WhatsApp Business Platform Pricing Update : June 2023
With 2 billion monthly active users and 100 million messages exchanged each day, WhatsApp has become a popular global messaging platform. Its popularity across the world has successfully attracted businesses to incorporate its useful features for customer engagement, marketing, and sales. Through WhatsApp, businesses can create personalised one-on-one conversations that provide customers with a valuable experience and ultimately lead to successful conversions.
Although WhatsApp Business App is still free to download, Meta charges a fee per conversation that every WhatsApp Business API account runs with the end users. WhatsApp announced its Conservation-Based Pricing which was effective on February 1, 2022. To match its pricing to the use cases and experiences that WhatsApp Business API offers, Meta has announced that it will make changes to its pricing model starting the first of June, 2023.
As of this date, businesses using the WhatsApp Business Platform will be charged per 24-hour conversation, with different rates by conversation category. The main update is regarding the categories and the fees charged for each category. In the new model, business-initiated conversations will be split into three new categories: “utility, authentication and marketing”. The user-initiated conversations will be called “service conversations”.
WhatsApp Business Platform Pricing Until June 1, 2023
According to the pricing that is effective until 1 June 2023, WhatsApp Business Platform conversations fall into two categories that are priced differently:
- User-initiated conversation is a conversation that initiates in response to a user message. When a business replies to a user within the 24 hour customer service window, that message will bea user-initiated conversation. Businesses can send free-form messages within this 24 hour customer service window.
- Business-initiated is a conversation that initiates from a business sending a user a message outside the 24 hour customer service window. Messages that initiate a business-initiated conversation will require a message template.
All conversations, with the exception of free entry point conversations, are measured in fixed 24-hour sessions. A conversation starts when the first business message in a conversation is delivered, either initiated by the business or in reply to a user message. Businesses and users can exchange any number of messages, including template messages, within a 24 hour conversation session without additional charges. Each 24 hour conversation session results in a single charge.
Charges for conversations are based on the user’s country code. A user is the customer that the business is communicating with. Rates for business-initiated and user-initiated conversations vary by country or region.
WhatsApp Business Platform Pricing update effective as of June 1, 2023
Businesses using the WhatsApp Business Platform will be charged per 24-hour conversation, with different rates by conversation category. Business-initiated conversations will be split into three new categories: utility, authentication and marketing, and user-initiated conversations will be called service conversations.
Businesses can initiate a conversation using a template message. The category of the template message used will define the conversation category.
New conversation categories
There are three business-initiated conversation categories:
- Utility conversations are often related to a transaction such as purchase information, confirmations, post-purchase notifications, billing statements, etc.
- Authentication conversations are used to authenticate users with One Time Passwords during the login or verification process, such as account registration, account recovery, and other situations where the customer’s identity needs confirmation.
- Marketing conversations help businesses to market a product or service to customers and include promotions or offers, informational updates, or invitations for customers to respond / take action. Any conversation that is not categorized as utility or authentication is a marketing conversation.
All user-initiated conversations will be categorised as “service conversations”, which help customers resolve enquiries.
The pricing of these categories
The charges for conversations will depend on the category of the template being used. When a template is delivered, it starts a new conversation under its corresponding category and results in the charge associated with that category. However, if the template is delivered during an ongoing conversation of the same category, no additional charge is incurred. For instance, if a utility conversation is in progress and a marketing template is sent within that conversation, a new marketing conversation will be initiated, and the charge for a marketing conversation will apply. However, for example, a business can send multiple utility templates in an open utility conversation with no additional charges.
Service conversations will continue to be initiated only when there are no other open conversation windows and a business responds to a user’s message with a free-form message within the 24-hour customer service window. However, if a business responds with a template message or sends a template message in an ongoing service conversation, a new conversation is created based on the template category.
“Free entry point conversations” is the exception to this rule. During this free window, businesses are allowed to send multiple templates of different categories, and no new conversation will be initiated as a result.
Additional changes to conversation-based pricing in 2023
1 – Changes to free entry point conversations: Effective March 1, 2023
WhatsApp does not charge any fee when users message businesses using call-to-actions buttons on Ads on Facebook or Instagram that Click to WhatsApp or Facebook Page call-to-action buttons. Starting March 1, 2023, WhatsApp provides more free conversations when users message businesses through these entry points by extending the free conversation window from 24 hours to 72 hours.
When a free entry point conversation is open, no other conversation category can be opened, even if a business sends a template within the three-day (72h) free entry point conversation window.
2 – Changes to free tier conversations: Effective June 1, 2023
As of June 1, 2023, Free Tier Conversations apply only to user-initiated conversations each month. Business-initiated conversations will no longer be included in the free tier. Each WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) will receive 1,000 free user-initiated conversations per month.
Grow your business through WhatsApp Business Platform
All in all, Meta aims to deliver the ultimate customer journey on WhatsApp Business by allowing businesses to communicate with their customers for various use cases. These use cases are not limited to customer service. Meta asserts that 67% of respondents report that WhatsApp led to higher conversion rates than alternative channels, and they want businesses to continue to focus on these high ROI marketing use cases. Therefore, Meta now also offers marketing messages, notifications, and many more exciting features.
Ready to grow your business by building conversational experiences through WhatsApp? WhatsApp offers you an opportunity to better engage your customers by charging according to the conversation type of your business-initiated messages.
If you want to learn more and connect with your customers through WhatsApp, please contact us.