Whatsapp icon integrated with an authentication API, showcased on a green square.

Channel | WhatsApp Business

With more than 2 billion people using WhatsApp around the world to send 60 billion messages every day, the chat app has revolutionized the way we communicate. With an enterprise-grade API, companies can now send notifications and provide customer service through WhatsApp in a secure, reliable, and customer-friendly way.

Message Types

You can use the WhatsApp Business Platform to send your customers free-form text messages, media elements, documents, and more.

There are two types of messages when using WhatsApp for business communications depending upon who initiates.



User-initiated messages

Free-form, standard messages which support all media types

Company-initiated messages

Pre-approved and customizable Message Templates

User-initiated messages

Universally known as ‘session’ or ‘chat’ messages, user-initiated messages are ones that the customer starts by sending a message to your business. No prior opt-in is required. Once the replies, the conversation is active, and a 24-hour service window opens. During that timeframe, the company can communicate with users with or without a Message Template. A business can send any type of message as part of the conversation.

Session messages are ideal for increasing customer engagement, especially in customer service, clienteling, and other high-interaction use cases. 

Regular text or media messages allow businesses to send various messages to customers but can only be delivered within the first 24 hours since the customer last contacted your business. Cut-off control prevents free-form messages from being delivered to users outside the 24-hour support window. Regulation dictates that you must stick to pre-approved Message Templates when messaging customers outside this window. 

There may be cases, especially when you’re using WhatsApp for customer service, that you need more than 24 hours to process an inquiry or answer a question. When this happens, you might need to send a Message Template to re-engage the affected customer, prompting them to answer it, thereby activating the “24-hour service window” again:

We have updates regarding your ticket {{1}}. Please respond if you’d like to continue support. I did some follow-ups based on our previous conversation, and I’ve found the answer to your question about our refund policy. Please say' yes' if you’d like to continue our conversation.

Business-initiated messages

Business-initiated messages are message threads between a customer and a company where a business initiates a conversation with a pre-approved Message Template. Prior opt-in by the customer is required. Once a customer replies to a business’s templated message, the business can send any type of message to the customer within a 24-hour service window.

All messages sent back and forth between the customer and the business within the 24-hour service window are associated with the conversation. WhatsApp charges businesses per conversation according to its conversation-based pricing.

Message Templates (formerly known as Highly Structured Messages) are pre-approved templates that businesses can create to send customizable messages to their users. Please note that WhatsApp actively monitors when users block WhatsApp Business profiles. 

Messaging Limits

New businesses can send templated messages to up to 50 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period if the business is not verified by Meta yet. A business should complete the verification process and display name approval to scale messages beyond 50.

See Messaging Limits for an explanation of how WhatsApp automatically scales the number of Message Templates you can send to unique customers.

Read Receipts

Businesses can set up read receipts, and customers can elect to send read receipts back. If the customer opts out of sending read receipts, the business can only see that messages were delivered. For more information, see:

Message Templates

Session Messages

Who initiates



WhatsApp approval

Rules for Message Templates apply.

Businesses can reply freely with either free-form text messages, send media messages, or use a Message Template to reply within a chat session.

Opt-in policy

Users must give their opt-in for WhatsApp before a business sends a templated message



WhatsApp charges a fee per conversation. Once a business sends a templated message to a user, a 24-hour service window opens. Within that timeframe, a business can send multiple messages (free-form or templated) without worrying about extra charges. See conversation-based rates (see rates here) and tyntec.

A business is charged per conversation once the conversation opens. Like templated messages, a session message lasts 24 hours. Included in tyntec’s packages.