Install WhatsApp

WhatsApp can be installed from the Channels Marketplace. Once installed, you'll have immediate access to a limited set of messaging features. To gain access full access to WhatsApp's messaging features, you'll need to apply for Business Verification.

What you'll need

WhatsApp has specific criteria that you'll need to meet when installing the channel. Make sure you're familiar with the rules before you start.

  • An existing personal Facebook account to create or link a Meta Business Manager account. If you are linking an existing Business Account, your personal account must be an admin on the Business Account.

  • The legal name of your company.

  • Your WhatsApp Business display name, which will be visible to your customers.

  • The URL of your business' website

  • Your business email address. If you don't have one yet, you can create one during the installation process.

  • The company phone number that you want to send WhatsApp messages with.

  • If you are using your own number access to that phone number for verification during the sign-up process.

Installation steps

Step one: Choose a phone number

  1. Click the Channels tab at the top of your screen to view the channels library.

  2. Click WhatsApp, then click WhatsApp.

  3. Under "Step 1":

    • Under "Step 1": To purchase a new Bird number, click "buy a number".

    • If you have your own number or are using another provider's number, select "I have my own number".

MessageBird numbers that appear in the dropdown list are pre-verified for use with WhatsApp and you will not need to get an OTP code during installation. These will appear as BSP-provided numbers.

Step two: Connect to Meta and WhatsApp Business Accounts:

  1. Under "Step 2", click Click here to start.

  2. Log in to your Facebook account and follow the instructions.

    • If you already have a Meta Business Account, select it and then choose the associated WhatsApp Business account.

    • If not, click on "Create a Business Account" and fill in your business details.

  3. Click Get started.

  4. At the end of the "Connect your account to MessageBird" section, click Continue to share permissions with Messagebird. This allows us to connect your WhatsApp account to MessageBird.

Step three: Setup your WhatsApp Business Profile:

If you already have a WhatsApp Business Profile

  1. Select the WhatsApp Business Profile.

  2. Click Continue.

If you don't have a WhatsApp Business Profile

  1. Select Create new WhatsApp Business Account.

  2. Choose your Time zone from the drop-down.

  3. Click Continue.

Add a display name, category, and description

  1. In the WhatsApp Business Display Name field, type your business's name, then click Continue.

  2. From the Category drop-down, select your business category.

  3. In the Business description field, type a description for your business, then click Continue.

All of the information that you enter in this section will be visible to your customers when they contact you on WhatsApp.

Step four: Select or Verify your WhatsApp Business Number

BSP provided number

If you are using a number that you purchased from MessageBird this should appear under "BSP-provided numbers'. These numbers have already been verified for use on WhatsApp and do not require additional verification. Select the number you wish to install from the list and click Next to complete the installation.

Existing number

If you already have a number associated with your WhatsApp Business Profile, select it here. otherwise, you'll need to register a new number on WhatsApp.

Once your number is set up for WhatsApp Business API, it cannot be disconnected. If you switch from the WhatsApp Business App to the API using the same number, you cannot switch back to the app with the same number. You will need to connect a new clean number.

Verify your own business number

If you are using a number registered with another provider you will need to register and verify this for use on WhatsApp. Ensure that this number is set up to receive OTP codes either via SMS or Voice.

Register a new number

  1. Select Register a new number on WhatsApp.

  2. From the county code drop-down, select the number's country code.

  3. In the number field, type the number that you want to connect to WhatsApp.

  4. Click Continue.

Verify the phone number

Now that you've registered your phone number, WhatsApp will verify it by sending either a text message or placing a voice call. In the call or the message, you will receive a six-digit verification code.

  1. Enter the six-digit verification code.

  2. Select if you received the message via text message or via voice call.

  3. Click Verify.

Now that your number has been verified, you can start to use WhatsApp to send and receive messages and communicate with your customers!

What should I do next?

Until your business is verified, you'll only be able to use WhatsApp on a limited basis. Apply for business verification now to get full access to WhatsApp's capabilities.

Installation criteria and rules

WhatsApp number requirements

When installing WhatsApp, you will need to use a valid phone number, which you must have access to during the installation process.

The following rules apply:

  • Number ownership: You must own the phone number that you want to use for WhatsApp Business API. This means that you must have legal control over the number, either by owning it or by having the authorization to use it for business purposes.

  • Number format: The phone number that you register must follow the international format, which includes a country code and an area code. For example, if the phone number is from the United States and has the area code "408" and the number "555-1212", the full number would be "+1-408-555-1212".

  • Number availability: If you are using a number from another provider or the number does not appear in the BSP provided numbers list, you must able to receive calls or SMS messages. WhatsApp will send a verification code to the number as part of the activation process.

  • Number cleanliness: The phone number must be "clean", which means that it hasn't been previously registered with WhatsApp by another user. If the phone number has been used before, it might be associated with a different account, and WhatsApp won't be able to activate it for your business.

Accepted number types

You can use the following number types with WhatsApp:

  • Landline numbers: These are fixed-line numbers that are typically associated with businesses.

  • Mobile numbers: These are traditional mobile phone numbers that can receive SMS messages.

  • Virtual Mobile Numbers (VMN): These are mobile numbers that aren't associated with a physical SIM card, but are voice-capable. VMNs can be purchased from MessageBird and used for WhatsApp Business API activation. The activation token will be sent via a voice call to the VMN.

Prohibited number types
  • Shortcodes

  • Numbers with an IVR (automated call menu) attached to it, unless this feature can be disabled to receive the activation token.

  • Toll-free numbers

Prohibited business verticals

The following business verticals are not allowed by WhatsApp and will not be approved:

  • Adult content

  • Alcohol

  • Animal sales, including live animals, livestock, or any parts of animals

  • Currency

  • Dating

  • Defense

  • Digital subscription and digital content

  • Drugs or related products

  • Gambling

  • Tobacco

  • Weapons, ammunition, explosiv

WhatsApp Business account permissions

To install WhatsApp, you need to grant MessageBird permission to access and manage your WhatsApp account.

You will share:

  • Account access to allow MessageBird to create templates, add phone numbers, send messages, access metrics and assign users to your WhatsApp account.

  • Billing management permissions. By default, a business is billed through MessageBird monthly invoice and we will pass on any charges that your WhatsApp business account incurs.

WhatsApp Business Display name

You must add a display name that you will use to message customers. The display name must meet Facebook’s Display Name Guidelines.

If the display name represents a business that your company is working with (i.e., if the business is an agency, distributor, partner, or parent company), then the relationship between the business represented in the display name and end-client business must be evident and clear in both parties’ business websites.

For example, if Global Voyager signs up for WhatsApp and wants to use the display name Commercial Air, you must submit links to both websites stating that Commercial Air is a subsidiary of Global Voyager.

If you check the box to say that your display name is different from their legal business name, you will then be prompted to enter a link to a website citing the business relationship.

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