Twilio Announces API for WhatsApp, Enables Connectivity with Popular Cloud Communications Platform

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Twilio, the cloud communications platform, has announced the Twilio API for WhatsApp, allowing Twilio customers to message with their users via WhatsApp for the first time.

Twilio removes the operational overhead of managing and scaling WhatsApp for developers, making it one of the fastest, most reliable and most scalable way for businesses to start communicating with the more than 1.5 billion users of WhatsApp. With one API, developers can use Twilio to integrate messaging via SMS, MMS, RCS, Facebook Messenger, LINE, and now, WhatsApp.

“New channels like WhatsApp provide rich experiences for end users interacting with developers and their applications around the world,” said Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio. “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.”

Consumers want to communicate with businesses with the same ease and richness in which they communicate with friends and family. That’s why brands have increasingly turned to messaging to communicate with their customers for service and support, alerts and notifications, automated bots and more. In more than 100 countries across LATAM, EMEA and South East Asia, WhatsApp is that preferred way of chatting. More than 1.5 billion people in 180 countries have used WhatsApp to stay in touch in their personal lives, sending more than 60 billion messages per day. With the launch of WhatsApp for businesses, developers can now begin building experiences that allow their companies to more effectively reach users in parts of the world where WhatsApp is the de facto messaging app as well as benefit from capabilities WhatsApp is known for including deliverability insights and secure end-to-end encryption.

Prior 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. With Twilio, developers no longer need to deal with this fragmentation in the messaging ecosystem, and instead, can focus on building the best customer experience, knowing that Twilio will help them reach their users wherever they are.

“WhatsApp is a powerful channel for businesses seeking to deliver an enhanced customer experience for their customers,” said Courtney Monroe, Group VP of Worldwide Telecommunications Research at IDC. “Twilio has taken out the complexity from the development process to make it easier for those businesses to get up and running. Twilio’s API for WhatsApp is a compelling proposition for its clients to empower their global North American customers to expand their geographical reach, while simultaneously broadening their base to serve regional customers internationally.”

The Twilio API for WhatsApp:
•Accelerates go to market and reduces total cost of ownership – Twilio eliminates the operational overhead from developers by hosting, managing and scaling WhatsApp containers behind a simple, easy to use Messaging API. Twilio also enables developers to get started with WhatsApp instantly, with a sandbox environment for testing applications, a serverless environment for prototyping that includes Twilio Studio — a visual application builder, as well as helper libraries, API keys, debugging tools and other developer resources.
•Makes 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.
•Is backed by the scale, uptime and reliability of the Twilio platform – Twilio’s platform powers nearly 40 billion interactions* a year and comes with reporting, commitment to GDPR compliance, debugger, audit controls, single sign-on, global scalability and 99.999% uptime commitment.

Several of Twilio customers are a part of WhatsApp’s limited launch including Deliveroo, Hays, PATH and SnapTravel. Deliveroo is a global food delivery company that works with over 35,000 restaurants in over 200 cities in 12 countries to provide the best food delivery experience. Deliveroo is one of the first brands to integrate WhatsApp messaging into their customer experience. Mike Hudack, chief technology officer at Deliveroo said, “Deliveroo is on a mission to transform the way customers eat. To deliver the best possible experience for our customers, we want to be able to communicate with them on the channels they prefer. We’re thrilled to now be able to offer order notifications and status updates to our customers via WhatsApp, powered by Twilio’s API.”

Twilio Flex, the first fully programmable contact center platform, now supports WhatsApp so that customer service representatives can send and receive messages via WhatsApp using the same interface they use for SMS, voice, and other channels.


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