Differences Between WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp Business Platform

Being the world's largest chat platform, WhatsApp plays a significant role in both personal and business purposes. With over 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp offers an amazing platform for people to connect from places all around the globe, allowing loved ones to stay in touch, and companies to explore new avenues of reach, promotion, and marketing.

As WhatsApp is constantly expanding and gaining more users, its use cases are becoming more diversified. WhatsApp is commonly used for personal purposes, while WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business Platform (WhatsApp Business API) are more official, verified, and business-centric. This post describes the three mediums and highlights their differences to help you identify the right solution for your business.


WhatsApp is increasingly popular among people and communities from across the globe who want stay connected. With the cost of using WhatsApp’s messaging platform being less than texting, it is extremely convenient for most people, while also providing a secure and private network to chat on. The ability to message one another, make global calls, create group texts, share photos and videos, send and receive documents, and remain in contact to your world has made WhatsApp a leading messaging channel for people anywhere and everywhere.

WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp Business was started in 2018 and allows users to build their company profiles within the messaging platform. The user journey and interface for both regular WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business are the same, however, the capabilities are expanded when using WhatsApp Business. This tool allows your brand to communicate easily with customers and helps to grow your company, community, and messaging presence.

WhatsApp Business has very useful features such as quick reply options, conversation labels, and the ability to send automated away messages. The platform also enables companies to display product catalogs, collect feedback, generate leads, and offer customer support to clients. However, since only one device or user can manage the account in the WhatsApp Business App, it can be limiting and difficult for big companies to expand their reach. For smaller-scale companies who want to promote their products and raise brand awareness, WhatsApp Business will be an extremely useful marketing tactic.

WhatsApp Business Platform (API)

While WhatsApp Business is designed specifically for small to medium-size companies, WhatsApp Business Platform (WhatsApp Business API) is designed for enterprises, where the volume of messages exceeds WhatsApp Business's ability and capacity.

WhatsApp Business Platform (WhatsApp Business API) incorporates features that allow companies to automate conversations, send bulk notifications, and seamlessly connect and communicate with a larger customer base. This solution is built for scale, as companies such as Clickatell can act as the API that can seamlessly connect to your company's existing front-end system or helpdesk software. Connect with Clickatell to integrate into your existing systems, and our team will handle the rest, while you reap the advantages of increased ROI and an enhanced customer experience.

What are the Differences?

As a popular messaging app in the world, WhatsApp has great benefits to individuals and businesses. With businesses adopting conversational marketing strategies to engage their customers, WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business Platform make it even easier. Although they all serve a common goal of communication, WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp Business Platform differ in the following ways:


  • The app contacts are retrieved from phone contacts.

  • Ideal for personal use in one-on-one conversations or group chats.

  • The account is created using a mobile number.

  • The app has a limit of 256 users in a group chat or broadcast list.

  • The app can exchange media files like videos and images up to 16MB, and documents with a 100MB limit.

  • The app does not support integration with other systems.

  • The app is free.

WhatsApp Business

  • Best for local businesses for one-on-one or group or templated messages.

  • App automation features include quick replies, greeting messages, and away messages.

  •  Account created using a landline or mobile phone.

  • Voice and video calls are supported on the app.

  • App contacts are retrieved from phone contacts and can be labeled.

  • WhatsApp Broadcast lists can contain up to 256 users.

  • Can support up to 4 agents to respond to users simultaneously.

  • Does not provide verification (green checkmark), infringer risk.

  • Manual only, no bot integration.

  • The app is free.

WhatsApp Business Platform

  • No calling capabilities.

  • Contacts are achieved through API (Application Programming Interface).

  • Unlike standard WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business, the Business Platform can be used to reach more contacts at scale.

  • API can send session and template messages. Template messaging must first be approved by WhatsApp.

  • Access to WhatsApp Business Platform (API) is only available through a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP), such as Clickatell.

  • Integrates well with other business systems such as analytics, CRM, and communication software.

  • Offers business verification (green checkmark), no infringer risk.

  • Since the WhatsApp Business app does not have data, businesses require expert technical solutions to access data via API.

  • WhatsApp charges per 24-hour conversation, along with additional Clickatell fees for products and services.

Is WhatsApp Business or WhatsApp Business Platform better for my business?

If you run small to medium-sized enterprises with less than 1,000 monthly customers engagements, WhatsApp Business might be a perfect fit for your needs. It will efficiently help you label conversations, collect feedback, and respond to customer queries. It’s a cost-effective tool for small businesses looking for an easy way to connect with and better serve their customers. All you need to do is set up your business profile and have a wi-fi connection, then you’re ready to start promoting your brand via WhatsApp!

On the other hand, if you’re a larger growing company, you will need a more sophisticated system to help you attend to all the queries and prepare for scalability. This is where integrating a WhatsApp Business Platform (API) into your existing systems will come in handy. If you are looking for new and improved ways to engage with customers, implement omnichannel communications, all while alleviating the stress of your sales teams, then the WhatsApp Business Platform is exactly what your brand needs.

Enhance Your Brands Customer Experience with Clickatell's WhatsApp Business Platform

As an authorized WhatsApp Business Solutions Provider (BSP), Clickatell enables you to build for global scale, personalize your customer experience, and engage in valuable conversations with your customers. The benefits of the WhatsApp Business Platform to growing brands are endless. Connect our Clickatell's WhatsApp Business API to your WhatsApp Business profile within the Clickatell portal, and let our team handle the rest! Let’s boost your omnichannel marketing strategy with just one simple API integration. Learn more on how with Clickatell today. Get in touch with our team and let’s go global.



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