WhatsApp will today begin beta testing a new, cloud-based version of its WhatsApp Business API, hosted on parent company Facebook’s infrastructure. With the shift to the cloud, the setup time for integrating with the API will drop from weeks to only minutes, the company claims, so businesses can more quickly transition to WhatsApp’s API platform to communicate with their customers who have opted in to receive their messages.

The company has been steadily building out its Business API over the past couple of years to become one of the key ways the otherwise free messaging app will generate revenue from its service. Businesses today pay WhatsApp on a per-message basis, with rates that vary based on the number of messages sent and region. Currently, tens of thousands of larger businesses have adopted the existing (non-cloud based) API, including brands like Vodafone, Coppel, Sears Mexico, BMW, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Iberia…

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