SMS vs WhatsApp API, which one suits your business best?

Wednesday 31 May 2023 | Member Press Release | Member Resources |

SMS API is one of the most commonly used mass messaging tools. It has the advantages of easy access and wide coverage and can be received anywhere in the world.

With the development of internet technology, more and more information channels have emerged as new choices for message dissemination. WhatsApp is one of them. Since its launch in 2009, it has quickly become one of the most widely used messaging applications in the world, especially in Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. As of 2023, it has more than 2.24 billion active users.

Today, we will compare these two commonly used information channels, SMS API and WhatsApp API, let’s find out which one is best for your business!


SMS API vs WhatsApp API

01 Deployment

In this part, we will compare SMS bulk messaging and WhatsApp bulk messaging features from two aspects: stability and interaction.

In terms of stability, the quality of SMS bulk messaging is affected by the differences in channel quality and destination infrastructure, and the sender cannot know the reception and reading situation of the information.

WhatsApp’s message-sending quality is fast and stable, and the messages are sent end-to-end encrypted, which will not affect the broadcast effect if intercepted. The sender can see the read receipt of the message to better control the sending data.

As for interaction, SMS bulk messaging is mainly one-way messages, If you want to get user feedback, you need to provide customized landing pages for corresponding needs through short links.

WhatsApp supports two-way instant replies, is not limited by the hardware conditions of the channel and can respond to customer needs in a timely manner, allowing you not to miss any business opportunities.

In areas with higher penetration rates of WhatsApp, the efficiency of WhatsApp’s transmission and its broad user base provides natural business advantages. Conversely, SMS is still the most reliable choice.

02 Pricing:

As a messaging product, the price of bulk messaging is often one of the most important factors that businesses are concerned about. SMS bulk messaging and WhatsApp bulk messaging have different pricing methods.

The pricing method of SMS bulk messaging is determined mostly by the sending country.

As for WhatsApp API, the price of bulk messaging is determined by both the sending country and the category of the messages. In early 2023, Meta updated the pricing rules for WhatsApp API, further refining the messages initiated by businesses into marketing messages, utility messages, and authentication messages. The prices of the last two types of messages were greatly reduced, up to 80%.

Different from the per-message pricing of SMS mass messaging, WhatsApp charges based on the number of sessions, which means that within the 24-hour session window, no matter how many times the user and the enterprise have messaged each other, they are charged for one session.

Meta also stipulates that each WhatsApp business account can receive 1,000 free services or user-initiated conversations per month, and conversations initiated by users from Facebook ads page to WhatsApp will not be charged.

Generally speaking, when the type of information sent is mainly OTP messages and notification messages (such as logistics notifications, order notifications, etc.), WhatsApp is definitely the most favorable choice.

At the same time, prices also vary in different countries. In regions such as China, the United States, and Canada, SMS prices are low and WhatsApp is not the mainstream communication software, so SMS bulk messaging is more effective. In regions such as India, Indonesia, Turkey, and Colombia, WhatsApp has a high penetration rate, and the price of sending messages through WhatsApp API is lower, so the advantages of WhatsApp are obvious.

03 Content:

SMS bulk messaging usually has a limit of 160 characters and supports only text and short links. If you need to match picture and video content, you need to choose the more expensive super SMS.

The character limit of WhatsApp is larger than 1,024 characters, which can basically fully meet the various needs of enterprise promotion, including text, pictures, videos, documents, etc. WhatsApp also supports Call-to-Action buttons. For example, businesses can send notifications with button menus to allow customers to choose between confirming package delivery or rearranging package delivery.

04 Service:

Compared with the simple information transmission attribute of SMS, with the API interface provided by YCloud, WhatsApp can empower business accounts with more diverse customer service functions. It can support an unlimited number of people, and team members can use the same WhatsApp Business account to log in to multiple devices at the same time to chat with customers, helping companies provide high-quality and thoughtful customer service.

YCloud’s Inbox provides you with professional and reliable WhatsApp customer service.

SMS vs WhatsApp, which one should I choose?

When deciding between international SMS bulk messaging and WhatsApp API bulk messaging, it’s important to consider your specific usage scenario and needs. Each method has its own unique characteristics that may make it more or less suitable for your situation.

As a multi-year information service provider for businesses, YCloud has accumulated rich experience in the communication field. We recommend that companies adopt a combination of SMS bulk messaging and WhatsApp bulk messaging:

  1. You can choose WhatsApp or SMS as the main communication method based on the coverage of WhatsApp in different countries.
  2. If you need more flexible and diverse product content presentation and tracking data statistics after sending, you can choose to access WhatsApp API bulk messaging.
  3. For small and medium-sized enterprises and e-commerce websites, WhatsApp API has greater commercial value. You can use WhatsApp API to integrate marketing, utility, authentication, and customer service functions, saving many operating costs.

Note: You must use regular API service providers to ensure that you can have comprehensive and thoughtful WhatsApp API services.

As the first batch of strategic partners of WhatsApp, YCloud is committed to enabling companies to connect and interact with 2.4 billion WhatsApp users quickly and easily. In addition to helping companies create WhatsApp business accounts and providing API services based on WhatsApp, we have also developed many out-of-the-box tools:

  1. Out-of-the-box bulk messaging tools
  2. WhatsApp-based customer service platform
  3. WhatsApp-based QR code, the short link, and chat component tools that are safe, compliant, and can collect customer lists
  4. WhatsApp business account contact management tool

And at YCloud, we only charge based on usage, without installation fees/account opening fees. We provide the most competitive prices globally.

DM us and let us know what you need, to ensure that we recommend the best solution for you.

And at YCloud, we only charge based on usage, without installation fees/account opening fees. We provide the most competitive prices globally. You can call on our consultation hotline: 400-089-2617, tell us the industry you are engaged in and the usage scenario, to ensure that we recommend the best solution for you.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article/press release are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the approved policy or position of the GSMA or its subsidiaries.