Know the differences between Cloud API and On premises API

Helpdesk Updated by Helpdesk

The WhatsApp Business API allows medium and large businesses to communicate with their customers at scale. Using the API, businesses can build systems that connect thousands of customers with agents or bots, enabling both programmatic and manual communication.

Meta hosts its Whatsapp business API on On premises and recently released Cloud as well.

However a new release doesn't always mean a better option. To choose correctly the hosting option we need to understand the use case of our business and the key differences in features of both. In this article we will discuss about the features and limitations of both On premises API and Cloud API.

A given phone number can only be on one platform at a time: Either on Cloud API or on On-Premises. This means that you cannot use a production phone number on both On-Premises and Cloud API at the same time.
Cloud API Overview

To use the Cloud API, businesses make calls to Meta’s Graph API to send messages and Webhooks to receive events, such as messages and status updates. The Graph API is a form of Remote Procedure Call expressed over HTTP, where operations and their parameters are expressed using a combination of URL parameters, headers, and request body.

Compared to the On-Premises implementation, a Graph API integration relies on a different authentication mechanism (see User Access Token), a different Webhook setup process (see Setup Webhooks), and has different latencies and error rates. For more information on how to use the Graph API, see the Graph API Developer Documentation.

On-Premises API vs. Cloud API Comparison

Key Differences

Key Differences

On-Premises API

Cloud API


Individual businesses and/or BSPs need to host the API software on their own servers and in data centers.

Meta hosts the API.


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.

Meta pays for the hosting costs.

Businesses only pay per message sent or conversation.

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


Deprecated. To upload media to the Cloud API, follow these steps.

Stickerpack Management API


Currently not supported.

Disaster Recovery

Business/BSP needs to deploy in “high availability” model.


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.

Baseline Request Error Rates

Not published. Solution has retry built in except when the error is not intermittent (i.e. business error, setup error or user error).

0.1%. Solution has retry built in except when the error is not intermittent (i.e. business error, setup error or user error).

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.


The Check Contacts and the Media Provider APIs are still in use for the On-Premises API, but they have been deprecated with the Cloud API. See more information below:

On-Premises API

Cloud API

Check Contacts API

For Cloud API, this call is no longer required to send messages. You can just use the person’s phone number.

Media Provider API

To upload media to the Cloud API, follow these steps.

Hope this helps!!!

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