Facebook is leveraging WhatsApp in combination with its existing Business Suite to provide companies with the ability to conduct branded messaging, perform analytics, and create chatbots through its Business API. Telnyx provides an embedded workflow for connecting/creating your Facebook and WhatsApp Business Accounts and integrating WhatsApp into your existing communication platform.
To make use of this integration, you will need to have a Facebook Business Manager account. You can use an existing one or create one within the embedded workflow. If you are using an existing account, the Facebook account used to log in during the workflow must have administrator access to the Business Manager account. For information on registering with Facebook Business Manager, please reference our developer documentation.
After connecting your WhatsApp Business Account, you will see the associated account listed in the Telnyx portal with the status “pending”. Facebook must manually verify the business and the associated number, which can take up to 2-3 business days. You will receive an email from Telnyx once this process has been completed.
Telnyx's WhatsApp integration is currently available in Mission Control Portal, which provides the interface for Telnyx's embedded Facebook/WhatsApp workflow. From here, you can add a Telnyx number or select the "I already have a number that meets the requirements" checkbox. Click "Create WhatsApp Integration" to open the embedded workflow.
WhatsApp’s business integration is primarily focused on inbound communications, allowing businesses to react to customer inquiries and comments. While the integration does allow businesses to initiate conversations with customers, the initial message sent by the business must align with a template that has been approved by Facebook.
Facebook Business Manager currently offer 10 different template types for initiating customer outreach. Each template can contain a set of variables that are used to customize the message. Templates must be approved by Facebook prior to use, and this approval process can take up to 2 business days.
To view more information about creating a message template via the Telnyx API, please see our developer documentation.
Sessions and Message Flow
As mentioned above, if the business is initiating a conversation with a customer, then the business must send their message using an approved template. However, if the recipient replies to the message, a session between the business and the customer is created, which allows the business to send free-form messages to the customer. This session is active for 24 hours following the customer’s last response. If the customer does not respond within this 24 hour window, the session is closed and either the customer must re-initiate the conversation or the business must send another template message.
Inbound messages are subject to fewer restrictions than outbound messages. The business is not required to send template messages if the user initiates the conversation. Like outbound communications, a 24 hour session is created after the customer’s most recent response. Within that period, the business can send free-form messages to the customer. If the customer does not respond to the business within that 24 hour window, then the session is closed and the business can no longer send free-form messages to the customer.
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