WhatsApp templates


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WhatsApp message types

WhatsApp Business provides two types of messages:
1. Free-form messages - text or media messages that can contain any content
2. WhatsApp Message Templates - pre-approved message templates from Meta whose content cannot be modified

The type of message that can be used depends on who initiates the conversation.

  • If the user starts the conversation (User Initiated), then you as an agent can reply to your customer's inquiries using free-form messages in a moving window of 24 hours after the last message sent by the user. This 24-hour moving window is also known as the "WhatsApp session." Every time when the user sends a new message the 24-hour window will extend.
  • After the WhatsApp session is finished, if agents want to re-engage with customers, they need to send a WhatsApp message template (Business Initiated), as free-form messages are not allowed by Meta. Upon receiving a reply message from the user, free-form messages will be available again for agents so that they can continue chatting with the user.


Creation of templates

Only admin users can create or delete WhatsApp message templates on the Unifonic cloud platform. Refer here for more details UC platform.

After creating the template message, it will be available for agents, and they can use it to re-open a conversation through WhatsApp.

Types of WhatsApp message templates

WhatsApp message templates can be text-only templates or media template messages.

Text-only templates only include text in the body of the message. The body of the message can contain variables to fill in before sending the message. Variables are placed as {{1}}, {{2}} in the body of the message.

Media Template messages can contain the following:
- Header - optional - (text - up to 60 characters and one placeholder, image, document, video, location).
- Body - mandatory - (up to 1024 characters, plain text with placeholders)
- Footer - optional - (up to 60 characters, text only)
- Buttons - optional - template can have only one button type and up to 20 characters
- Quick Replies - maximum is 3 buttons, with predefined text and payload
- Call-to-Action

  • Call Phone Number
  • Visit a website whose URL link can be static or dynamic


Inserting images, documents and videos in the header

Images, documents, and videos must be attached as a URL link. This URL link must be public and valid so that the message can be sent.
The following list included the supported format for each type of media:

  • Documents: PDF files, up to 100 MB
  • Images: JPEG or PNG files, up to 5 MB
  • Videos: MP4 or 3GPP, up to 16 MB

More information in this link

How to send a WhatsApp template

Agents can re-engage with customers after the conversation is closed in the agent console.

If the conversation is closed and it's been less than 24 hours since the user sent the last message (the WhatsApp session is still open), then the agent can send a free-form message.

In this case, the agent composer panel will enable agents to send a free-form message to the customer, and the conversation is assigned to them.

If the last message received from the user was 24 hours ago, then agents can only send template messages. The agent composer panel will be disabled, showing the message "WhatsApp user session has been closed. Choose a template message to respond".

By clicking on the template icon in the compose panel (1):
(2) A popup will display the Template Message selector
(3) Here, the agent will select the message template from the drop-down list
(4) Choose among one of the language options
(5) Upon language selection, the system will load a preview of the message
(6) The fields the agent can fill in either in the header, the body, or the footer.
(7) By clicking the "Send" button the message is sent to the user.

Upon the user's reply, the agent composer panel will be enabled.


A user can only have one conversation open at a time

Other agents or even an administrator can re-open conversations with a user.

The same rules regarding the WhatsApp session will apply in this case, and the conversation is assigned to the agent or the admin trying to reengage with the user.

The only condition to keep in mind is that a user can only have one conversation open at a time, so if a second agent tries to re-open a conversation during an ongoing conversation, the second agent will receive an error message or will not see the controls to send a template or write a free-form message.