WhatsApp Business API Sets New Tariffs: What This Means for Business and Users
Meta Announces Transition to New WhatsApp Business API (WABA) Pricing (and Commissions) Model Based on Communication Templates. The changes will affect all companies using the messenger for commercial purposes and will come into force on June 1, 2023.
Let's find out what WhatsApp's new pricing policy will be and what it means for business.
WhatsApp Business Call Costs: What Will Change
Meta strives to make WhatsApp Business as accessible as possible to customers by enabling businesses to interact with customers across multiple touchpoints and scenarios. If in the past the messenger focused on service, now it offers various marketing messages, notifications and other useful features.
According to the innovation, the conversational model will move from two categories (initiated by the user or business) to four. The dialogues that the business starts will be divided into service, authentication and marketing (requiring the consent of the client); and the conversations initiated by the user will be renamed to "support conversations".
Each dialogue template will have its own cost, and the price will differ depending on the country. Payment for a particular type of dialogue will be charged for a 24-hour session from the moment the chat is opened. When delivering a message of a different type, the conversation will open in a new window according to its category.
New classification of messages
As mentioned above, the changes will go into effect on June 1, but message templates for new chat types are required for approval from May 1, 2023. So let's take a detailed look at how each category is defined.
1. Utility conversations
These are company-initiated sessions to inform the user about money transfers, send a post-purchase notification, receipt, etc. Receiving this type of mailing must be approved by the client in advance, as notifications simplify the processing of requests and transactions.
Example: “We apologize. Your request could not be processed. Please try again later".
2. Authentication conversations
These are dialogs initiated by companies to verify the identity of the user at various stages of logging in, such as registering an account, verifying an account, recovering a password, etc. These are carried out using a one-time password (OTP), a reset call or a link.
Example: "Reset your Instagram password by clicking the link".
3. Marketing conversations
These are messages with exclusively commercial overtones. Companies use templates like this to promote products and services.
Marketing includes notifications about promotions, product availability, discount offers, calls to action, and others. For the implementation of such mailing, the consent of the user is required (in any form).
Since any messaging that is not transactional or non-identifying is marketing, this category also includes holiday notifications.
Example: “All the news about your favorites: discounts, promotions and new arrivals of goods. Stay up to date with all the events and replenish your beauty supplies!
4. Customer support (Service conversations)
Any sessions initiated by the client are classified as service sessions. Their priority is to satisfy the user's request. Regardless of the reason for the request, all dialogues initiated by the subscriber belong to this category.
For more information on WhatsApp Business API templates, please follow the link.
If a company sends messages from different groups within the current conversation, then two separate prices will be charged for delivery. It is important to note that this does not apply to responses to messages received from free entry points.
Free entry points and free conversations
In addition to the major pricing update, Meta has also extended the free call window from the entry point from 1 to 3 days. The response time for a request initiated by a user when clicking on a Facebook or Instagram ad that takes the customer to WhatsApp or a CTA on a Facebook page will be 72 hours.
Starting March 1, 2023, the cost of messages in this window is not charged for a three-day period.
Starting June 1, the WhatsApp Business API is also changing how it counts the 1,000 free calls given to each WABA per month. This definition will now only include user-initiated conversations in the Customer Support category.
Action flow for Meta clients after updating the rules
No action is required from companies as recipients of Meta services. On April 1, 2023, Meta automatically upgraded business accounts in WhatsApp Business Manager to the new categories of HSM templates. Check out the changes if you haven't already.
If a company disagrees with the Meta category assigned to its template, an appeal can be filed. For this:
- Using a WhatsApp business account, make changes to the template and select a category that matches its content.
- Modify the template or create a new one that doesn't contain mixed content. For example, if the current template contains delivery information (Services) and a discount code (Marketing), remove the code and categorize the template as Services, and vice versa.
- File an appeal and explain why a particular category was selected for the template.
Please note: applications for appeal are only accepted until May 15, 2023.
How innovations will affect business operations?
In general, the updated billing should not significantly affect the way businesses operate in the WhatsApp Business API. The delivery speed of messages will still depend on the country or zone of the recipient. Regardless of the conversation group, the recipient of notifications will be considered a client.
According to the updated rules, pricing for the WhatsApp Business API from Meta will be formed in this way:
- Tariffs for service calls will be lower than the cost of the current business-initiated calls.
- Tariffs for marketing messages will be higher than for current ones started by a business.
- Tariffs for business calls will remain within the cost of current, initiated by the user.
Information about tariffs for authentication dialogues will be announced later.
Invoices from Meta will also get an updated look. Now in the statements, the prices will be displayed according to the categories to which the conversations belong.
For our part, we recommend that you check whether the template categories are set correctly in your personal account, audit the use of the WhatsApp Business API and take care in advance that the deposit does not expire at the wrong time.
If you have any questions, do not know where to start, or need help, write to support service firstname.lastname@example.org or call +38 (096) 652-4383.