From February 1, 2022, WhatsApp has changed its pricing model for its business API. The pricing has changed from a notification-based model to a conversation-based model. Instead of being charged for notifications sent, businesses will be charged per conversation, including all messages delivered within a 24-hour period.
How did WhatsApp’s old pricing model work?
With their old pricing,
- WhatsApp charged businesses only for business-initiated messages their customers have opted-in to receive – like a delivery notification, for example.
- When a customer (user) sent a message, businesses could reply for free for up to 24 hours from the last user message.
What exactly has changed?
- WhatsApp no longer charges businesses per message but per 24-hour ‘conversation windows’ or ‘sessions’.
- WhatsApp Business costs are incurred regardless of whether the company starts (Business Initiated) or the user starts the conversation (User Initiated).
- Within a 24-hour conversation window, WhatsApp Business charges for both user-initiated or business-initiated conversations will vary depending on the country code of the recipient’s phone number. (Please refer to the table below)
- WhatsApp costs are only incurred when the company writes – either when it responds to an inquiry or sends a WhatsApp push message to customers!
- The first 1,000 conversations are free per WhatsApp business API account per month
- Conversations that start from Ads that Click to WhatsApp or Page CTAs on Facebook will be free.
You can check the detailed pricing table at the end of this article.
How will the new pricing benefit businesses?
The first thousand conversations are free. This allows your business to start building experiences your customers will love. When you’re ready to expand 1000 conversations per month, WhatsApp’s pricing applies.
- The first conversation that originates from Ads that Click to WhatsApp or Page CTAs on Facebook will be free.
- A business can send free-form messages within 24 hours of the last user message in a conversation. If it’s been more than 24 hours since the last user message, a business must send a message template. The delivery of a message template opens a new, business-initiated conversation.
- WhatsApp now allows businesses to send more types of messages to people that opt-in to receive them - Personalized product recommendations, informational alerts, relevant offers, etc.
Ensure that you don’t spam your users with numerous messages, reducing your Quality Rating.
The new rate card would kick in from February 1st, 2022.
How does it work?
WhatsApp Business API conversations fall into two categories that are priced differently:
- User-initiated, like customer care and general support inquiries.
- Business-initiated, like post-purchase notifications
All conversations are measured in 24-hour increments, or "sessions," that start whenever the first message from a business is delivered. The first message can be initiated by the business (business-initiated) or a business reply within 24 hours of a user message (user-initiated). A user is defined as the person or entity with whom the business is messaging.
Charges for conversations are based on the user’s phone number. Rates for business-initiated conversations and user-initiated conversations vary by market (country or region). See Rates for specific pricing information.
Let’s understand what User-Initiated Conversations and Business-Initiated Conversations mean. We'll explain the two different scenarios in these two categories.
Scenario: Customer care or general support inquiries in a single 24-hour conversation session.
- Our user, Kelly, messages Acme Air about an upcoming reservation. When Acme Air’s reply message is delivered, it starts the 24-hour conversation session.
- In this scenario, all additional messages are free within the 24-hour session. This encourages Acme Air to follow up with support inquiries promptly while providing users the ability to exchange as many messages as needed to resolve concerns within the 24-hour session.
- If Acme Air continues to exchange messages with Kelly after the initial 24-hour conversation session has ended, they’ll incur costs related to a new conversation. They’ll also be required to send a message template to start a new conversation if it’s been more than 24 hours since Kelly’s last message, which will be charged as a business-initiated conversation.
In this scenario, Kelly gets the info she needs about her reservation, and Acme Air pays for one user-initiated conversation.
Scenario: User-initiated conversation leads to two conversations with a message template required.
- Kelly wants to check on an order she placed with Acmekart, an online shoe retailer. She does so at 1:13 pm.
- Acmekart has a bot set up to reply to basic order inquiries and respond to Kelly with delivery details at 1:13 pm.
- As a follow-up the next day, the Acmekart bot lets Kelly know that her order has been delivered at 3:45 pm.
When the Acmekart bot replies to Kelly more than 24 hours after the first message confirming the delivery ETA, it starts a new conversation. Acmekart also has to use a message template because it’s been more than 24 hours since Kelly’s last message.
In this scenario, Acmekart pays for one user-initiated and one business-initiated conversation.
Scenario: Business initiates the delivery of a message template.
- When a flight is delayed or its status changes, Acme Air alerts customers who have opted in to receive notifications using a message template.
- Two message templates sent in a single 24-hour conversation session result in one business-initiated conversation charge.
In this scenario, Acme Air wants to let Kelly know that her flight is delayed by 30 minutes.
WhatsApp will charge Acme Air for one business-initiated conversation to deliver these two message templates to Kelly within a 24-hour conversation session.
Scenario: Business-initiated with user reply leading to a single conversation.
When a customer places a new order from Acmekart, the online retailer sends a text message to confirm the order has been received and asks the customer if they’d like to receive a notification when it ships.
- The customer selects Yes and opts in to receive additional order notifications.
In this scenario, Acmekart pays for a single business-initiated conversation. If the user responds after 24 hours of the initial business message delivery followed by a business reply, that will result in a new, user-initiated conversation.
Cost per Conversation in USD:
|Market||Business-initiated rate||User-initiated rate|
|United Arab Emirates||$0.0316||$0.0190|
|Rest of Africa||$0.1208||$0.0363|
|Rest of Asia Pacific||$0.0745||$0.0224|
|Rest of Central & Eastern Europe||$0.0835||$0.0250|
|Rest of Latin America||$0.0706||$0.0423|
|Rest of the Middle East||$0.0727||$0.0218|
|Rest of Western Europe||$0.1324||$0.0397|
For customers who are billed in currencies other than USD, we will be using the following exchange rates to raise the monthly WhatsApp invoices.
|Source Currency||Destination currency||Exchange rates|
For more information about the revised WhatsApp pricing, please visit: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/whatsapp/pricing/conversationpricing
Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager or write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions.