Facebook Updates WhatsApp Business API, Announces Upcoming Researcher API

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During Facebook’s developer event F8 Refresh, WhatsApp announced a number of updates to its WhatsApp Business APITrack this API aimed at helping businesses to have more seamless communications with customers. Facebook also announced plans to launch the new Researcher API aimed at providing viable research opportunities for the academic community.

WhatsApp Business API Updates

At the virtual event, WhatsApp head of business products Ajit Varma introduced the updates to the Business API. He explained that the goal of the updates is to help businesses have faster interactions with their customers across various digital experiences. 

The new features include support for list messages which enable businesses to offer a menu of response options during communications and reply buttons that will allow users to select from one of three options with a single tap. Businesses will also be able to display their products to consumers from within WhatsApp

Varma also said that the API will support more message types such as information about boarding passes or vaccinations, as well as letting customers receive product back-in-stock updates. Other messages will include product recommendations and offers on special deals.

WhatsApp also promised new onboarding solutions aimed at reducing the complexity and time needed for a business to sign up and get running on the Platform. Any business interested in the new features will be able to access them through their WhatsApp Business API account.

Facebook Researcher API Announced

Facebook also announced that it plans to release a Researcher API in an effort to facilitate the ease with which researchers can access the platform’s data.

Facebook Researcher API

As part of the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica crisis, Facebook made numerous changes to its APIs including revoking access to some and deprecating many more. While the stated goal was to help protect users’ data, the sudden breaking changes put developers in a bind and prevented legitimate research on the platform. 

The Researcher API will provide researchers access to some of that previously lost data. This includes access to public Pages, Groups, Events, and Post-level US Data. Facebook did not offer further details other than to say that the API will be available later this year.



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