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 send templates 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.

Simply put, if users block your number or report your messages as spam, WhatsApp flags your number and limits the amount 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.

If your quality rating reaches a low (red) state you will receive a warning via email informing you that your number status will change to Flagged or Restricted. It is your responsibility to proactively manage these warnings.

  • Flagged status occurs when the quality rating reaches a low state. If the message quality improves to a high or medium state and maintains this for 7 days, your status will return to Connected. If the quality rating doesn't improve, your status will still return to Connected, but you'll be placed in a lower messaging limit tier.
  • Restricted status occurs when you reach your messaging limit. During a Restricted phase, you can’t send any template messages until the 24-hour window is reset. You can still respond to any messages users 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.

How to improve your Quality Rating?
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.
  • 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).

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 send templates to 1,000 users per day

Tier 2

Allows you to send templates to 10,000 users per day

Tier 3

Allows you to send templates to 100,000 users per day

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 Turn.io 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 1,000 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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