that are eliminated when confirming your business.
There is no limit to phone numbers you can connect.
Up to 25 phone numbers. Next, an individual agreement is required.
Direct 24 x 7 customer support via email and chats.
Support for 24\7 is provided by the Chat API, some issues can be solved only by sending requests to Facebook, this may take additional time.
Any changes, ability or integrations are possible.
The inability to influence and add functionality to the service.
You can choose any name for your account.
The display name of your account is also verified and approved by Facebook.
The API works worldwide.
There are a number of states that are not recognized by the world community, it is impossible to conclude cooperation with Facebook with such countries.
You can work for representatives of any business sector (except those prohibited by law).
There are restrictions related to the Facebook policy. It is impossible, for example, to conduct consultations on medical issues. Political organizations must undergo a separate approval with Facebook.

Advantages of the WhatsApp Business API

Regular WhatsApp API (Chat API)
Official WhatsApp Business API (360Dialog)
The ability to ban numbers from WhatsApp if our recommendations for safe operation are violated.
Ban in exceptional cases. First of all, a drop in the rating of the number or a restriction in the use of individual template messages.
You have to depend on your phone connection.
It does not depend on the local connection of the phone.
The only way to add contacts on your phone is manual.
Automatic ability to add and delete contacts.
No verified badge (green check mark).
A business account can receive a verified icon of the Official Business Account (green check mark), for this you need to submit an application to Facebook.
It depends on the period of use of the account. At the beginning, we recommend sending no more than 5-20 messages per minute.
High scalability: by default, 10 messages per second. As the number rating increases, the number of messages sent per second will increase.
Your phone must have a stable internet connection.
There is no such need
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360Dialog
Chat API
Reliability
100%
95%
Price
RM250 (exclude template messages)
RM125 (fixed)
Template Message
yes
no
WhatsApp App
no
yes