WhatsApp Business: the differences between the App and the API

WhatsApp started a message platform a few years ago where people could communicate with each other. Initially this platform was primarily intended for consumer contact, sending messages to friends and family, but more and more companies also wanted to use this platform. That is why WhatsApp has developed two solutions: the WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business API. What exactly is the difference between these two solutions?

The WhatsApp Business App

The WhatsApp Business App is the easiest to compare with the consumer app: it can be installed on a mobile phone. A major advantage of the Business App over the WhatsApp consumer app is the fact that the business number can be verified in the Business App.

In addition, it is also possible for an organization to link opening hours, automatic replies, quick replies and labels to messages. Furthermore, the app differs little from the consumer app. Customers send messages to the number and these messages can be answered from the mobile phone, so only by one person at a time.

Moreover, with the Business App it is important that the initiative lies with the customer. WhatsApp wants to prevent their platform from being used for promotional purposes at all costs and therefore sees the WhatsApp Business App as a customer service solution.

The WhatsApp Business API

Is the organisation interested in to answering WhatsApp messages from customers with a team of employees? The WhatsApp Business API is the solution. There are a number of partners worldwide who can offer this API and a customer contact system can then be linked to this API. So it is the solution from WhatsApp to be able to receive and send messages as a team simultaneously with customers.

Because the Business API is linked to a customer service system such as Trengo, it is also possible to use the functionalities of that system via WhatsApp. Consider, for example, labeling messages or using Automatic responses or Quick Replies, just like via the Business App. Moreover, the use of Chatbots is also supported via the WhatsApp Business API.

Besides, by using a customer service system it is also possible to link WhatsApp to a customer profile with all other communication channels, in order to better monitor the overview.

Finally, it is possible via the WhatsApp Business API to approach a customer by means of so-called templates. These templates may still not contain a promotional message, but can for example be used to confirm an appointment or to communicate the status of a delivery.

In order to use the Business API, WhatsApp will have to grant the organization approval. WhatsApp has set a number of conditions for this, which can be found here.

An overview:


Whatsapp Business AppWhatsApp Business API
Landline number✔️✔️
Labels✔️✔️
Quick Replies✔️✔️
Auto Replies✔️✔️
Business hours✔️✔️
Business Profile✔️✔️
Catalog✔️
Multi-user✔️
Bulk messaging✔️
Link to other channels✔️
Chatbots✔️
Approaching the customer yourself (using templates)✔️