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The quick guide to WhatsApp Business API message types

by | Feb 28, 2024

WhatsApp Business API message type differences

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. It has over 2 billion active users! It’s no surprise that businesses are looking to take advantage of this platform to connect with their customers. But the WhatsApp app on a phone has its limitations, especially for large businesses. There are many things you can’t do, especially when it comes to a multi-role business environment. That’s where WhatsApp Business API comes in. 

The WhatsApp Business API

The WhatsApp Business API is a tool that allows businesses to talk to their customers in a more efficient and professional way, without the app. To make use of the API though, you need a platform that integrates with the WhatsApp. This happens through other applications and platforms, such as Moja, Intercom and others. These platforms let a business connect using the WhatsApp API. Messaging on these platforms works like it does on the phone, but at an Enterprise level. They integrate business tools that are not available on the standard app and help do more.

Such platforms allow a business to receive messages from its customers and also allows them to send messages to their customers. Let’s break these messages down a bit further.

There are essentially two types of messages that can be sent through the WhatsApp Business API: business-generated messages and user-generated messages. Let’s take a closer look at each of one them and understand them a bit better.

What are WhatsApp User Generated Messages

User-generated messages are messages that are initiated by the customer and sent to the business. The business can then respond to these messages but only within a 24-hour window after the last interaction. User generated messages are received free by the business.

After 24 hrs though, the business loses the ability to respond to those messages in a normal way. User generated messages are the most common types of messages. For example, a customer might send a message to a business to ask a question about a product, request support, or give feedback. User-generated messages are a great way for customers to reach out to businesses and get the help  they need and get real-time service.

WhatsApp User Generated Message

What are WhatsApp Business Generated Messages

Business-generated messages, on the other hand, are messages that are initiated by the business and sent to the customer. These messages can be sent at any time, even if the customer has not initiated a conversation with the business. For example, a business could send a message to a customer to confirm their order or provide shipping updates. Business-generated messages are a great way to keep customers informed about their transactions and to promote new products or services.

Business Generated Messages are not free. The business has to pay for these messages.

WhatsApp Business Generated Message

The difference!

The main difference between the two types of messages is who initiates the conversation. Business-generated messages are initiated by the business, while user-generated messages are initiated by the customer. Businesses can use business-generated messages to reach out to customers, while user-generated messages allow customers to reach out to the business and get help when they need it.

There are also different rules and restrictions for sending each type of message. For example, business-generated messages are subject to message templates, which means that businesses need to use pre-approved message templates when sending certain types of messages, such as shipping updates and appointment reminders. This is done to ensure that businesses that use the WhatsApp Business API don’t send spam or irrelevant messages to customers.

User-generated messages, on the other hand, are not subject to message templates. That businesses have more flexibility when responding to customer inquiries and support requests. However, businesses need to respond to user-generated messages within 24 hours, or they risk losing the ability to send further messages to that customer outside of the 24-hour window.

Is the WhatsApp API for you?

With the ever changing business environment where customers are demanding new ways to engage, the WhatsApp Business API can be a great tool in the arsenal of a business. It can help a business streamline delivery of service to its customers and take engagement to new levels. This is especially true across Africa where WhatsApp has a very high market share compared to other similar platforms.

Is your business considering adopting WhatsApp for Business?

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