Overview

WhatsApp helps more than 2 billion people 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 API is not an app, but a programming language interface that allows you to connect at scale. The WhatsApp Business API is the product being covered on the documentation you are currently browsing.

If you use anything other than the official WhatsApp Business API 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.

About the WhatsApp Business API

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

Be aware that, to use our API, businesses must complete a series of requirements, including, but not limited to:

Supporting Products

The following products support the implementation of the WhatsApp Business API:

Using the API

There are two ways to use the API:

Using a BSPDirect Integration

In this case, one of our third-party business solution providers (BSPs) hosts the WhatsApp Business API client. Then, businesses can use the API through their chosen BSP.

In this case, a business directly installs the API client on their servers.


Currently, this implementation is not available for new customers.

Required Business Assets

A business looking to send messages via WhatsApp Business API must have the following assets set up.

  • Businesses using direct integration must set up their assets.
  • BSPs set up assets for businesses using their services, so businesses working with one of our BSPs do not need to set these up.
AssetDescription

Facebook Business Manager Account

Business Manager is a Facebook tool that helps you organize and manage your business. Through your account, you have the ability to create message templates for sending notifications to customers at scale.


To create this account, see Create a Business Manager.

WhatsApp Business Account (WABA)

A WhatsApp business account in WhatsApp Manager lets your business use the WhatsApp Business API to communicate directly with your customers. This account allows people to easily identify your business and find out more information such as your address, hours of operation, website, and description.


See Overview, WABAs for more information.

Line of Credit

To secure a payment method, you must set up and attach a line of credit to your WhatsApp business account. You can set up multiple lines of credit per Business Manager account, but each legal entity can request only one line of credit.


To create a new line, see Set Up a Line of Credit for Your WhatsApp Business Account. For pricing rules and cost per message, see our pricing page.

After the assets are set up, the verification process can start. You can follow these instructions to verify a business.

Businesses can check the status of their verification and review in the Settings tab of their WhatsApp Business Account in Business Manager. Upon approvals, Business verification shows as Verified and Account Status shows as Approved.

After verification is complete, the business:

Sending Messages

Currently, we support sending two types of messages:


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

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

Pricing

Notification (business-initiated) messages sent through your WhatsApp Business Account are charged according to a tiered pricing model. For more information, see About Billing For Your WhatsApp Business Account. For pricing rules and cost per message, see our Pricing page.

If a business uses the API with one of our BSPs, additional costs may apply. Check with the BSP for exact numbers.

API Updates

We periodically launch a new version of the API. All updates coming with new versions are listed in our changelog.

Webhooks

Webhooks are user-defined HTTP callbacks that are triggered by specific events. Whenever a trigger event occurs, you get a notification (HTTP request) sent to a previously set URL. There are two types of webhooks associated with the WhatsApp Business API:

WhatsApp Business Client API WebhooksWhatsApp Business Management API Webhooks

Whenever a trigger event occurs, the WhatsApp Business API client sees the event, collects the data, and immediately sends a notification to the Webhook URL.


The Business API client sends you two types of notifications:

  • Inbound Message: This alert lets you know when you have received a message.
  • Message Status: This alert lets you know when the status of a message has changed.

See Webhooks for complete information.

Use these webhooks to get real-time notifications when there are changes to your WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) and its assets.


You can get notified when there is a:

  • Message template update
  • Phone number name update
  • Phone number quality rating update
  • WABA account and review update

See Business Management API: Webhooks for complete information.

Get Started

Using a BSPDirect Integration

Businesses should follow the instructions provided by the BSP to get started. You can browse the Partner Directory to find the partners that suit your needs.


BSPs setting up their integration should check our get started documentation.

Currently, this implementation is not available for new customers.