Whatsapp is the largest instant messaging platform in the world with over 2 billion users. It was started in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees, Brian Acton and Jan Koum then later acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion.
Facebook has been introducing new features to Whatsapp, one being the WhatsApp Business API which enables small, medium, and large businesses to communicate with their customers at scale. Businesses can connect with agents and bots programmatically and integrate with numerous backend systems such as CRM & Marketing Platforms.
To begin setting up your bot the following requirements are needed:
- A Facebook Business Manager account
- A verified business
- A WhatsApp business account
- A Line of Credit for your WhatsApp business account
Once you have all the requirements take the following steps:
- Go to https://www.twilio.com and create an account
2. log in to your console click on try out then select send WhatsApp message in order to test in sandbox mode
3. Send the provided WhatsApp code to a provided phone number to link your WhatsApp phone number
4. Once the message is received the phone number is linked in test mode for a maximum of 3 days and you can now receive test messages from WhatsApp. Select one of the preapproved message templates and send it to your phone number.
5. For 2 way messaging send a test message to the provided phone number and provide a callback URL that can respond to the sent messages.
6. To go live click on senders then select WhatsApp sender which will ask you for the earlier requirements in order to use the API in live mode.
For message pricing check out the link https://developers.facebook.com/docs/whatsapp/pricing
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