Table of Contents

WhatsApp Cloud API

JQ Lee Updated by JQ Lee

To connect WhatsApp Cloud API, a Facebook app with Whatsapp Product enabled is required. Read this guide on how to set up your Facebook app.
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Facebook announced the release of WhatsApp Cloud API on 20th May, and it’s available to any business of any size, big and small to communicate with customers using the official WhatsApp API.

This channel has a limited 24-hour messaging window due to WhatsApp regulations. Find out more here!

Connecting WhatsApp Cloud API

To chat with your customers over WhatsApp Cloud API, connect a WhatsApp Business Profile and Facebook Business account.

Facebook App and Facebook Business Account are required and you must be the admin of both to connect.

Step 1: Navigate to Channel Settings

From Settings Module, navigate to the menu item, Channels.

Step 2: Add Channel

Press Add Channel and choose WhatsApp. The Connecting WhatsApp Cloud API dialog should open up.

Connecting WhatsApp Cloud API to respond.io dialog

Step 3: Connect with Facebook

Press the Connect With Facebook button.

Whatsapp Cloud API Connect FB on respond.io dialog

Step 4: Sign in with a Facebook Account

Sign in using the Facebook account with admin access to the Facebook App and Facebook Business Account.

Step 5: Select the WhatsApp Number

You will be provided options on which number together with the WABA name you would like to connect. Select the number.

Step 6: Add the Callback URL

Head back to the WhatsApp section in Facebook Developer App. Navigate to the Configuration subsection and set up the Callback URL. Add the generated Callback URL and verify the token from respond.io to the corresponding fields at the webhook dialog.

Connecting WhatsApp Cloud API to respond.io dialog
 WhatsApp section in Facebook Developer App page
Add the Webhook Callback URL dialog

Step 7: Verify and Save changes

On the Facebook App, verify and save changes to the app.

Step 8: Subscribe to the webhook event

On your Facebook App, select the Webhooks tab under the Products panel and select WhatsApp Business Account in the dropdown list. Click on subscribe messages event.

Subscribe to webhook event page

Step 9: Complete the setup at respond.io

Press DONE to complete the setup.

Once you have completed the setup, any messages sent to your WhatsApp number will now be received in your Space.

Channel Configuration

WhatsApp Cloud API channel can be configured with a unique channel name.

Step 1: Navigate to Channel Settings

From Settings Module, navigate to the menu item, Channels.

Step 2: Locate the WhatsApp Cloud API channel

Once you have located the WhatsApp Cloud API channel, press Configure.

WhatsApp Cloud API Configuration on respond.io settings

Step 3: Make the necessary configuration

You can configure the following:

  • Channel Name - Name used internally to identify the account.

Step 4: Update the configuration

Press Done to update the channel configuration.

Managing WhatsApp Business API Profile

If there is a need to make a change or check your WhatsApp Business API Profile, it can be done on the respond.io platform.

Step 1: Navigate to Channel Settings

From Settings Module, navigate to the menu item, Channels.

Step 2: Locate the WhatsApp Cloud API channel

Once you have located the WhatsApp Cloud API channel, press Profile.

WhatsApp Cloud API channel locate profile on respond.io settings

Step 3: Sync Profile

If the profile hasn't been synced, press Sync Profile to obtain the latest WhatsApp Business Profile information from WhatsApp.

sync whatsapp cloud api and FB profile gif

Step 4: Make necessary changes

You may edit the information as needed.

Fields

Description

Profile Photo

Image shown as the profile picture of the WhatsApp Business Account

An image size of 640x640 is recommended.

Address

Address of the business. Maximum of 256 characters.

Description

Description of the business. Maximum of 512 characters.

Email

Email address (in valid email format) to contact the business. Maximum of 128 characters.

Vertical

Industry of the business. Must be one of these accepted values:

  • Automotive
  • Beauty, Spa and Salon
  • Clothing and Apparel
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Event Planning and Service
  • Finance and Banking
  • Food and Grocery
  • Public Service
  • Hotel and Lodging
  • Medical and Health
  • Non-profit
  • Professional Services
  • Shopping and Retail
  • Travel and Transportation
  • Restaurant
  • Other

The business vertical cannot be set back to an empty value after it is created.

Website

URLs (including http:// or https://) associated with the business (e.g., website, Facebook Page, Instagram). Maximum of 2 websites with a maximum of 256 characters each.

Step 5: Save changes

Review the information and press SAVE when it is ready.

Managing WhatsApp Message Templates

Before sending a Template Message to Contacts on respond.io platform, please ensure that the template message is approved.

Syncing Message Templates

Step 1: Navigate to Channel Settings

From Settings Module, navigate to the menu item, Channels.

Step 2: Locate the WhatsApp Cloud API channel

Once you have located the WhatsApp Cloud API channel, press Templates.

Step 3: Sync Templates

Press Sync Templates to begin the syncing process.

WhatsApp Cloud API Syncing Message Templates gif

Step 4: Syncing Completed

When the synchronization has been completed, the message templates will be listed with their corresponding status and the last synced date time will be updated. The rejection reason will be displayed underneath the rejected message template.

Status

Description

Submitted

The message template is submitted and pending approval.

Approved

The message template is approved and can be sent to contacts.

Rejected

The message template is rejected and cannot be used.

You may use the search and filter at the top right corner of the listing to find your templates easier!

Submitting Message Template

Step 1: Navigate to Channel Settings

From Settings Module, navigate to the menu item, Channels.

Step 2: Locate the WhatsApp Cloud API channel

Once you have located the WhatsApp Cloud API channel, press Templates.

Step 3: Submit Template

Press Submit Template to submit a Message Template for approval.

WhatsApp Cloud API Submitting Message Template gif

Step 4: Fill in the required information

Fill in the information needed to create a new template.

Field

Description

Name

The name can only contain lowercase alphanumeric characters and underscores ( _ )

Category

The category to which the message template belongs to.

Language

The language that the template is written in.

Step 5: Start building the message

Build the message by filling in the necessary components, then review the message in the preview section.

WhatsApp Cloud API message template customization on respond.io

Building Block

Description

Header

The Header is optional and serves as the title or header of your template. It supports the following:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Video
  • Document

*Respond.io Platform accepts uploads up to 20MB in size.

Body

The Body should contain the most important text of your template. Only text is supported.

You may use markdown to format the content of this block.

Footer

The Footer only supports text and can be used to provide less relevant information in your template message.

Button

The button adds interactivity to your templates. There are two main types.

  • Quick Reply Button
    • Used for getting quick answers from your client
    • Max 3 Quick Reply Buttons per Template
    • Each Quick Reply cannot have more than 20 characters
  • Call to Action Button
    • Used to send your client to a Website or call a Phone Number
    • Max one URL and Phone Number per Template
    • URL can have a parameter for personalization

Step 6: Providing sample value

This is only applicable if you have included any parameters in your message template content.

Providing sample values to the parameter in the message template will assist the review to understand the message you are trying to send to your contacts.
WhatsApp Cloud API Message Template  Provide Sample Gif
You may use Dynamic Variables to fill in the message template parameter.

Important Links

Troubleshooting

Inability to Send Messages

Make sure that the number you connected to the platform is a WhatsApp Cloud API number.

Messages Are Not Arriving

This can happen when the messages webhook is not subscribed.

Step 1: Navigate to the Facebook App Webhook page

Open the Facebook App and navigate to the Webhooks page.

Step 2: Verify the subscribed event

Select Whatsapp Business Account and verify if the messages event is subscribed.

WhatsApp Cloud API subscribe messages webhook

Step 3: Send a test message

Send a test message to the WhatsApp phone number and check if it arrived.

Inability To Receive Read Receipts

Occasionally, when the user who connected to WhatsApp Cloud API changes their Facebook password, the permission will be outdated and will need to be refreshed.

Step 1: Navigate to Channel Settings

From Settings Module, navigate to the menu item, Channels.

Step 2: Locate the WhatsApp Cloud API channel

Once you have located the WhatsApp Cloud API Messenger channel, press Troubleshoot.

WhatsApp Cloud API Refresh Permission

Step 3: Refresh Permission

Press Refresh Permission to refresh WhatsApp permissions.

Step 4: Send a test message

Send a test message to the WhatsApp phone number and check if it arrived.

Contact Not Receiving Messages

This can happen when the Contact has not agreed to WhatsApp terms and privacy policy.

If your contacts cannot receive messages from your WhatsApp Cloud API number, make sure that they have agreed to the latest WhatsApp terms and privacy policy.

Having trouble with the channel? Contact us here!

Frequently Asked Question

What are the considerations of the phone number that's allowed to be added to WhatsApp Cloud API?

  • If the number is already being used in the WhatsApp customer or business app, you will have to delete your account on the WhatsApp customer or business app.
  • The Phone number used for WhatsApp Cloud API can’t be used in the WhatsApp customer or business app.
  • You can still use the number for everyday purposes, such as calling and receiving messages after registering it on the WhatsApp Business Platform.
  • Once you use a phone for WhatsApp Cloud API you can no longer use that number on the WhatsApp Business App.

Is Business verification needed to start using Cloud API?

It isn’t mandatory to complete Facebook business verification to start sending messages on WhatsApp. Without business verification, your business will still be able to:

  • Respond to unlimited user-initiated conversations.
  • Send business-initiated conversations (template messages) to 50 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period. You will need to complete business verification if you want to initiate more than 50 business-initiated conversations in a rolling 24-hour period.

Businesses can initiate Business Verification (BV) only when they are ready to scale business-initiated conversations or want to become an Official Business Account.

Can I view my conversation insight of my WhatsApp Business Account?

Yes, you can monitor your messaging and spending analytics in real-time for your WhatsApp business account in the Insights tab of your Meta WhatsApp Manager. Read more here.

What are WhatsApp messaging limits?

Messaging limits determine the maximum number of business-initiated conversations each phone number can start in a rolling 24-hour period. These limits do not apply to user-initiated conversations. A business-initiated conversation starts when the first message is delivered to a customer and ends 24 hours later. Read more here.

How do I add a payment method to my WhatsApp Business Account?

Your first 1,000 conversations each month are free. If you want to exceed the free tier of 1,000 conversations per month, you need to add a payment method to your WhatsApp Business account in Business Manager. You can learn more here.

What is WhatsApp Cloud API pricing?

WhatsApp Business Platform conversations fall into two categories that are priced differently:

  • User-initiated: A conversation that initiates in response to a user message. Whenever a business replies to a user within the 24-hour customer service window, that message will be associated with a user-initiated conversation. Businesses can send free-form messages within this 24-hour customer service window.
  • Business-initiated: A conversation that initiates from a business sending a user a message outside the 24-hour customer service window. Messages that initiate a business-initiated conversation will require a message template.

All conversations are measured in fixed 24-hour sessions. A conversation starts when the first business message in a conversation is delivered, either initiated by the business or in reply to a user message. Businesses and users can exchange any number of messages, including template messages, within a 24-hour conversation session without incurring additional charges. Each 24-hour conversation session results in a single charge.

Charges for conversations are based on the user’s country code. A user here is defined as the customer that your business is communicating with. Rates for business-initiated and user-initiated conversations vary by country or region. Read more here.

How do I delete a phone number from a business account?

There are a few requirements and steps needed to delete a phone number, read more here.

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