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Twilio launches new developer API for WhatsApp platform

02 Aug 2018

Cloud communications provider Twilio has released an API for messaging service WhatsApp, which allows businesses to communicate with their customers through the popular platform.

Twilio says that WhatsApp has 1.5 billion users in 100 countries, who send 60 billion messages per day. The new API opens up customer experiences to users all over the world.

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson says new media channels such as WhatsApp provide rich experiences for users, applications, and developers.

“We're excited to provide the most expansive set of messaging experiences to billions of end users, all via one easy to use API. We can't wait to see what developers build."

As a part of its limited access launch, WhatsApp requires approval for all brands to provision their business profile.

Developers can now begin testing applications via Twilio’s Sandbox for WhatsApp. When ready for production, developers can request access for a WhatsApp Business profile via the Twilio console, which will undergo WhatsApp approval.

According to Twilio, supporting a variety of messaging channels meant wrestling with variations in API schemas, capabilities and toolings. Some channels have open APIs while others require a hosted deployment model that requires developers to test and maintain integrations with multiple APIs.

Twilio claims that its service means developers no longer need to deal with fragmentation in the messaging ecosystem, and instead, can focus on building the best customer experience for every customer.

Twilio developed its API to make virtually every messaging channel available via one API - Twilio’s Messaging API supports SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, RCS, Facebook Messenger and LINE.

With Twilio's Intelligent Routing capabilities, developers can leverage Twilio’s global SMS coverage as an alternative when the user cannot be reached on WhatsApp.

IDC’s Group VP of Worldwide Telecommunications Research Courtney Monroe says WhatsApp is a powerful platform for businesses that want to enhance the customer experience.

“Twilio has taken out the complexity from the development process to make it easier for those businesses to get up and running.”

Twilio customers include recruitment firm Hays. Hays CIO Steve Weston says his company provides professional recruiting services in 33 countries around the world. It also places 1000 people into new roles every workday.

 “It is incredibly powerful to have the ability to reach job seekers as soon as new roles appear by using the messaging apps they interact with on a frequent basis,” Weston says.

“Through the use of Twilio’s API for WhatsApp, we are now able to update our candidates via the world’s most popular messaging application. Ultimately, this integration allows our candidates to get closer to their dream job quicker and in a way that suits them.”

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