WhatsApp is introducing free cloud-based API services in a push to get more businesses using the app, Meta Platforms (FB.O) CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the company’s messaging event on Thursday.
The messaging service, which has increasingly courted business users, is one of several platforms where Facebook-owner Meta has launched more shopping and business-focused features.
Zuckerberg, speaking at Meta’s “Conversations” event, said the offering would mean “any business or developer can easily access our service, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience and speed up their response time to customers by using our secure WhatsApp Cloud API hosted by Meta.”
WhatsApp already has an API, or type of software interface, for businesses to connect their systems, which generates revenue.
Meta, which bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in a landmark 2014 deal, said that businesses would not be able to message people on WhatsApp unless they have requested to be contacted.