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WhatsApp Business Platform

Messaging limits determine the maximum number of business-initiated conversations each phone number can start in a rolling 24-hour period. These limits do not apply to user-initiated conversations.

The messaging limit tiers determine how many users you can send templates to on a daily basis. This includes new conversations as well as existing conversations with users.

There are four messaging limit tiers:

  • Tier 1: 1K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
  • Tier 2: 10K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
  • Tier 3: 100K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
  • Tier 4: An unlimited number of business-initiated conversations in a rolling 24-hour period.

A business starts in Tier 1 when it registers its phone number. You can send any number of messages within 24-hour period to a customer who has interacted with you on WhatsApp.

Messaging limits are increased or decreased automatically based on your phone number status, phone number quality rating, and how often you initiate conversations with unique customers.

How do I increase my messaging limit?

Each time you initiate a new conversation with a unique customer we will determine if your limit should be increased. This determination is based on the following criteria:

  • your phone number status is Connected
  • your phone number quality rating is Medium or High
  • you have been at your current messaging limit for at least 48 hours
  • in the last 7 days you have initiated X or more conversations with unique customers, where X is your current messaging limit multiplied by 2

If you meet all conditions, Your messaging limit will increase immediately.

Examples

Messaging limit increased from 1K to 10K in 3 days:

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Business-initiated conversations (new) 1,000 1,000 1,000    
Business-initiated conversations in last 7 days 1,000 2,000* 3,000    
Messaging limit 1K 1K 10K    

 

Messaging limit increased from 1K to 10K in 5 days:

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Business-initiated conversations (new) 500 500 500 500 500
Business-initiated conversations in last 7 days 500 1,000 1,500 2,000* 2,500
Messaging limit 1K 1K 1K 1K 10K

WhatsApp focuses on customer experience hence there are several rules and best practices to ensure that your template message is approved.

You can create and submit message templates directly to WhatsApp from the Campaign Manager inside Digital Connect.

  • Businesses should choose an existing template category during submission
  • Template review will check for Commerce or Business Policy violations and correct formatting
  • Templates must be formatted correctly. See here for formatting guidelines
  • Plan in advance to account for review times

Note: You must obtain opt-in from customers in advance of sending any template (business-initiated ) message.

WhatsApp templates fall into many categories. To get a promotional template approved, select ALERT_UPDATE as the template category.

WhatsApp supports up to 250 templates per account by default. We recommend starting with a handful to get started faster. If you need more than 250 templates, please open a support ticket stating your reason. WhatsApp reviews requests for higher template limits within 2-4 weeks and may approve a higher limit of 1500 templates at their discretion.

Want to learn more about WhatsApp templates, opt-ins, quality ratings  and  take full advantage of using WhatsApp Business Platform for sending promotional messages, read our blog post to build a better understanding.

WhatsApp regulates when and how you can send messages to your customers. This limitation is enforced by Meta (parent company of WhatsApp) to improve the customer experience for WhatsApp users.

All conversations are measured in fixed 24-hour sessions. A conversation starts when the first business message in a conversation is delivered, either initiated by the business or in reply to a user message. Businesses and users can exchange any number of messages, including template messages, within a 24 hour conversation session without incurring additional charges. Each 24 hour conversation session results in a single charge.

Outside of a 24-hour conversation session, you may only send an approved template message to the customer. Any message that doesn't match a pre-approved template is considered a free-form message.

To learn more about WhatsApp conversations and pricing, click here.

A business initiated conversation with your customers must use a template message, once they have opted-in and given you the permission to send them messages. Templates must be approved by WhatsApp before you can use them to send notifications.

Think of your template message as a conversation starter; the goal is to convert this initial message into a two-way conversation when the customer replies. Two-way conversations are considered higher value because you are engaging with your customer. In addition, they reduce your spend because WhatsApp does not charge for outbound messages within the 24-hour session.

Template messages are dynamic messages that contain variables inside double curly braces () when the message is sent. In the example below, numbers indicate variables that are automatically filled in from your database.

Template Message should be submitted as follows:

Name: account_registration

Hi 1! Your login code for 2 is 3.

Your customer will receive:

Hi Sara! Your login code for EOcean is 6545.

Template messages are used for the following reasons:

  1. Initiate new conversations with customers
  2. Send broadcasts
  3. Restart the session after the 24-hours have expired

Once the customer replies, a session is started and businesses can begin communicating with their customers on WhatsApp during the session.

What are the different categories of template messages?

WhatsApp has recently switched from a template message-based pricing model to a conversation-based pricing model. Businesses will be charged per conversation which includes all messages delivered in a 24-hour session.

What is a WhatsApp “conversation”?

A WhatsApp conversation consists of messages exchanged between you and your customers. They fall into two categories that are priced differently:

  • User-initiated (think customer care and general support inquiries)
  • Business-initiated (think transactional notifications and OTPs)

All conversations are measured in 24-hour increments, or "sessions." A session starts upon delivery of a business reply to a user-initiated message or delivery of a business-initiated message to a user, and ends 24 hours later.

How are conversations charged?

  • Charges are based on the end user’s phone number and rates vary by countries for each region. Click here to download the rate card.
  • The cost for a business-initiated conversation in Pakistan is currently $0.0473
  • The cost for a user-initiated conversation in Pakistan is currently $0.0142
  • The first 1,000 conversations each month are free (see Free Tier Conversations below).
  • Any customers with more than 1,000 conversations per month will incur additional fees.
  • In addition, conversations will not be charged when a user messages a business using a call-to-action button on Ads that click to WhatsApp or a Facebook Page CTA (see Free Entry Points Conversations below).

Click here to see examples of conversational flows and related charges

The following video provides an overview of the conversation metrics and charges for conversation-based pricing that will become available through the Insights tab of WhatsApp Manager starting on Feb 01, 2022:

WhatsApp Business Account Insights: New conversation metrics (2:36)

Free Tier Conversations

The first 1,000 conversations each month are free. This way your business can build experiences your customers will love before having to pay. Each WhatsApp Business account (WABA) will receive 1,000 free conversations per month. These conversations can be either user or business-initiated. Even if a WABA has multiple numbers attached, the free tier threshold is still 1000, as the free tier is provided at the WABA level. The free tier is refreshed monthly based on the timezone associated with the WABA.

Free Entry Points Conversations

On February 1, 2022, we anticipate that approximately 65M WhatsApp users (around 2%) will still be on an older version of WhatsApp Messenger that does not support free entry point conversations. Users will need to be on iOS version 2.21.180.14 and Android version 2.21.16.15 or a more recent version for free entry point conversations to be provided to API users. We anticipate all WhatsApp Messenger users to be on these versions or a more recent version on or before April 9, 2022.

Conversations will not be charged when users message businesses using call-to-actions buttons on Ads that Click to WhatsApp or a Facebook Page call-to-action buttons. Free entry point conversations can only be user-initiated. The first conversation that starts from the entry point is free of charge, then subsequent conversations with the user are charged.

What is the difference between the old and the new WhatsApp pricing model?

WhatsApp’s old pricing model was based on the number of Message Templates sent outside of an end-user-initiated conversation window. Full details here. The new WhatsApp pricing model is based on a number of 24-hour conversation sessions. Learn more here

How does this change my contract with E Ocean?

This new pricing model and changes it brings affects all E Ocean customers who have an active WhatsApp API integration, regardless of the Monthly active user bundle Fee, Monthly agent License fee or any monthly support fee already charged by E Ocean.  E Ocean will invoice any account with an estimate of more than 1,000 conversations on behalf of WhatsApp directly to you.

Example Conversational flows and related charges

Business-initiated conversations

Scenario 1

image(1)

 

 

 

In this scenario, Air link sends a template message to Sarah who has opted in to receive notifications. This starts a business-initiated 24-hour conversation session.

Cost: Air link will pay for one business-initiated conversation regardless of whether Sarah replies or not.

Scenario 2

image(2)

 

  1. In this scenario, Air link sends a template message to Sarah which starts a business-initiated 24-hour conversation session.
  2. Sarah replies within the same 24-hour conversation session.
  3. Air link sends another message to Sarah.

Cost: Air link will pay for one business-initiated conversation.

User-initiated conversations

Scenario 1

conversation 60

 

  1. Sarah messages Ebuy check in on order details.
  2. Ebuy replies to Sarah. This triggers a user-initiated 24-hour conversation session.
  3. Within the same conversation session, Sarah sends another message to Ebuy.

Cost: Ebuy will pay for one user-initiated conversation.

Scenario 2

conversations 24

  1. Sarah messages Ebuy to check details of her order.
  2. Ebuy replies to Sarah. This triggers a user-initiated 24-hour conversation session.
  3. Within the same conversation, Sarah sends another message to Ebuy.
  4. The next day which is 24 hours later than the beginning of the user-initiated conversation, Ebuy sends Sarah a template message with an update on her order delivery. This triggers a new business-initiated 24-hour conversation session because the previous user-initiated session only lasted for 24 hours which already expired.

Cost: Ebuy will pay for one user-initiated conversation and one business-initiated conversation.

Business Verification allows you to verify that a Facebook Business Manager account is owned by an authentic business. Facebook Business Verification is mandatory for you to get approved for WhatsApp Business API.

We have compiled this article to help you get through this process smoothly. Learn more about business verification here.

To apply for Facebook Business Verification, you need to submit valid documents that support the registered business’ legal name, address and phone number. Facebook cross checks with the respective authorities records to validate any information you submit to them. Hence, it is absolutely essential to submit the most up-to-date and correct documents because any discrepancy can lead to rejection or further questions.

The 'Start Verification' button in your business verification section will be greyed out unless your business needs access to certain features. If the 'Start Verification' button is greyed out, please contact our team for assistance.

We will help you to unlock it and you can continue with the sending of the required documentation from the Security Center of your Facebook Business Manager account.

 

Now, let’s watch our video tutorial to go through the steps required to submit the application for verifying your business.

 

A review of your application by Facebook usually takes about 3 business days but in some cases, it can take up-to a few weeks. If your application has been approved, you will receive a confirmation email. You can also check the status of your application in the Security Center.

You may not receive a confirmation immediately. In case Facebook requires additional documentation, you will receive a notification about it. You will then need to respond to the same support ticket from Facebook and submit necessary documentation.

What you should do in case of a rejection?

  Your verification can be rejected for a couple of reasons. You can always appeal to Facebook’s decision and submit the necessary information to complete your verification.

 For your convenience, you can refer to the Facebook documentation for the top reasons why your Facebook Business Verification might be failing and what you can do to correct it. So before you appeal to Facebook, make sure to check it out so you know what to do for a successful Facebook Business Verification.

The Green Tick next to a WhatsApp business name indicates that the entity has been approved as an Official Business Account. The business name will also be displayed in contacts, along with a green tick to show the business is verified.

Approval of your WhatsApp business account however does not automatically mean that you are an Offical Business Account and users will see a Green Tick next to your name. To become an Official Business Account you need to go through a second approval process and E ocean can help you apply for Green Tick.

If your request is approved, your WhatsApp Business account will automatically be upgraded to an Official Business account and show a verified green tick right beside your profile picture.

Green Tick WhatsApp Account

This brings us to the next section - the different types of business accounts! 

Types of Business Accounts

There are two types of WhatsApp business accounts:

Name  Description
Official Business Account WhatsApp has verified that an authentic, notable brand owns this account.

An official business account has a green checkmark badge in its profile and chat thread headers. The name of the business is visible even if the user hasn’t added the business to their address book.

Very few businesses will be official business accounts.

Business Account By default, any account using the WhatsApp Business API or WhatsApp Business App is a business account.

WhatsApp verifies the authenticity of a brand for every account on the WhatsApp Business API.

Eligibility criteria for a Green Tick on WhatsApp

  • You must be using WhatsApp API Approved Business Accoun
  • You must enable 2 Step Authentication
  • The facebook business verification should be completed on your FB Business Manager
  • Must be a business (Individuals are not allowed as of now)
  • Recommended you are in Tier 2 or above messaging level
  • Must be a notable and reputed brand

How long does the Green Tick Application decision take?

Green Tick application decision normally takes about 1-2 business days. In some cases, it may take up to a week.

Which businesses are not eligible for WhatsApp Green Tick Verification?

WhatsApp disallows certain business categories for WhatsApp API and hence for WhatsApp Green Tick Verification. Businesses dealing in the following products/services cannot be approved for using WhatsApp Business APIs:

  • Drugs
  • Tobacco Items
  • Gambling Businesses
  • Alcohol Brands
  • Weapons & Ammunition Businesses
  • Live Animals
  • Adult Product/Services
  • Medical & Healthcare Products
  • Dating Services
  • Cryptocurrencies

To get the full list and updated details about WhatsApp’s prohibited categories, please refer to this article.

 

Approval for a WhatsApp Verified Business Account is not guaranteed, and is subject to approval by WhatsApp. WhatsApp does not disclose their criteria for approving Official Business Accounts. To learn more, click  here

 

WhatsApp API supports sending and receiving media messages with WhatsApp users. Please note that a WhatsApp media message can only contain one media attachment. Any Any additional attachments will be ignored.

WhatsApp supports the following limits per media type:

Images: 5MB
Documents: 100MB
Audio: 16MB
Sticker: 100KB
Video: 16MB

bound to comply with WhatsApp server requirements and to ensure that all media callbacks are within the limits stated above when delivering to the business.

For more information, click here.

The WhatsApp Business Platform allows medium and large businesses to communicate with their customers at scale by integrating WhatsApp APIs to connect thousands of agents and bots to interact with customers programmatically and manually.

WhatsApp is a highly-regulated channel, and getting started requires documentation and approval from Facebook. The two main factors that WhatsApp takes into consideration are your business industry, and the types of message content you intend to send on WhatsApp.

The following industries and types of content are not allowed on the WhatsApp Business Platform:

  • Independent software vendors
  • Software services
  • Real cash gaming (gambling)
  • Adult content
  • Alcohol/tobacco/drug-related products (including pharmaceuticals)
  • Weapons
  • Health care products/supplements
  • Other categories not conforming to WhatsApp or Facebook's commerce and community standards

The WhatsApp Commerce Policy provides a complete list of what is allowed and supported on the network. When you apply to use WhatsApp Business Platform, you’re agreeing to adhere to this policy.

 

Types of Messages

WhatsApp supports sending two types of messages.

Message Types

Business-initiated messages can only be sent to users who have opted-in. When sending notifications, you must use a previously approved template.

Business-initiated messages are also called notifications or templated messages throughout the article.

Information you’ll need to provide during the application process

When you’re applying to use the WhatsApp Business Platform, you’ll need to provide information that you can prepare beforehand in order to speed up the process.

  • Valid website URL – Your website should provide a clear description of your business and products. Facebook page URLs are not accepted.
  • Industry and product/service details – A description of how you’ll be using the business solution and what industry your business operates in.
  • Business phone number – This is the phone number you want to use on the WhatsApp network. It can be a landline, mobile number, or toll-free number as long as the number has not previously been registered on the WhatsApp network.
  • Facebook Business Manager ID – Your Business Manager account will be used by WhatsApp to identify your business and to associate your phone numbers with your business.
  • Here’s how you can find your Facebook Business Manager ID or create a new one if you don’t have a Facebook Business Manager account yet.
  • Verified business on Facebook – You are required to verify your business in Facebook Business Manager. You can read more about why this is necessary and how it works here.
  • Approval of E Ocean to send messages for you – You’ll need to approve E Ocean within Facebook Business to send messages via WhatsApp on your behalf. You’ll receive the request to approve E Ocean within your Facebook Business Manager account as soon as we submit your application on the WhatsApp Business Platform. To approve:
    • Log in to your Facebook Business Manager account and navigate to ‘Business Settings’, then click on ‘Requests’.
    • You’ll find our request in the ‘Received’ requests tab – click on ‘Approve’.

 

Your WhatsApp message templates must fall into one of the following categories. Templates that do not align clearly with these template types are more likely to be rejected by WhatsApp.

  • Account Update: Let customers know about updates or changes to their accounts.

    Example: Dear 1, You recently registered with us as a customer. Just letting you know that your account registration was successful. Thanks for joining!

  • Alert Update: Send general updates or news to customers about an ordered product or a delivered service.

    Example: Hi 1, welcome to [company name]! We are happy that you have registered with us. If you have any general questions, feel free to send us a message. Hope to hear from you soon! Cheers, 2.

  • Appointment Update: Send confirmations, reminders, or other updates to customers about their appointments.

    Example: Dear 1, you have successfully scheduled your appointment on 2 at 3 with us for your 4. We look forward to  your visit at our dealership on the 5 in 6. Good day!

  • Auto-Reply: Send auto-replies to customers outside your business hours when you're not available to respond right away.

    Example: Hi 1 , thank you for contacting us. We’re currently out of office and will get back to you on the next business day.”

  • Issue Resolution: Respond to questions, concerns, or feedback from customers about your business.

    Example: We are currently experiencing an outage concerning 1. We are doing our best to resolve this situation as quickly as possible and will keep you informed of the status here.

  • Payment Update: Send a message to customers about their payment.

    Example: Dear 1, We have received your payment for order 2. We will ensure to deliver your new 3 as quickly as possible! Regards, 4 [company name].

  • Personal Finance Update: Send a message to customers about their personal finances.

    Example: Dear 1, We have just received your balance request. Your balance on account 2 is currently $ 3.

  • Reservation Update: Send confirmations, reminders, or other updates to customers about their reservations.

    Example: Hi 1, this is confirmation that 2 have paid 3 for reservations at 4 and will be checking in on 5. Please click here to confirm: 6. [company name].

  • Shipping Update: Send shipping updates to customers about their orders.

    Example: Dear 1 Thanks for your order. Your order has been shipped. Your tracking number is 2. We hope you enjoy your purchase.

  • Ticket Update: Send ticketing information or updates to customers.

    Example: Dear 1, here is your ticket information and boarding pass for your flight from 2 to 3. Send us a message if you need more information. Enjoy your flight!

  • Transportation Update: Send transportation information or updates to customers.

    Example: Hi 1, The train to 2 will be arriving shortly. Please arrive at platform 3 to board the train and depart on time.

The numbers  indicate variables that are automatically filled in from your database.

 

WhatsApp requires a Facebook Business Manager ID as part of the application process for a WhatsApp Business Account. Without a valid Facebook Business Manager ID, WhatsApp will not approve your Business Account application.

Facebook Business Manager ID is a 16-digit number that uniquely identifies your business with Facebook.

How  to find your Facebook Business Manager ID:

  • Log into your Facebook Business Manager account
  • Go to Business Settings
  • Click Business Info
  • Below Business Manager info, you will see your Facebook Business Manager ID

    business id

How to create your new Facebook Business Manager account?

If your company does not already have a Facebook Business Manager account, you can create a new one by following the steps below.

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