Whatsapp Conversations and Categories

Most of the content were retrieved or adapted from Facebook Official Documentation


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In this section, you will learn what are the applicable Whatsapp Conversations Categories.

Businesses using the WhatsApp Business Platform are charged per conversation, which includes all messages delivered in a 24 hour session.

How It Works

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

User-initiated or Service Conversations:

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. From 1st June 2023, all user-initiated conversations will be categorized as service conversations, which help customers resolve enquiries.

Business-initiated or Utility/Marketing/Authentication Conversations:

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, with the exception of free entry point 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. And there are different rates for business-initiated conversations belonging to different categories - Utility, Marketing and Authentication.

From 1st June 2023, there are three business-initiated conversation categories (all of which require customer opt in):

  • Utility conversations - Facilitate a specific, agreed-upon request or transaction or update to a customer about an ongoing transaction, including post-purchase notifications and recurring billing statements
  • Authentication conversations - Enable businesses to authenticate users with one-time passcodes, potentially at multiple steps in the login process (e.g., account verification, account recovery, integrity challenges)
  • Marketing conversations - Include promotions or offers, informational updates, or invitations for customers to respond / take action. Any conversation that does not qualify as utility or authentication is a marketing conversation.

Rate Cards

These rates are taken from Meta's official published rates as at 27th April 2023. You might be charged a different rate according to your service agreement.

Rest of Middle East$0.0341$0.0198$0.0178$0.0218

How are charges initiated

Conversation charges will be based on template category. When a template is delivered, it opens a new conversation of that category and incurs the charge of that conversation category, unless the template is delivered during an open conversation of that category. For example, if a utility conversation is open and a marketing template is delivered within that open conversation, a new, separate marketing conversation is opened and marketing conversation charge is initiated.

However, sending multiple templates of the same category within an open conversation will not incur additional charges. For example, a business can send multiple utility templates in an open utility conversation with no additional charges.

Service conversations will still only be initiated when no other conversation window is open and a business responds to a user with a free form message within the 24-hour customer service window. If a business replies to a user with a template message or sends a template message in an open service conversation, this opens a new conversation based on the template category.

The exception to this is free entry point conversations (see below sections).

During the free window, businesses can send multiple templates of different categories, and no new conversation will be opened.

Free Tier Conversations

The first 1,000 user-initiated conversations each month are free. This way your business can build experiences your customers will love before having to pay. Each WhatsApp Business account (WABA) will receive 1,000 free conversations per month. These conversations has to be user-initiated. Even if a WABA has multiple numbers attached, the free tier threshold is still 1000, as the free tier is provided at the WABA level. The free tier is refreshed monthly, based on the timezone associated with the WABA.

Free Entry Points Conversations

Conversations are not charged when users message businesses using call-to-actions buttons in Ads that Click to WhatsApp or Facebook Page call-to-action buttons on devices running Android or iOS. Free entry point conversations last 72 hours and can only be user-initiated. Any subsequent conversations between the same user and business that are not initiated from a free entry point are billable.

Standard pricing applies for Ads that Click to WhatsApp. The conversation that initiates from the ad is free, but not the ad itself.

Policy Requirements

Our policy requires a template message whenever sending a message to a user more than 24 hours since their last message. If you send a free form message outside the customer support window, it will not go through. If you send a message within 24 hours of this failed delivery, it will be charged as a business-initiated conversation even if there was a user message after the failed delivery.

Tracking my Conversations

You can use the Unifonic Console to help track your conversations and estimated spendings this month. For more information, please view this guide.

What’s Next