Overview

WhatsApp helps billions of people to connect and share with the people they care about. Currently, WhatsApp offers the following products:

Unlike the consumer app and small business app, the business platform is not an app, but a programming language interface that allows you to connect at scale. The WhatsApp Business Platform is the product being covered on the documentation you are currently browsing.

About the Platform

The WhatsApp Business Platform allows medium and large businesses to communicate with their customers at scale. Using our APIs, businesses can connect thousands of agents and bots to interact with customers programmatically and manually. Additionally, the APIs can be integrated with numerous backend systems, such as CRM and marketing platforms.

The WhatsApp Business Platform consists of the following APIs:

  • Cloud API – Send and receive messages to and from customers using cloud-based servers owned by Meta to host the WhatsApp Business API client. The Cloud API allows you to implement WhatsApp Business APIs without the cost of hosting of your own servers and also allows you to more easily scale your business messaging.

  • On-Premises API – Send and receive messages to and from customers using your own servers to host the WhatsApp Business API client.

  • Business Management API – Programmatically manage your WhatsApp Business Account settings and assets, and get quality status updates.

Business Assets

To send messages using the WhatsApp Business Platform you will need a name to be displayed in the WhatsApp messages seen by customers, a phone number associated with your business account, a WhatsApp Business Account, and a Meta Business Manager.

If you are working with one of our Business Service Providers (BSP), this will be done for you by your BSP.

Display Names

The Display Name is the name of your business that is shown to customers in WhatsApp. More information, including how to set it up, the formatting guidelines, and updating it can be found in our Business Help Center.

Meta Business Manager

A Meta Business Manager allows you to create message templates, organize and manage your business assets, and more. Learn more.

Businesses must initiate Business Verification when they are ready to scale business-initiated conversations, add additional phone numbers, or request to become an Official Business Account. Learn more.

Phone Number

All WhatsApp Business Platform accounts rely on a valid phone number. Learn more.

WhatsApp Business Account

A WhatsApp Business Account allows your business to use the WhatsApp Business Platform to communicate directly with your customers. There are two types of WhatsApp Business Accounts, the default business account, and an official business account, denoted by the green checkmark badge in the business' profile and chat thread headers. Learn more about creating your account. Learn more about working with a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider to create your account.

Messages

We support two types of messages: user-initiated messages and business-initiated messages. Business-initiated messages can only be sent to a user who has opted-in to allow a business to send messages to them. When using business-initiated messages, a message template is required and must be approved by our review team before sending messages to customers. Learn more.

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

User Opt-In

In order to send a business-initiated WhatsApp message to a person, you must first receive opt-in permission confirming that they wish to receive future messages from you on WhatsApp. The opt-in must (a) clearly state that the person is opting in to receive messages from you over WhatsApp and (b) clearly state your business’ name. You are solely responsible for determining the method of opt-in, that you have obtained opt-in in a manner that complies with laws applicable to your communications, and that you have otherwise provided notices and obtained permissions that are required under applicable law. Learn more.

Pricing & Payment Methods

Businesses are charged per conversation, which includes all messages delivered in a 24 hour session. The first 1,000 conversations each month are free. If you want to send more than 1,000 conversations, you need to set up and attach a line of credit to your WhatsApp business account. Learn more.

Terms & Policies

Businesses must comply with our Terms and Policies to remain active on our platform, so please take the time to carefully read them. Learn more.

To get started with the platform, businesses must complete a series of requirements, including, but not limited to:

If you use anything other than the official WhatsApp Business Platform or other official WhatsApp tools, we reserve the right to limit or remove your access to WhatsApp as this violates our policies. Please do not use any non-WhatsApp authorized third-party tools to communicate on WhatsApp. See Unauthorized use of automated or bulk messaging on WhatsApp for more information.

Webhooks

You can use Webhooks to get notifications whenever you have received a message from a customer, a customer's phone number has changed, your WhatsApp Business Account quality and account status updates, and more. Learn more.

Overview Dashboard

The Overview dashboard in WhatsApp Manager provides partners and end clients with more transparency and actionable feedback to better manage WhatsApp business accounts all in one place. The dashboard includes notifications and alerts to resolve account-related issues faster and more effectively, provides high level metrics to monitor account status, and is an educational hub for both partners and clients.

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Next Steps

  • Get Started - Determine which APIs is right for your business.
  • Display Name – Set up the business name displayed in WhatsApp messages.
  • Phone Numbers - Associate a phone number with your WhatsApp Business Account
  • Pricing - Learn about pricing and how to set up payments.
  • Webhooks - Set up webhooks to receive notifications for when a customer sends your business a message, a customer updates their phone number, and more.