Why Do You Charge for WhatsApp Channels?

Setting up WhatsApp Business requires manual actions at several steps of the process: Business must apply to WhatsApp and go through a multi-stage review process. Additionally, we actually deploy a highly available container setup in a specialized cluster environment for every WhatsApp channel created.
Because of these difficulties, we need to charge a small recurring amount for WhatsApp Business channels.

Can Everyone Use WhatsApp Business?

All WhatsApp Business accounts must go through a mandatory review process that involves checking the legal status of the company, public presence and your use case. No matter the company size, from a single-person workshop to a multinational enterprise with hundreds of hundreds of thousands of employees, all of them will need to undergo the same review process and adhere to the same rules. If your planned use case or line of business is not approved by WhatsApp, there’s no way to register a Business account.

How Does the Setup Process Work?

The WhatsApp approach to an API might be a little bit more complicated than you’re used to. First of all: WhatsApp doesn’t host the actual API themselves. This is a necessary step to ensure end-to-end encryption is maintained, so no unencrypted messages will flow through the WhatsApp servers.
So instead of simply connecting to the API you have to host a bunch of containers in a highly available configuration. But to actually use the WhatsApp Business API, you need a so called Business Solution Provider (BSP).

Good news: We are one ?.

Before we can supply you with your very own WhatsApp Business number, you’ll have to perform a few manual steps, though.

  1. Create a Facebook Business Manager ID
    If you don’t have a Facebook Business Manager, you can create one at business.facebook.com .
  2. Verify your business
    Business verification is a process to both verify your business exists as a legal entity, and that you are entitled to represent it. You can find detailed information and a step-by-step guide in this Facebook help article .
  3. Get the WhatsApp Approval (1 – 2 business days) Log into our app at app.messengerpeople.dev and navigate to Channels → WhatsApp Business. The app will guide you through this process.
    After we receive your request, we will create a WhatsApp Business Account with the Facebook Business Manager ID you created earlier.

    Please note that the Facebook Business Manager ID must belong to the business that is asking for approval.

    If you’re an agency or a developer and working on an integration on behalf of your customer, we need the Business Manager ID of your customer, not yours.
    Be aware that your use case must comply with both the Business Policies as well as the Commerce Policies .

  4. Give us permission to manage your WhatsApp Business Account on your behalf
    After you submitted your request, we create the WhatsApp Business Account. You will then receive a notification in your Facebook Business Manager , asking you to grant permission to MessengerPeople to send WhatsApp messages on your behalf.
    As soon as you accept the request and your business verification is complete, WhatsApp will start the approval process. You can find a detailed explanation in this Facebook help article .
  5. Waiting for approval
    WhatsApp is now validating your application. If you comply with all required policies, you will be approved. After we receive a notification of the approval, we will send you an email with instructions on how to continue.
  6. Activating a phone number
    As soon as steps 1 – 5 are complete, we can create the actual account and register a phone number. You can use both land line and mobile phone numbers, as long as it is able to receive either international SMS or international calls.
    If you previously used WhatsApp with this phone number, you will have to deactivate the account.

    Please note that it doesn’t suffice to delete the app from your phone: You will have to actually disable your account. You can do this in WhatsApp directly by navigating to Settings → Account → Deactivate account.

    Currently, there are two possible activation methods:
    SMS Activation: You will receive an SMS containing a random code from the WhatsApp activation servers.
    Voice Activation: You will receive a call with a digital voice reading a random code. Your phone number must not be behind an IVR. The IVR needs to be deactivated for the activation call.

    After you submit the activation code to us, we can finish the process.

After completing these steps, your account is fully activated and ready to be used.

How Do You Send Template Messages?

To send template messages with variable placeholders, you will first need to create a new template and wait for it to be approved by WhatsApp. This is a manual process that can take an arbitrary amount of time but is usually complete within one or two business days. Templates may be translated in multiple languages, and each language will be reviewed separately, so its fastest to submit them all at once.
You can create templates in the app at Settings → Templates or using the API directly; to get started, we recommend to use the web app, as it provides an interactive template editor that respects all guidelines and limits automatically.
Once your template has been created and approved, you can send messages referring the template using the API, passing in values for the placeholders in the template only.

Please be aware that WhatsApp charges extra for each template message sent. The prices depend on the country of the recipient number.