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WhatsApp's quality rating and messaging limits

Neelke Stadler Updated by Neelke Stadler

The sentiment of your users will determine your phone number's quality rating, and ultimately your ability to initiate conversations on WhatsApp.

Because messages on WhatsApp are encrypted (WhatsApp cannot see them), WhatsApp relies on user feedback to measure the quality of a service. WhatsApp provides users the ability to "report spam" and "block" a number. They monitor this feedback to determine an internal quality rating for your number.

Your quality rating impacts your overall phone number status and your messaging limit.

We have a summary of your Account details on our Add a Reminder page:

For more details about your phone number, please visit your Meta Business Suite account.

Simply put, if users block your number or report your messages as spam, WhatsApp flags your number and limits the number of templates you can send daily.

Let's understand this in more detail.

Quality rating

Your quality rating indicates how template messages have been received by your users in the last 24 hours. There are three different states of messaging quality:

  • Green: High quality
  • Yellow: Medium quality
  • Red: Low quality
Note: If your quality rating is low WhatsApp will impose daily limits on the amount of users you can initiate conversation with using templates.
How to improve your Quality Rating?
  • Make sure your templates comply with the WhatsApp Business Policy.
  • Make sure that your messages are clear, personalised, and useful to users. Avoid sending open-ended welcome or introductory messages.
  • Only send template messages to users that have opted in to receive messages on that specific topic. For example, if a user opted-in for Covid updates but you start sending other health updates, the user may respond negatively because they didn’t opt-in to that specific communication.
  • Be mindful of your messaging frequency. Avoid sending users too many templates a day.
  • Be thoughtful of informational messages, optimising for content and length.
  • Check if your organisation has added and sent a new template within the last 7 days. This may help determine a problematic template(s).
Note: We cannot change or request a change to your quality rating. It is your responsibility to follow WhatsApp's recommended good practices to maintain high quality.

Number status

When the quality rating reaches low quality, your phone number status changes from Connected to Flagged. If the quality doesn't improve over 7 days, the status returns to Connected. However, the messaging limit will decrease to the next level. For example, the phone number that used to have the 100,000 messaging limit now has the 10,000 messaging limit.

You will receive an email and notification in Meta Business Manager as a warning.

  • Connected: You can send outgoing messages within your set messaging limit.
  • Flagged: This status occurs when the quality rating reaches low quality. Businesses can't upgrade messaging limit tiers while the status is Flagged. If the quality rating:
    • Improves to a high or medium quality by the 7th day from when your status was changed to Flagged, the status will return to Connected and your messaging limit tier will remain unaffected.
    • Does not improve to a high or medium quality by the 7th day from when your status was changed to Flagged, your status will return to Connected. However, your messaging limit will decrease to the next level.
  • Restricted: This status occurs when you reach your messaging limit, regardless of the quality rating. While the status is Restricted, you can’t send any outgoing messages until 24 hours have elapsed. You can still respond to any messages that customers initiate.

For more details on phone number status and quality ratings you can refer to the official documentation About WhatsApp Business Account Message Quality Rating

Messaging limits

The messaging limit tiers determine how many users you can send templates to on a daily basis. This includes new conversations as well as existing conversations with users.

The messaging limit does not limit the number of templates your organisation can send, just the number of users you can send to. It only applies to template messages and not to your responses to user-initiated messages with the 24-hour window (i.e. session messages).

There are three tiers:

Tier 1

Allows you to have 250 business-initiated conversations (with 250 unique customers) in a rolling 24-hour period.

Tier 2

Allows you to have 1,000 business-initiated conversations (with 1,000 unique customers) in a rolling 24-hour period.

Tier 3

Allows you to have 10,000 business-initiated conversations (with 10,000 unique customers) in a rolling 24-hour period.

Tier 4

Allows you to have 100,000 business-initiated conversations (with 100,000 unique customers) in a rolling 24-hour period.


Allows you to have unlimited business-initiated conversations in a rolling 24-hour period.

For more details on messaging limits you can refer to the official documentation on Capacity, Quality Ratings, and Messaging Limits.

How do I know my messaging limit tier?

Every number starts at Tier 1.

We cannot change or request a change to your tier. We also cannot show your tier in the user interface as WhatsApp does not yet provide a suitable API for this feature.

For this reason the best approach for sending templates to more than 250 users is to gradually roll out your send over the course of a week. Especially when you start using templates for the first time.

How do I know I've hit my messaging limit?

If you are using the Turn APIs to programmatically send templates to multiple users you need to pay attention to any error status we relay from WhatsApp.

It can happen that WhatsApp returns a 471 Spam Rate Limit error on templates you are attempting to send before we are notified by them via email on a phone status change.

This is the fastest way to know if you are hitting messaging limits.

How do I move to a higher tier?

WhatsApp will automatically move your number between tiers taking into account your quality rating and messaging volume.

Your number will be upgraded to the next tier if:

  1. Its quality rating is not low (red) AND
  2. In the last 7 days the number of unique users you have sent templates to adds up to twice your current messaging limit.

This means:

  • Even if you meet the message volume criteria your number may be prevented from moving to the next tier if the quality rating for your number is low (red).
  • Given the dependency to send templates to users twice your tier limit, the earliest an upgrade can occur is after 2 days.
  • If you try and send more templates than your tier allows, those messages will fail.

You can look at our article with examples of how to upgrade to the next tier.

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