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What is the difference between the WhatsApp Cloud-Hosted API and the On-Premises API?

Note: As of the 31st of March 2024, all new WhatsApp Business numbers will only have the option to be hosted on Cloud. The On-Premises hosting option will no longer be offered by Clickatell for new numbers. 

Meta launched the cloud-hosted WhatsApp Business API in May 2022, providing features similar to the on-premises version but hosted on Meta's servers. When compared to the on-premises solution hosted and managed by Clickatell, Cloud API is a more user-friendly version of the WhatsApp Business Platform.

Having the service hosted by Meta reduces maintenance and upgrade complexity. This means that the onboarding journey is quicker and the combination of features and benefits makes Cloud API the best option for small and medium businesses looking for a more cost-effective way to connect with customers who have opted-in to receive messages from them on WhatsApp.

The table below compares on-premises with the new cloud-hosted offering. 

Key Differences On-Premises API Cloud-Hosted API
Hosting Individual businesses and/or BSPs need to host the API software on their own servers and in data centers. Meta hosts the API.
Maintenance Individual businesses and/or BSPs need to perform API software upgrades periodically. API software upgrades are performed by Meta and new features and security updates are available automatically on the Cloud API. Developers no longer need to do setup, maintenance, or scaling work. There will be minimal code changes required to adapt to longer-term API changes.


Businesses or BSPs need to:
  • Pay the costs of setting up and maintaining their servers.
  • Pay per message sent or per conversation, following the rules described here.
Meta pays for the hosting costs. Businesses only pay per message sent or conversation, per the rules described here.

API Protocol

On-Premises REST API Graph API

Message Throughput

(per second)

Send up to 70 text messages per second for single-connect. Send up to 250 text messages per second for multi-connect. Sending media messages may reduce these numbers. Up to 500 messages per second combined sending and receiving of text and media messages. In the event of high system loads, a business may experience reduced message throughput. See Throughput.
Certificate Management You manage your Certificate Authority (CA) and Webhook CA certificates. Meta manages the CA certificates. For a Webhook CA certificate, your Webhooks server needs to support HTTPS and have a valid CA-chained TLS/SSL certificate installed. Self-signed certificates are not supported.

Media Provider API

Supported Deprecated. To upload media to the Cloud API, follow these steps.
Stickerpack Management API Supported Currently not supported
Disaster Recovery Business/BSP needs to deploy in a “high availability” model. No SLA
Single-tenant vs. Multi-tenant Single-tenant (single phone number per deployment). Multi-tenant. Multiple phone numbers can be registered on CAPI.
Send Message Request Processing Latency Dependent on business deployment location (i.e., latency from their infra to WhatsApp infra in North America). Expect the latency between receiving a request and sending a response on Meta servers to be: 90th percentile: ~1s 99th percentile: ~2s There is a plan to eventually get to 99th percentile: ~500ms
Server Location Dependent on business North America
Monitoring Metrics Available Insights data available. Businesses are responsible for setting up monitoring of the on-premise solution themselves (monitoring containers included in packaging). Insights data available. Meta monitors instance health.

SLA (Uptime)

Not specified because it depends on an end-to-end API solution, which includes the businesses or BSP’s infrastructure. Ongoing efforts to meet our commercially reasonable goals of 99.9%.


7x24 for critical issues on a best-effort basis. 7x24 for critical issues. Continuous work until the issue is resolved or mitigated.

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