Essential Guide to WhatsApp Cloud API:

Everything you need to know

What is WhatsApp Cloud API

Index

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As the leading global messaging platform, WhatsApp has played a crucial role in this transformation with the introduction of the WhatsApp Cloud API, a version of WhatsApp that all kinds of businesses can utilize.

WhatsApp Cloud has revolutionized how businesses worldwide communicate with their users using their favorite channels. Its unique features and ability to create automation have opened new opportunities to enhance customer interaction and optimize internal processes.
In this article, we’ll break down the essential components of the WhatsApp Cloud API, from its unique characteristics and functionalities to its cost structure. Thus, we’ll provide a basic guide for those interested in leveraging WhatsApp’s power for their businesses.

Here is a quick summary

There are three types of WhatsApp: Personal WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp Cloud.

The ideal tool for businesses is WhatsApp Cloud, which you can access through Business Solution Providers like WOZTELL by creating an account.

WhatsApp Cloud API has different rules:

1. Charges based on who starts the conversation, don’t worry, it’s pretty simple:

User Initiated: If the customer initiates the conversation, you have 1.000 free monthly conversations. If the customer initiates more conversations per month, an average of 0.03$ USD will be charged from the 1.001st conversation.

Business Initiated: If the business starts the conversation, it must use a template previously approved by WhatsApp, with an average cost of 0.05.

2. The 24-hour window rule: From the customer’s last message, we have 24 hours to respond for free; if this window closes, we must send a template to open the conversation.

3. Exclusive advantages and features: Customers using WhatsApp Cloud stop using WhatsApp as they know it to professionalize their processes with messages with buttons, lists, products, all types of Chatbots, Bulk Messaging, integrations to their tools, automation, and even Artificial Intelligence on WhatsApp.

Although WhatsApp is practically indispensable for businesses that use it as a pillar in their revenue or customer service, professionalizing this channel entails a small cost. But what price can you put on success and efficiency? The solution: WhatsApp Cloud. It’s not only accessible, but its value far exceeds the initial investment, allowing you to officially professionalize your communications efficiently. Take the first step towards professionalization today at https://platform.woztell.com/register.

We recommend reading this Basic Guide to WhatsApp Cloud API | Everything You Need to Know to the end so you can make an informed decision.

3 types of WhatsApp: Personal WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp Cloud

3 tipos de WhatsApp: WhatsApp Personal, WhatsApp Business y WhatsApp Cloud
Possibly, you think of WhatsApp as what you use to communicate with your friends and family; however, when we talk about WhatsApp, we’re not referring to a single application but an ecosystem of platforms designed to meet the needs of different types of users, from individuals to large corporations.

Below, we present a detailed comparison between the available versions: the consumer app, the small business app, and the business platform (Cloud API).

Consumer App

  • Ideal for: Individuals
  • Use: Free app downloaded on an individual phone.
  • Users: 1
  • Communication: Provides manual one-on-one communication.
  • Verification: This does not offer verification (green check mark).
  • Integrations: No back-end integrations.
  • Catalog: Not available.
  • Bot: Does not support bot integration.
  • Voice and video calls:: Yes
  • WhatsApp groups:: Yes
  • Interface: WhatsApp App

Small Business App

  • Ideal for: Microbusinesses
  • Use: Free app downloaded on an individual phone.
  • Users: 4 People through the WhatsApp App and WhatsApp Web
  • Communication: Allows manual one-on-one communication, enabling up to four people to respond to customer messages on a phone or in a browser.
  • Verification: This does not offer verification (green check mark).
  • Integrations: No back-end integrations.
  • Catalog: Available, manual upload of items without payment management or interactive catalog.
  • Bot: Manual only; no integration with bots.
  • Voice and video calls:: Yes
  • WhatsApp groups:: Yes
  • Interface: WhatsApp App

Business Platform (Cloud API)

  • Ideal for: All types of businesses, from SMEs and startups to corporations.
  • Use: FAPI-based solution available on-premises and in the cloud, using Meta’s servers. Pricing and interface depend on the implementation and agreement with the Business Service Provider.
  • Users: Unlimited with WOZTELL
  • Communication: Can connect thousands of agents and bots to interact with customers programmatically and manually.
  • Verification: Offers the option to verify the account (green check mark).
  • Risk of infringement: No risk of infringement (privacy-friendly policies).
  • Integrations: It can integrate with thousands of back-end systems, such as CRM platforms, Payments, NO-Code applications, and among thousands of automations available.
  • Catalog: Available, automatic upload, connection with Ecommerce CMS, payment management, dynamic catalog.
  • Bot: chatbots creation
  • Voice and video calls:: No, planned launch in 2024
  • WhatsApp groups:: No, planned launch in 2024
  • Interface: WOZTELL APP Mobile, Desktop, and Web Browsers.
diferencias de entre los 3 tipos de WhatsApp

What is WhatsApp Cloud API

WhatsApp Cloud API is a cloud-hosted application programming interface (API), designed to enable scalable user connection through META’s servers.
Unlike Personal WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business, which are applications intended for individual users and small businesses, the WhatsApp Cloud API is not presented as a mobile app.

With WhatsApp Cloud, you have endless possibilities to manage your company: Multi-user inbox, multi-number, chatbots, integrations with systems, e-commerce, automated payments, integration with artificial intelligence, and so on and on.

WhatsApp Cloud API offers a robust platform for businesses and developers to directly integrate WhatsApp’s messaging capabilities within their systems and applications, facilitating effective and personalized communication with customers globally without the need to manage their server infrastructure.

That’s why, to use the different functionalities of the WhatsApp Cloud API, it’s necessary to work with a provider like WOZTELL that allows you to access these functionalities.

Exclusive Features of WhatsApp Cloud API

The WhatsApp Cloud API offers advanced functionalities to enhance business communication and scalability. It includes specific features that allow for more prosperous and dynamic user interactions. 

Through integration with WOZTELL, companies can elevate these interactions to the next level, leveraging e-commerce functions, payments, and artificial intelligence integration, as well as conducting advertising campaigns towards WhatsApp. Below, we detail and rewrite these functionalities for a more precise understanding:
Below, we detail and rewrite these functionalities for a more precise understanding:

Exclusive features of WhatsApp Cloud API:

  • Interactive Messages: WhatsApp allows the sending of messages with quick reply buttons and selection lists, among other things, making it easier for users to interact with the company in a more intuitive and effective way.
  • WhatsApp Flows: This feature facilitates the creation of forms within WhatsApp, simplifying the collection of user information without needing to leave the app, thus streamlining processes such as lead generation, bookings, and more.
  • Icebreakers and Commands: These elements expand interaction options within WhatsApp, offering users quick ways to start conversations or perform specific actions, thereby improving the user experience.
  • Account Verification: Option to obtain official business account verification, increasing trust and credibility with users.

Features through WOZTELL

  • Multi-number, multi-agent, and multi-channel management: This functionality allows businesses to manage live conversations with customers through multiple WhatsApp numbers, assigning different agents to each conversation. It facilitates workload distribution and ensures a quick and effective response.
  • Automation through chatbots: The capability to automate responses and send programmatic messages through bots, improving efficiency and providing immediate customer assistance.
  • Broadcast Messaging: Sending notifications, alerts, and promotional messages on a large scale, personalized and segmented according to business needs.
  • Advanced Customization: WOZTELL enables deep customization of communication flows, tailoring messages and automated responses based on context and the specific needs of the customer.
  • Analysis and Reports: Access to detailed studies and reports on the performance of communication campaigns, customer satisfaction, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) for data-driven decision-making.
  • Workflow Automation: Creating and automating complex workflows, which can include customer follow-ups, satisfaction surveys, order confirmations, and more, enhances operational efficiency.
  • Back-End Integrations: Enables integration of WhatsApp with CRM systems, customer databases, marketing automation platforms, and other business tools for centralized and efficient communication and data management.
  • E-commerce Functions: WOZTELL integrates e-commerce functionalities within WhatsApp, allowing businesses to manage product catalogs, process orders, and track shipments directly from the platform.
  • Payments: Integrating payment systems through WOZTELL facilitates commercial transactions within WhatsApp, offering users a secure and uninterrupted shopping experience.
  • Integration with Artificial Intelligence: WOZTELL leverages AI to enhance user interactions, from automating responses to customizing communication based on data analysis and machine learning.
  • Integration with Ads Directing to WhatsApp: Enhances the effectiveness of advertising campaigns by integrating ads that lead directly to a WhatsApp conversation, facilitating immediate lead capture and offering a direct path for interaction with potential customers.

Want to know more? Let´s talk via WhatsApp!

Types of Messages You Can Only Send with WhatsApp Cloud API:

objetos WhatsApp API botones

Interactive Buttons

objetos WhatsApp API Productos

Products

objetos WhatsApp API Carrusel

Carousel

Businesses can access various template types on WhatsApp to interact with their customers effectively and personally.

These messages can range from simple texts to complex interactions that leverage multimedia richness and interactive functionalities.

Below is a summary of the types of messages available:

  • Text and multimedia messages: These are the essential messages that allow sending text, images, videos, audio files, and documents. They are fundamental for any direct communication.
  • Interactive messages: Incorporate quick reply buttons and calls to action, which can be nested up to 10 levels, offering users clear options for fast and efficient interaction.
  • List messages: Allow presenting a list of options from which users can choose, simplifying navigation and decision-making.
  • E-commerce specific messages. Include various options:
    • Catalog messages: Messages that display the product catalog directly in WhatsApp by tapping a button.
    • Catalog template messages: Use templates to display the product catalog.
    • Link to catalog messages: Contain catalog thumbnails and a link to the entire catalog.
    • Product messages: Provide information about a single product or up to 30 products from the catalog.
    • Template messages on multiple products: Include information on up to 30 products, organized in a maximum of ten sections in a single message.
  • Coupon code messages: Marketing templates that show a button to copy a promotional code to the customer’s clipboard.
  • Limited time offer messages: These templates highlight offers with an expiration date and can include countdown timers, encouraging quick customer interaction.
  • Carousel messages: This feature allows you to send a text message accompanied by up to ten sequence cards in a horizontal scrolling view, ideal for showcasing multiple products or services.
  • Location request messages: These messages contain a button through which users can easily share their location, facilitating services based on the customer’s location.
  • WhatsApp Flows: are a way to build structured interactions for business messaging. Flows allow defining, configuring, and customizing messages with rich interactions, offering customers more structured communication. They can be used for booking appointments, exploring products, collecting customer feedback, and obtaining new sales leads, among other things.

How WhatsApp Cloud API works

What is the Conversational Window or 24-hour Rule in WhatsApp the 24-hour rule in WhatsApp

regla de 24 horas en WhatsApp
The conversational window of the WhatsApp Cloud API is a crucial concept for understanding how and when you can send messages to your customers.

Imagine that each time a customer sends you a message, a “virtual window” opens for a specific period. During this time, you can send them unlimited session messages, including promotional or any other type, without restrictions.

This window lasts 24 hours from the last message sent by the customer

During this period, you can interact more flexibly and directly.

However, after 24 hours, the rules change once the window closes. If you wish to send a new message after this time, you must use an “approved template message” by WhatsApp.

There is an exception to the 24-hour conversational window. This occurs when the conversation is initiated through a META ad that opens a conversation in WhatsApp. In this case, the conversation window will be 72 hours.

Differences between messages and templates

Diferencias entra mensajes y plantillas de WhatsApp
In WhatsApp Cloud API, the distinction between “session messages” and “templates” refers to how and when you can communicate with customers based on the conversational window.

Session Messages

  • Direct responses are sent to a customer within the 24-hour window activated by the customer’s last message.
  • They can be of any type (text, multimedia, interactive, etc.) and serve any purpose, such as answering inquiries, sending relevant information, or continuing a previous conversation.
  • They do not require prior approval from WhatsApp to be sent during this time window.
  • They are free.

Templates

  • Are predefined and approved by WhatsApp messages used to initiate a conversation with a customer after the 24-hour window has closed or to send essential notifications outside that window.
  • They must follow a specific format and be approved by WhatsApp to ensure they comply with the platform’s policies, especially regarding promotional or informative messages.
  • They are used for specific cases, such as confirmations, reminders, shipping notifications, status updates, and promotional offers.
  • They are paid.
The main difference lies in content freedom, the timing of sending, and cost.

Messages offer flexibility for organic communication within the active window, while templates are designed for more structured communications and need prior approval, allowing interactions beyond the 24-hour window and starting new conversation windows.

Understanding messages and templates

As we’ve seen, the WhatsApp Cloud API organizes communication between businesses and clients into two main categories: session messages and message templates.

Each plays a distinct role and is essential for different aspects of business interaction.

Let’s briefly introduce the four key types within these categories: session messages, marketing templates, authentication templates, and utility templates.

  • Session Messages: These messages are sent within the 24-hour conversational window activated by the client’s last message. They allow for free and bidirectional communication without the need to follow a pre-approved structure. They are ideal for real-time responses, customer support, and fluid conversations.
  • Marketing Templates: These are WhatsApp pre-approved messages for promotional campaigns or marketing communications. They allow sending messages outside the 24-hour window, but they must be strategically used to avoid being marked as spam.
  • Authentication Templates: facilitate the sending of verification codes or identity confirmations, which is crucial for security processes such as account verification or transaction confirmations. These templates help maintain security and trust in digital interactions.
  • Utility Templates: are used to send essential notifications such as order confirmations, appointment reminders, or shipping updates. These templates are designed to improve the customer experience by providing relevant and timely information about services or products.

Explaining the conversational window and message types

Explicando la ventana conversacional y los tipos de mensaje de WhatsApp
Every type of message or template opens its own conversation window. These windows can overlap with each other. Notably, all messages and templates allow for the sending of session messages.
Templates open specific types of their window.

For example, when opening a window, a marketing template allows sending session messages and other marketing templates for 24 hours at no cost.

However, if another type of template is sent, a new window that overlaps the previous ones would open, as seen in the graphic.

Let’s further develop these concepts:

1. Session Messages:

  • Window Opening: The conversational window automatically opens with the client’s initial message. It remains active for 24 hours from the client’s last message.
  • Communication during the window: Within this 24-hour window, you can freely send session messages without content restrictions (text, multimedia, interactive, etc.).
  • Window closing: If there is no further interaction from the client, the window closes 24 hours after the last message sent by the client.

2. Message Templates (Marketing, Autenticación, y Utilidad):

  • Sending Outside the conversational window: Message templates are used to communicate with clients outside the 24-hour conversational window. These templates must be pre-approved by WhatsApp and can include marketing messages, authentication notifications, and utility messages.
  • Window opening with client response: If the client responds to any message sent via a template, a new 24-hour conversational window of the template’s category opens. Within this new window, you can send session messages and messages of that template’s category.

Costs associated with WhatsApp Cloud API

Conversation charges will be based on the template category.

When a template is delivered, it opens a new conversation of that category and charges for that conversation category unless it is offered during an open discussion.

For example, suppose a utility conversation is open, and a marketing template is delivered within it. In that case, a new independent marketing conversation opens, and charging for that conversation begins.

However, no additional charges are generated if several templates of the same category are sent within an open conversation.

For instance, a company can send several utility templates in a utility conversation without additional charges.

Service conversations only start when there is no other open conversation window, and a company responds to the user with a free-format message within the 24-hour customer service window.

Suppose someone responds to a user with a template message or sends a template message in an open service conversation. In that case, a new conversation whose category is determined by the template used opens.

The exception to this is free conversations from META ads. During the free interval, companies can send several templates of different categories, and no new conversation opens.

Charges for conversations are based on the user’s country code. A user is defined here as the client with whom your business communicates. The costs of conversations initiated by the company and those initiated by the user vary by country or region. You can view the costs for your country at this link.

Below, you can see an example of costs from different countries:

Market Marketing Utility Authentication Service
Spain 0,074$ 0,046$ 0,041$ 0,044$
Mexico 0,052$ 0,032$ 0,029$ 0,013$
Colombia 0,015$ 0,010$ 0,009$ 0,007$
Argentina 0,074$ 0,049$ 0,044$ 0,038$
Example

A company in Mexico sends a campaign to 1500 clients in a month: 1,500 x 0.052 (marketing) = 78$

The same company receives 1600 incoming conversations: 600 x 0.013 (service) = 7,8$

TOTAL = 85,8$ in conversational expenses

The example shows that marketing conversations sent as campaigns are charged from the first message sent. In contrast, incoming conversations, which are services, are only charged from the 1001st.

Each conversation has a cost according to META’s parameters.

Es importante destacar que las 1000 primeras conversaciones iniciados por usuarios (a través de mensajes de sesión) mensualmente son gratuitas.

Conclusions

In this basic guide to WhatsApp Cloud API, we have thoroughly explored the capabilities, characteristics, and advantages of this powerful tool for modern businesses.
  1. We have seen how WhatsApp Cloud API transcends the limitations of traditional WhatsApp versions, providing a robust, scalable, and highly integrable solution that facilitates effective and personalized communication with customers. From text and multimedia messages to complex interactions through interactive messages, lists, and WhatsApp flows, this platform offers a range of possibilities to enrich the customer experience.
  2. We also covered the conversational window, a key concept for understanding the interaction dynamics allowed by WhatsApp Cloud API, and the differentiation between session messages and templates, highlighting their application in marketing, authentication, and utility contexts. Moreover, we explained how communication strategy and message type influence the opening of new conversation windows, allowing businesses to maintain continuous and relevant dialogue with their clients.
  3. Integration with WOZTELL further extends the capabilities of WhatsApp Cloud API, adding advanced functions such as multi-number, multi-agent, and multi-channel live chat. It also integrates with e-commerce systems, payments, and targeted advertising, offering a comprehensive solution for business communication management.
  4. Finally, we detailed the cost structure associated with using WhatsApp Cloud API, emphasizing the importance of a well-planned communication strategy to optimize investment and maximize return.
In conclusion, WhatsApp Cloud API is an indispensable solution for businesses looking to adapt to the communication expectations of the modern consumer, offering a direct, personalized, and highly interactive channel.

Its ability to integrate with a wide range of tools and business platforms opens new opportunities to improve customer satisfaction, optimize workflows, and drive business growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is WhatsApp Cloud API, and why is it essential for businesses?

WhatsApp Cloud API is a cloud-hosted application programming interface designed to enable businesses to connect at scale with users through META’s servers. It is essential because it revolutionizes business communication, enhances customer interaction, and optimizes internal processes.

2. How does WhatsApp Cloud API differ from WhatsApp versions for consumers and small businesses?

Unlike WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business, which are aimed at individual users and small businesses, WhatsApp Cloud API allows direct messaging integrations in business systems without the need to manage its servers.

3. What are the main advantages of using WhatsApp Cloud API for business communication?

It allows richer and more dynamic interactions, improves advertising campaigns, and supports e-commerce, payments, and AI. It facilitates multi-agent and multi-number management through applications like WOZTELL.

4. How can businesses integrate WhatsApp Cloud API with their existing systems?

Businesses need to work with a provider like WOZTELL to access and use WhatsApp Cloud API’s functionalities, integrating it into their systems and applications.

5. What types of messages can be sent through WhatsApp Cloud API?

Text and multimedia messages, interactive, list, e-commerce-specific, coupon code, limited-time offer, carousel, and location request messages can be sent, among others…

6. How do interactive messages and call-to-action buttons work in WhatsApp Cloud API?

Interactive messages incorporate quick reply buttons and call to action, facilitating rapid and efficient interaction with users.

7. What are WhatsApp Flows and how can they improve customer interaction?

WhatsApp Flows allow for the creation of structured interactions within the platform, streamlining processes like lead generation and bookings and improving customer interaction by emulating web forms.

8. How can we leverage e-commerce and payment functionalities through WhatsApp Cloud API with WOZTELL?

WOZTELL integrates e-commerce functionalities and payment systems in WhatsApp, facilitating the management of catalogs, order processing, and secure commercial transactions.

9. What strategies can be implemented to manage multi-agent and multi-channel conversations effectively?

Use WOZTELL functionalities for multi-number, multi-agent, and multi-channel management, which distributes workload and ensures quick and efficient responses.

10. How does the conversational window of WhatsApp Cloud API affect messaging strategy?

The 24-hour conversational window allows unlimited messages to be sent after the customer initiates the conversation, switching to WhatsApp-approved template messages after the window closes to start a new one.

11. What is the cost structure for sending messages through WhatsApp Cloud API?

The charges are based on the template category used to initiate conversations, with costs varying depending on the user’s country or region. On average, a template costs you $0.05 USD to open conversations.

12. What are the best practices to maximize the return on investment in WhatsApp Cloud API?

Include strategic use of session messages and pre-approved templates, efficiently integrate with existing systems, and leverage exclusive features to enhance communication and customer service.

Want to know more? Let´s talk via WhatsApp!

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