26 Jan 2022: Try out emojis in buttons, but no more 'templates' in sandboxes
5 Jan 2022: Use buttons in threads
23 Nov 2021: Button messages
2 Nov 2021: Playbooks Launch (Beta)
20 Sept 2021: The end of Chatbase
9 Sept 2021: Data Export API
9 August 2021: Thread data export
22 June 2021: You know best!
21 June 2021: Sample content for templates
17 June 2021: Important security improvements
8 June 2021: Community Playbooks (Alpha)
18 March 2021: Improved billing transparency
17 March 2021: Share the amazing work you do
8 March 2021: Contextual replies and profile settings that suit you
22 Feb 2021: Button automation
18 Feb 2021: Updates to the fallback channel
17 Feb 2021: Contacts and labels data added to BQ
10 Feb 2021: Temporary limitations while we do a Search infrastructure upgrade
5 Feb 2021: Snappier and easier-to-use modals
3 Feb 2021: Add media to templates
27 Jan 2021: Add media or stickers to custom replies
21 Dec 2020: A last big release to celebrate the year
2 Dec 2020: Delete a template, get more insights and send stickers via the API
17 Nov 2020: Delete a user message
23 October 2020: Insights
19 October 2020: Hidden numbers by default
8 September 2020: Contact Profile
11 August 2020: Learn in Turn
3 August 2020: Add a list to your Exact match automations
30 July 2020: Manage your message template spend
15 July 2020: Data storage and rejection reasons
10 July 2020: WhatsApp profile and Login
What is chat for impact?
The WhatsApp Business API
Three key rules of engagement
A closer look at the WhatsApp Business API
Message types: Session vs. Template messages
Message template rules
Message template troubleshooting
Reasons why your template(s) gets rejected
You need opt-in to initiate messages
Human escalation path required
WhatsApp's quality rating and messaging limits
Examples of how to upgrade to the next tier
Connect with your users on chat
Great ways of marketing your chat service
Use a ‘wa.me’ link and QR code to market your service
Get user consent in a WhatsApp conversation
Use automation to collect opt-in
Manage your business presence by updating your WhatsApp profile
How to use Turn.io
How to load content
How users engage with content
Structure and plan your content
Create your first menu
How to send custom replies
How to add a button message
How to upload stickers
How to delete a message that a user sent?
How to set up basic automations
The available trigger types
The available action types
How to set up advanced automations
How to set up multiple language automation
How to set up a follow-up timer
Automation tips & tricks
Triggers explained: Message received STARTS WITH...
Triggers explained: Message received EXACTLY matches...
Triggers explained: Message received does NOT exactly match...
Triggers explained: Message received is a BUTTON PRESSED...
Triggers explained: Message received is from a specific COUNTRY...
Triggers explained: Message received is AUTOMATICALLY labelled...
Triggers explained: Message received from a specific CONTACT PROFILE......
How to send stickers in automation
How to set up a sequential content delivery experience using Automation and Custom Profile Fields
The ABC of threads
How to create a thread
Different thread card types
How to add skip logic to your thread
How to use personalisation in threads
Start a thread when a user reply with a button.
Export your thread data
Create a sequential learning experience with Threads
How to re-connect with users using message templates
Buy a pre-paid amount
Create and submit your template(s) for approval
Send message templates to users
How to add buttons to a template
How to add media to a template
Delete or copy a template
Search and Label
Collections, Assign and Roles
How to create and use collections
How to assign or share a conversation
Search for sent or received or all messages
How to add team members?
How to log in to your account
Overview of the Turn.io user interface
Design an impactful solution
Create good chat-service content
Varying interpretations of emoji
Changing behaviour is difficult. Here's some help!
Guiding and tracking
How to decide on and set up goals
How to nudge and track behaviours in conversations
Set up a data connection to BigQuery
Understand your BigQuery data and queries
How to top up your 'available amount' for templates?
Example queries for your data
Turn.io API documentation
Where do I find my credentials for the Message Template API?
How do I create message templates via the API?
Upload and send a sticker via the API
New to webhooks?
How to set up a RapidPro integration
Embedded Sign-up FAQs
Get a WhatsApp line: Step-by-step instructions, with a video
Your WABA application checklist
Display name guidelines
What is Business Verification?
Your Business Verification checklist
Help! I got an error whilst doing embedded sign-up?
Help! I'm struggling to get my business verified?
Help! I uploaded the wrong document for Business Verification?
Help! The "Start Verification" button is greyed-out?
Help! Why hasn't my display name been approved?
Help! Our display name got rejected?
Help! What happens if we're not verified within 30 days?
Help! I can see my number in Turn but it's not working?
Help! Can I have a WhatsApp number for a different country than my business registration?
Help! We are a government entity, how do we do Facebook business verification?
Help! What is a Facebook Business Manager Account?
Help! What number can I use on WhatsApp?
Help! What is a BSP?
What is an MAU (Monthly Active User)?
Can I use Turn.io in my country?
What is Turn.io?
Can I get a free trial?
What is Google-backed?
Can I format content with bold, italics etc?
My sandbox isn't working? How do I connect?
Can I attach more than one image, audio clip, video or document to a message?
My emoji trigger isn't working?
How do I extract data out of Turn.io?
What are 'goals'?
What are 'collections'?
How to work as a team
Can I use multimedia in my messages?
Why is my video not sending?
What is the difference between a member and an admin?
How do I add other contact fields?
I found a bug..
How can I buy message-template credits?
Can I use WhatsApp Groups on the API?
What does it cost to send message templates?
Can you give me examples of approved message templates?
What languages are allowed for message templates?
Why has my template(s) been rejected?
Una introducción a la WhatsApp Business API
Echar un vistazo más de cerca a la WhatsApp Business API
Tres reglas clave de participación
Tipos de mensajes: Mensajes de sesión versus plantilla
Necesita de adhesión para iniciar mensajes
Se requiere un proceso humano de escalamiento
Calificación de calidad y límites de mensajería de WhatsApp
Actualizaciones de los Términos de Servicio y la Política de Privacidad de WhatsApp
Updated by Pippa
Find out what the WhatsApp Business API is and why it’s become a valuable customer-engagement tool.
By now, you’re convinced to use WhatsApp as a communication channel, but you still need to determine which application within the WhatsApp eco-system is most suitable for your organisation.
WhatsApp Business app
WhatsApp Business API
A standalone app for small businesses with local audiences.
Best suited to large organisations that want to communicate at a global scale.
Purchase a new sim card and download the app to get started.
You’ll need the assistance of a business service provider (BSP) like Turn to help with integration and set-up.
The app is free to use.
Some types of messages are free; others come at a price.
You can message any of your contacts whenever it suits you.
You can only respond within 24 hours if a user gets in touch with you. Alternatively, you can send paid-for, highly structured message templates.
Only one person or agent can access the app.
An unlimited number of agents can access the API.
Use the service via a dedicated app.
Use a user interface such as Turn.io to chat.
App can make voice and video calls.
Voice and video calls are not possible.
Use quick replies for frequently asked questions.
Use automation to manage replies at scale.
Built-in phone book.
No built-in customer relationship management (CRM), but integration with external systems possible.
In short, if you’re a small business engaging with around 1,000 unique users per month and need a simple way to set up a few basic responses and use features like quick replies, you can get going by downloading the free WhatsApp Business app from Google Play or the Apple App Store.
However, if you’re a large organisation with a potential global audience – and you require more sophisticated automation functionality or artificial intelligence (AI)-driven solutions to serve your end-users – the API is a better fit.
What is an API?
Once you’ve established that the WhatsApp Business API offers the perfect chat solution for your organisation, you might still be wondering what an API actually is.
Let’s explain the concept of an “Application Programming Interface” (API) by using a simple comparison:
Imagine for a moment that you're staying at a hotel. An API can be compared to the reception desk. The staff at reception makes it easy for you, the hotel guest, to tap into a variety of services – from getting your clothes ironed and your calls put through to your room to ordering breakfast. You don’t have to worry about what goes on behind the scenes. You simply pick up the phone or walk to the desk, and the staff acts as the “interface” that connects you to all the other hotel services.
In the same way, an API allows applications to communicate with each other, exchange information, and shield users from all the complexities that go on behind the scenes.
The WhatsApp Business API
When it comes to the business of chatting for impact, we’re specifically interested in the WhatsApp Business API, as it’s a fast, secure, reliable way for organisations to reach a global audience.
The WhatsApp Business API supports many of the features you’ve been using on WhatsApp all along, including the fact that your messages and other information are secured from falling into the wrong hands. The key difference is that the application can be deployed on a server, providing a local API that allows you to send and receive messages programmatically. The API can also integrate with your existing systems.
It’s important to note that WhatsApp offers no user interface for the WhatsApp Business API. You cannot download an app like you can for the personal or business solution, and neither is the API open and available to all organisations. You can only access the API via official business solution providers (BSPs) such as Turn.io.
The API is subject to a set of rules, which we will explore in subsequent articles. For now, the key points to remember are:
- You can only access the API via official business solution providers (BSPs) such as Turn.io.
- The application process takes time but provides the benefit that users can trust your business profile on WhatsApp.
- WhatsApp doesn’t allow marketing and promotional notifications. If you’re used to push-based communication strategies, you’ll need to re-wire your thinking to design a pull-based service. With this type of service, the end-user is in charge of the conversation.
- An unlimited number of people and devices can access your account via the API. This means that a whole team can work together to give your users the best experience possible.
- You can integrate the API with your internal systems. You can connect your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools to it, or integrate it with your preferred analytics tools.
- There are different message types that can be utilised with the API. Some message types are free, while you’ll need to pay for others.
Help is at hand
Turn.io provides access to the WhatsApp Business API, giving social-impact organisations the building tools they need to amplify the remarkable work they do.
The Turn.io product is a web-based application that provides both a user interface for non-technical team members and API endpoints for developers. We love this technology because it allows our clients to automate repetitive tasks and free up their creativity to focus on the tasks machines cannot do: solving challenging problems that require empathy. 💛