What type of messaging is supported on the WhatsApp Business API?

WhatsApp came up with a balanced way to protect user experience and allow enterprises to design efficient user journeys.

WhatsApp Business API differentiates between two types of communications:

Notifications & alerts (business-initiated conversation)

Companies can initiate a customer interaction with notifications such as:

  • Alerts and notifications, from travel updates and payment confirmations to appointment reminders, shipping alerts and more.
  • Customer service, allowing your support agents to communicate in real-time and rich media conversations with your customers.
  • Verification and multifactor authentication, allowing you to send one-time passwords with enhanced security and strong encryption.
  • Loyalty and follow-up, allowing you to communicate with customers on loyalty programs, follow-up conversations, etc.

When you want to start communicating with an end user, you must set up Message Templates. When sending message templates, they can be personalized, translated and allow for minimal variable text through programmable variables. Every message template must be approved by WhatsApp before it can be used.

ℹ️ Please note that overly marketing and promotional messages are generally not accepted as message templates as explained in the WhatsApp Business Policy.

ℹ️ Media message templates in the form of images, PDFs, locations, videos and interactive buttons are also available as company-initiated conversations and go through a similar approval process as text-based message templates. Find more information about media message templates here.

Support Window (user-initiated conversation)

Each time an end user sends a message to a WhatsApp Business Account, the business has a 24 hour “support window” to reply to the end user with a message. Enterprises are free to personalize and design the communication without any approval needed or third party editing. Support windows are applicable for customer service, feedback, surveys, and more.

ℹ️ During this period, the use cases can be expanded to marketing and promotional messages. However, companies need to avoid overwhelming users with promotional messages and sticking to what the user actually has requested. Such policy would avoid that users get annoyed and report the company to WhatsApp.