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WhatsApp API: Conversation and Pricing Updates [2023]

 WhatsApp API: Conversation and Pricing Updates [2023]

Throughout 2022, WhatsApp API has been recognized as one of the top marketing channels. Yielding high ROIs and better customer experience, the channel is key to achieving growth henceforth.

Recently, Meta introduced new conversation and price updates. Discover the upcoming changes to continue using the WhatsApp API seamlessly.

Changes will be effective throughout March, April, and June.

On March 1st, 2023:

  • Free Entry points

On April 1st, 2023:

  • Conversation categories

On June 1st, 2023:

  • Conversation pricing

  • Free conversations

  1. Conversation categories

  2. WhatsApp pricing

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Conversation categories

WhatsApp API initially had two message categories, user-initiated and business initiated. The first category refers to customer messages asking for help regarding certain inquiries. Once you receive a message from a customer, a 24-hour window will open; you can send unlimited non-templated messages.

While the second category includes all messages you send as a business outside the 24-hour window. It can be a marketing campaign or a simple transactional notification.

Starting April 1st, there will be new categories.


What used to be called business-initiated messages are being more clearly categorized. These are the new classifications:

  • Utility conversation:

This category includes messages related to ongoing customer transactions. It can be a message with confirmation and billing receipts notifications and delivery status updates to customers who have opted in.

  • Authentication conversation:

Using WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, this message type will help authenticate users with one-time passcodes at multiple steps during their login process, such as account registration, account recovery, and integrity challenges.

  • Marketing conversation:

It is mainly used to market a product or service to opted-in customers through promotional messages and relevant offers. It includes all advertising messages with specific CTAs, especially during retail occasions and national shopping seasons and holidays.

You will be asked to select a specific category when creating a message template on your conversation management platform.


The fourth category will be called service conversations. It’s what used to be called user-initiated conversation. It will include all conversations started by your customers.

WhatsApp pricing

WhatsApp charges differently according to various factors. This section will help you understand how the pricing system works and how much approximately you will be paying for using WhatsApp API.

Pricing model

WhatsApp based its pricing model on the importance of each conversation category. Before the updates, there was one price for the user-initiated conversation and one for the business-initiated conversation.

The recent updates included new prices. Here are the new prices according to the new categories.

Conversation type

Current price (SAR)

New price (SAR)


Marketing conversation



Drives incremental sales

Utility conversation



Facilitates existing sales

Service conversation



Helps resolve customer inquiries

Authentication conversation



Helps customers with their accounts

Charges per template

Now that messages are more clearly determined, payments are a bit different than used to be. WhatsApp will charge you based on the conversation category. Let’s say a customer started a conversation with your business, which opens a 24-hour window; you send them a promotional message during that window. This opens a separate marketing conversation. You will have two conversations open and pay 0.07 for the first and 0.15 for the second.

Free entry points

WhatsApp entry points help potential customers reach you on WhatsApp from different channels. They help promote your WhatsApp account and lure in new customers.

Conversations initiated from Ads that click to WhatsApp or Facebook Page Call to Action Buttons open a free 24-hour window. With the recent updates, Whatsapp extended the free conversation window to 72 hours to help businesses better communicate with their customers. This is effective March 1st, 2023,

Another advantage of free entry points is that you can send any type of message template within the 72-hour window without opening a new conversation and with no extra charges.

Free entry points

Free conversations

Whatsapp offers 1000 messages free per month for businesses. Before the updates, these messages could be used for business or user-initiated conversations.

However, the recent updates eliminated business-initiated conversations from the count of 1000 messages. You can only use them to reply to service conversations.

Free tier conversations

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