Getting Started

Set up your WhatsApp business account and WhatsApp Business API client to begin sending messages.

This document covers:

Before You Start

Before you can set up the WhatsApp Business API client and begin sending messages, you must perform some steps to set up your WhatsApp account.

  1. Verify your business in the Facebook Business Manager. WhatsApp uses this process to validate the true identity of a business. For more information on how to do this, please see Verify Your Business.
  2. Set up your WhatsApp business account in the Facebook Business Manager. For more information on how to do this, please see Create a WhatsApp Business Account.
  3. After you verifying your business, your business will be reviewed for compliance with the WhatsApp Terms of Service and WhatsApp Commerce Policy. This step is initiated automatically.
    You can check the status of business verification and business review in the Settings tab of your WhatsApp business account in Business Manager. Business verification will show as Verified and Account Status will show as Approved upon approvals.
  4. Add a phone number and its display name to your WhatsApp business account. See the Phone Number guide for more information on selecting a valid phone number for your account. This will submit the display name for review. See the Display Name guide for more information.
    Note: If you wish to change the display name, you can only resubmit a new name two more times in the first 30 days.
  5. When all reviews are completed, you will be able to view and access your base64-encoded certificate, which is necessary for registering your WhatsApp Business API client. We encourage you to register with an approved display name to start integration, before making any further changes to a display name. You can change your display name at any point after integration.
  6. Set up a Line of Credit for your WhatsApp business account. You can refer to About WhatsApp Business API Billing for more information about the billing process as well.

Setting Up Your WhatsApp Business API Client

Once the WhatsApp Business API client is running, you must be logged in as admin to perform the setup steps.

1. Environment

At its core, the WhatsApp Business API client is based on Docker.

Equipment

The WhatsApp Business API client will run on any internet-connected machine that runs Docker. For instance, simple testing can be done on a laptop. For a production environment server, we recommend at least 250 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, and 4 core CPU. HDD is not recommended as the I/O speeds will become bottlenecks under load.

In most cases, you should run the database on a separate physical server from the Coreapp and Webapp containers. The database server should only be a few milliseconds of latency away from the compute machine(s).

WhatsApp Business API client

There are two ways to get started with the WhatsApp Business API:

  • On-premise installation — You can set up the Docker containers on your own using the Installation guide. We recommend beginning with one of the Developer Setups to get familiar with the setup process and sending messages.
    This on-premise type solution can be used on your computer before migrating to a production environment.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): If you use AWS or would like a more standalone solution, see the AWS guide. The AWS solution sets up a whole WhatsApp Business API solution with backups, recovery, and more in an AWS cloud you manage and own.

2. Registration

Once you have the WhatsApp Business API client up and running, you can register your phone number by either sending an API call to the account endpoint or by filling out the registration form in the Web Business Tool.

3. Settings

You can make changes to the Application Settings once the WhatsApp Business API client is working. However, you don't get access to your WhatsApp Business API client's different profile settings until registration is complete.

As with the registration process, you can use either API calls or the Web Business Tool to change many of the WhatsApp Business API client's settings.

  • The Application Settings pertain to how the client works — callback settings, Webhooks, on-call pager, sent status, media download behavior, etc. Note: It is strongly recommended you set up a Webhook URL in order to receive notifications about incoming messages or errors.
  • The Business Profile Settings and Profile Settings cover your business's information such as address, email, website, industry, about information, and profile photo.

4. Send a test message

The Web Business Tool allows you to send four kinds of test messages: text, message template, document, or media. Note: You must have an approved message template in your WhatsApp business account in order to test that functionality.

You can also send test messages using the messages endpoint. First, check the status of the phone number you are using for testing. You will need to send your WhatsApp account a message from the test phone number to enable the Customer Service window, which allows you to send any type of message within the 24-hours window (See Cut-off Control for details). Then, send a text message to your test phone number. If the message arrives it means that the installation has been successful. If it doesn't arrive, check your Webhook for notifications that may indicate any problems.

Additional Suggestions

DO

Start sending and receiving messages with internal employees first to check that the system is working.

Respond to all customers within 2 days (48 hours).

Abide by our policies outlined in the WhatsApp Business Policy and WhatsApp Commerce Policy.

Use multiple phone numbers for development, testing, and production.

Check the FAQ before opening a Direct Support ticket.

Provide product feedback. Direct Support is the best channel for that.

Provide details to reproduce your issue such as logs, support info from the health and support nodes, WADebug data, API calls to reproduce, etc.

DON'T

Send duplicate notifications to multiple channels.

Send spam.

Use 1-800 numbers for testing.

Create a Business Manager only for WhatsApp integrations. Use an existing one if available.

If we detect that you have violated any of our guidelines or policies, we reserve the right to limit or remove your access to WhatsApp.