WhatsApp Messages Types and Template Messages

In this section, you will get acquainted with the two types of messages you face when using the WhatsApp Business Platform. Depending on how you would like to interact with the customers, Business is able to do it in two ways:

  • WhatsApp Templates - pre-approved from Facebook which content cannot be modified
  • Free form messages - text or media messages that can contain any content

WhatsApp Templates

  • WhatsApp templates are messages that are pre-approved template messages and can be used if the Business wishes to initiate a conversation with its customers (Business Initiated conversation- BI).
  • Templates are used to prevent spam and they should be created following WhatsApp guidelines.
  • When sending template messages, businesses only need to provide template names and parameters, which serve for personalization purposes.

The currently available templates categories:


Template message can contain the following specifications:

  • 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 with button can be with quick reply button or CTA button. Business can have only one button of the button type from quick reply or CTA

    • Quick Replies - maximum is 3 buttons, with predefined text with up to 20 characters for each button
  • Call-to-Action
    Call Phone Number
    Visit a static or dynamic website

Free-form Messages

Free form messages are regular messages which don’t need approval from Facebook. Business is able to send a free-form message only if a user is the one to initiate conversation or respond to the message template. These messages are considered to support messages and Business is encouraged to have Chatbot and Escalation path available on the number.

Free form messages can be sent only 24 hours from the last user message. Every time when the user sends a new message 24-hour window will extend.

The following types are supported for free-form messages

  • Text - up to 4096 characters
  • Media (Images/Documents/Audio/Video)
  • Location
  • Interactive Buttons
  • Interactive List
  • Contacts
Text messages
  • Text messages may contain up to 4096 characters and 1024 Unicode characters

  • Business is able to format messages as Bold (* *), Italic (_ _), Strikethrough (~ ~), and Code ( ).

Media messages

Supported Message Types

TypeSupported Content-types
Documentapplication/pdf, application/word, application/power point, application/excel, text/plain
Audioaudio/acc, audio/mp4, audio/amr, audio/mpeg, audio/ogg, codecs=opus
Videovideo/mp4, video/3gpp
Note: Only H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec is supported.

To send any media message

  • The Business will need to provide a URL that is publicly available along with the media.
  • A caption of up to 1024 characters can also be added.
Location Messages

Business is able to send static location with provided following details:

  • Longitude- mandatory - coordinates between -180 and 180
  • Latitude- mandatory - coordinates between -90 and 90
  • Name - optional
  • Address - optional
Contact Messages

Business is able to send a contact which can contain the following data:

  • Name
  • Address
Interactive Buttons

Businesses can use interactive buttons to send customers messages with up to 3 predefined responses.

These work in the same way as quick replies in message templates, but are available for free-form messages. Users will only be able to select one option at a time per message but can change their selection.

Quick reply messages are made up of the following:

  • Header - optional - Text up to 60 characters, image, video, document
  • Body - Text up to 1024 characters
  • Footer - optional - Text only up to 20 characters
  • Buttons - Text only with maximum with up to 20 characters
Interactive Lists

Businesses can send to customers a message to select from a list of up to 10 options to confirm the option they would like to choose. For example: While the customer is booking an appointment they can choose available timings.

List messages can contain following:

  • Header - optional - Text shown at the top of the list message
  • Body - Up to 1024 characters
  • Footer - optional - Up to 60 characters
  • List
    • List title - List button text, up to 20 characters
    • Section title - Not visible and used for reference
    • Row titles - Single selection options accompanied by a radio button
    • Row descriptions - Provide additional context to selectable options

How to submit a templates

Businesses can submit the templates through their Unifonic Conversation app by logging into their Unifonic account.

  1. Log in to your Unifonic account and navigate to the Conversation app where the WhatsApp channel is configured

  2. Click Edit and you should see the channels inside the app.

  3. Click the channel edit button and you should see the CREATE MESSAGE TEMPLATE option.

  • Click CREATE MESSAGE TEMPLATE to submit a new template for approval.

  • Fill in the template details as mentioned above in the "WhatsApp Template" section depending upon its text template or media template

  • You should be able to see the list of approved and rejected templates. Rejected templates are displayed with red dots whereas approved templates are with green dots.