Starting June 2023, WhatsApp fee is based on a new conversation based pricing model.
Businesses using the WhatsApp Business Platform will be charged per 24-hour conversation, with different rates by template category. Previously charged business-initiated conversations are now split into three new template categories: utility, authentication and marketing. User-initiated conversations are now renamed as service conversations.
Conversation types and how they apply to your pricing
Businesses can initiate a conversation using a template message. The category of the template message used will define the conversation type.
Marketing, utility, and authentication conversations can only be opened with template messages. Service messages can only be opened with free-form messages.
Four new conversation types effective June 1, 2023
There are three business-initiated conversation types (all of which require customer opt in) and user- initiated conversation are renamed to align with the primary ways businesses and people are messaging on Whats App. The new conversation type is determined by the template category of the message used to initiate the conversation. WhatsApp divides template categories into 4 types:
Utility - Business-initiated conversations relating to a transaction, including post-purchase notifications and recurring billing statements to
customers who have opted in.
Authentication - Business-initiated conversations that enable businesses to authenticate users with one-time passwords at multiple steps during the login process, such as account registration, account recovery, and integrity challenges.
Marketing - Business-initiated conversations to market a product or service to customers, such as relevant offers to customers who have opted in.
Any business-initiated conversation that does not qualify as an
authentication or utility conversation would also fall under this category.
Service - User-initiated conversation, such as to resolve a customer query.
How is the 24-hour conversation window applied for each template category?
Conversation charges are based on template category. Each template category will start and have its own separate 24-hour conversation window and incur separate charges. For example, if a business sends a customer a utility message, they will be charged the utility conversation fee, but if 4 hours later, they send the customer a marketing message, they will also be charged the marketing conversation fee, and start a separate 24-hour window for marketing messages. However, if they send additional utility messages, they will not be charged again until 24 hours have passed and a new 24-hour window begins.
The exception to this is free entry point conversations. During the free window, businesses can send multiple templates of different categories, and no new conversation will be opened.
See examples in our pricing explainer document for more details.
Charges for conversations are based on the user’s country code. A user here is defined as the customer that your business is communicating with. Rates for different conversation types based on template category vary by country or region.
Rate cards for utility, marketing, authentication, and service conversations: Effective June 1, 2023
Additional changes to conversation-based pricing in 2023
Changes to free entry point conversations: Effective March 1, 2023
Conversations are not charged when users message businesses using call-to-actions buttons on Ads that Click to WhatsApp or Facebook Page call-to-action buttons. Starting March 1, WhatsApp is providing more free conversations when users message businesses through these entry points by extending the free conversation window from 24h to 72h.
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.
Standard pricing applies for Ads that Click to WhatsApp. The conversation that initiates from the ad is free, but not the ad itself.
Changes to Free Tier Conversations: Effective June 1, 2023
Starting June 1, only user-initiated conversations (i.e. service conversations) are counted towards the first 1,000 free conversations given to each WABA / business per month.
Marketing, utility and authentication conversations are not part of the free tier.
How does this impact my business use case?
This pricing change can impact your business use case depending on your messaging patterns. Below are some examples of how this can impact your business:
- Frequent notifications for multiple use cases: If you are sending multiple messages within a 24-hour period for different use cases, eg. Authentication and Marketing to the same recipient, you will now incur a separate charge from WhatsApp for starting a conversation for each use case.
- Business-initiated conversations only: These conversations no longer count towards the free 1,000 conversations per month.
- Customer support: If you are responding to incoming user-initiated (i.e., service conversations) messages with a non-templated message, more of these conversations will fall into the free 1,000 conversations per month.
To learn more, see Meta’s Developer Documentation here.