Help! What number can I use on WhatsApp?

Neelke Stadler Updated by Neelke Stadler

Choose your unique phone number

You’ll need to decide on the number to use for your new chat service. Here’s what you need to know: 

  • The phone number will be used to identify your account on the WhatsApp platform. 
  • The number must be in the E.164 international format and must be reachable from outside the country. 
  • It’s best to choose a friendly, memorable phone number. 
  • The number must be able to receive SMS or voice calls. A mobile or landline number would do the trick.
  • The number will be used during the WhatsApp for Business API registration process. You’ll receive an SMS or a voice call for two-factor authentication.
  • Short codes are not allowed on the WhatsApp platform. 
  • Toll-free numbers are allowed if they’re in international format.
  • Your phone number must not have been used on the WhatsApp Business API before.

Turn prefers to help you choose your WhatsApp number. We’ll make sure that the number meets the above requirements, that the phone number can be registered to your account within a certain timeframe, and that the process doesn’t have to be managed by you in future.  

If you use an existing phone number, ensuring that the number remains active is your responsibility. For example, you must make sure that the number isn’t deactivated by a mobile network operator or other service. 

Here is a brief summary of the actions you’ll have to take to secure your number:

Number type


New number (any)

The team will provide you with a number that fulfils all the requirements. Please request a number on your application form if you’d like us to assist.

New vanity number (e.g. +276 0060TURN)

If you would like your number to be a vanity number, the team can help you to get the closest match. Please request this on your application form.

Existing landline number

Landlines are acceptable phone numbers to use. But, since a phone number is tied to a WhatsApp Account, you must own this number. Make sure the number contains a country and area code.

1-800 and toll-free numbers

Please see Facebook guidance for migrating an existing number.

Phone number already registered on Android, iPhone or the Business Application version of WhatsApp.

Please see Facebook guidance for migrating an existing number.

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