Before you start

The first thing you need to know when starting using WhatsApp with Bird is that this is not the same type of WhatsApp channel commonly used on your mobile device.

The WhatsApp consumer app and the WhatsApp Business API service that Bird provides are two different Meta offerings with their own set up functionalities.

See the chart below for an overview of the differences you can expect:

Requirements to use WhatsApp with Bird

Now let’s take a look at what you will require to start using WhatsApp with Bird:

Before getting started make sure that your business complies with Meta regulations here. Some businesses not allowed on WhatsApp include political parties, real money gambling, dating services and others.

Step one: Top up your wallet

WhatsApp is a transactional channel which means that before getting started with WhatsApp you will need some balance in order to be able to send WhatsApp messages and purchase any required numbers. To top up your wallet follow the instructions highlighted here.

Step two: Have administrator access to a Facebook Business Manager Account

The first requirement to set up a WhatsApp Business API is having administrator access to a Facebook Business Manager Account.

  • You may have never used this tool before but it is possible that your company may have one already if your company has run ads on Facebook or Instagram before, so ask your marketing team if this is something they are familiar with and can give you access to.

  • If you are certain that you don’t have a Facebook Business Manager Account yet, create one from here.

Step three - Choose a phone number

The next step is choosing a phone number to create your WhatsApp channel at Bird. Here we have 3 possible scenarios:

1. The simplest way to go about it is using a brand new number.

  • For this you can use one of Bird’s Virtual Mobile Numbers that you can purchase from the dashboard here. This is our recommendation.

  • Buy a SIM card at any carrier store such as Vodafone, Orange etc.

2. Bringing a number currently connected to the WhatsApp app to Bird.

  • If this is the case please note that a phone number can only be connected either to the WhatsApp app or to Bird, using both simultaneously is not supported.

  • This means that if you want to use the number currently associated with the WhatsApp app, you can, but you will lose access to the app. You will be able to answer any incoming queries from Bird’s Inbox instead, our website is mobile friendly so you can still reply from your phone.

  • It is also not possible to migrate WhatsApp app conversation history to Bird but you can export your chat history by following these steps.

If you are ready to migrate your number please follow these steps:

  1. Open WhatsApp Messenger or WhatsApp Business app on your mobile.

  2. Navigate to Settings > Account.

  3. Select Delete my account as shown below.

  4. Wait for 10 mins and attempt to connect the number in Bird.

3. Migrating a WhatsApp Business API from a different provider.

In this case please follow the instructions stated here.

Step four: Creating your channel

Once you have administrator access to your Facebook Business Account and a phone number that can be used to create your WhatsApp channel with Bird follow the steps highlighted here to install your channel.

  • If you have bought a number from Bird select the verified number in the dropdown below:

  • If you are using a phone number that doesn’t belong to Bird make sure that you have access to receiving either a SMS or calls in such a number as this will be required in order to activate your channel.

If you are using a number connected to an automated voice response system make sure to disconnect this automation prior to starting your channel installation process.

Step five: Verify your business

After creating your channel you will be required to verify your business on Facebook (if not verified yet). This is a Meta requirement in order for you to be able to blast campaigns over WhatsApp. To check if your channel is verified login to your Facebook Business Manager Account >> Business Info.

  • If the business is not verified click the option “start verification”.

  • To verify your business you will need to submit certain documentation for Meta approval as highlighted here. Make sure to submit accurate documentation, otherwise, if Meta rejects your verification request, you will need to wait 1 month to retry verification.

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