You can use the WhatsApp Business API to send text messages, media/documents, and message templates to your customers. You should use the /messages endpoint to send those.

This page provides an overview of how messages work on the WhatsApp Business API.

Using the API

Currently, we support sending two types of messages:

User-Initiated Messages

You can send customer care responses to user-initiated messages. You may respond to user messages with any type of message within 24 hours of message receipt. This 24-hour period is known as the response window:

There are no charges for these messages.

Business-Initiated Messages

At any time, you can send business-initiated messages to customers who have opted-in. Throughout the documentation, these messages are also called notifications, message templates, or templated messages.

When sending business-initiated messages, you are required to use a pre-approved message template, which can be text-based, media-based, or interactive. Your template must fall under one of the following categories:

When sending notifications, you pay per delivered message. Messages are priced based on how many notifications businesses send within each market. Pay progressively lower prices as message volume increases.

For more information, see Sending Message Templates.

Message Types

You can send the following message types using the API:


When a message is successfully sent in a request, the customer receives a message such as this:

Received Messages

This image displays messages of the following types, from top to bottom:

  1. Text message
  2. Text message with a URL
  3. Message template
  4. Media message



If a user contacts an enterprise, the enterprise can respond with any type of message in the next 24 hours. This type of message is free.

But if the enterprise is contacting a user before the user sends a message or after more than 24 hours have passed, the enterprise can only send a message template. This is a paid notification.

Free-form text messages and media messages will not work outside this 24 hour window. They will result in a failure callback with error 470.

Yes! WhatsApp allows you to format selected text inside your messages with Bold, Italics, Strikethrough or Monospace.

There may be cases where you need more time to handle a customer query and may only be able to provide a response after 24 hours. We recommend creating message templates to either:

  • deliver the result to the user, or
  • prompt the user to reply in order to activate the customer service window.

In both cases, please ensure you provide as much context to the message template as possible. For example:

  • "Hello {{1}}, regarding the issue you reported earlier, we regret to inform you that {{2}}. Apologies for any inconvenience caused."
  • We have updates regarding your ticket. Please respond back if you'd like to continue support."