Connecting a WhatsApp Business API to caht with customers over WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP service owned by Facebook. As of February 2019, WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion active users in over 180 countries.
WhatsApp does not allow companies to connect directly to their API or create business accounts on their own. To create a WhatsApp Business API account you'll need to apply through a WhatsApp Partner.
Once a WhatsApp Partner has approved and provisioned your WhatsApp Business API account with a phone number you may connect it to the respond.io platform and manage WhatsApp messages just like any other channel.
We are integrated with the following WhatsApp Channel Providers.
^ WhatsApp API has a Session Messaging Window of 24 hrs. Companies must reply to customers within 24 hrs to send a Session Message. Otherwise, a Template Message must be used.
*MessageBirds cheapest plan includes 15,000 Session Messages, the subscription is billed annually.
WhatsApp API has a messaging window or 24 hours which you are allowed to reply to customers with any content. After 24 hours, you will need to send a Template Message in order to send a reply to the customer.
The 24 hours messaging window is applicable to the following providers :
- 360 Dialog
Learn more on WhatsApp Message Templates
In respond.io, WhatsApp Interactive Message is used when sending a multiple choice question from a survey or quick replies using Dialogflow. When the question or message has fewer or equals to 3 options, WhatsApp Quick Replies will be used to display the options.
Otherwise, WhatsApp List Messages will be used to display the options not exceeding the maximum limit of 10.
You need to connect a WhatsApp Business API account to respond.io. WhatsApp Business is two products: 📱 WhatsApp Business App - one device, one user ⚙️ WhatsApp Business API - for companies with teams
The price you pay for WhatsApp Business API via a WhatsApp Partner has two components:
- The fee charged by WhatsApp
- The fee charged by the WhatsApp Partner
Different WhatsApp Partners have different pricing models:
- Set-up fee
- Monthly fee
- Messaging fee
WhatsApp Business API has 2 types of messages:
- Session Messages: Whenever a contact sends an incoming message to your number, a timer is set. You have 24 hours to send outgoing messages to that user without any restrictions.
- Template Messages: After the 24 hours of the session message is finished, you can only send a pre-approved template by WhatsApp to encourage your contact to resume the conversation and you can keep sending session messages. Advertising, marketing, or promotional messages are not permitted as Template Messages. For a more comprehensive breakdown, please refer to their Message Templates Guidelines.
Group Messages are not supported by WhatsApp Business API. Facebook has deprecated the development of this feature.
WhatsApp calls are not supported by WhatsApp Business API.
To register for WhatsApp Business API:
- The phone number must be able to receive voice calls or SMS
- The phone number must not have been connected to WhatsApp Business API before.
Do note that once a phone number has been registered with WhatsApp Business API, it cannot be used for WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp personal app. A phone number can be upgraded to WhatsApp Business API but not downgraded.