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Getting Started with WhatsApp Business

Let's get everything ready so you can start using the WhatsApp Business API. In this quickstart, we'll walk you through the WhatsApp Business onboarding process in just 10 easy steps.

Step 1: Submit an early access request

Each business account must apply to WhatsApp for approval before gaining access to the WhatsApp Business API. MessageBird is an official partner so we will handle the application and creation of your WhatsApp Business account for you.

Submit your requestby filling out our easy form; your application will be evaluated, and if you qualify for early access, we will reach out accordingly.

Step 2: Set up a Facebook Business Manager Account

Let's create your WhatsApp Business account. We'll need your Facebook Business ID to do so. If you don’t have a Facebook Business ID yet, set up a Facebook Manager Account by logging in or signing up on Facebook's Business Manager.

Step 3: Share your Business Manager Account ID with MessageBird

Your Facebook Business Account ID is required to connect your business account with the WhatsApp Product. Don't worry, our Support team will coordinate these steps with you.

After that, you'll receive a notification in your Facebook Business account, click on it and accept the access invitation to the MessageBird WhatsApp platform.

Step 4: Choose a number for WhatsApp

We now need to connect the phone number which you'll be using for WhatsApp.

This number will be the customer-facing number to which customers can send inbound messages to and from where you can send outbound messages to customers.

It can be a Virtual Mobile Number (VMN) from MessageBird or one of your current numbers—this can either be mobile or a landline.

Check out the countries where you can get a MessageBird VMN number. Don't hesitate to contact our Support team if you have any doubts regarding VMNs.

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Keep in mind that if you decide to use your own number, it should be a clean number, that is, a number which has not been associated with WhatsApp before. Read more about how to pick a number for WhatsApp Business.

Step 5: Verify your number with WhatsApp

It's time to verify your selected number(s) with WhatsApp. We will ask you for your selected number(s) and the associated business name. Once you send them over, we will take care of your number verification and of adding your chosen business name to the number(s). Keep in mind that this name will be the name displayed on WhatsApp.

Step 6: Number verified

When your number is verified, you'll receive your Number VNAME certificate. You'll need this when connecting your account to the MessageBird Dashboard.

Step 7: Registering a Message Template

To start communicating with your customers, WhatsApp requires you to use a pre-approved Message Template (previously referred to as Highly Structured Message or HSM).

Please send us the Message Template(s) you would like to register. We will submit these for review to WhatsApp. Keep in mind that once your Message Template has been approved, it can not be edited anymore. However, you can submit new Message Templates for approval at any time.

Step 8: Connect WhatsApp to your MessageBird account

It’s time to connect your number to your MessageBird account!]

Go to 'Channels' in the sidebar of your MessageBird Dashboard. Then click on 'Add channel' under WhatsApp and complete the following three steps:

  • Add your Business Name: This is the same name provided during your number registration.
  • Add your Business Number
  • Paste or upload your VNAME certificate associated with this number.
  • Click on 'Install Now'.

Step 9: Install your WhatsApp channel

It's time to install WhatsApp as a channel.

You'll be forwarded to your channel's overview and will see that your channel is currently 'pending'.

Please refresh the page to see if the channel has been installed. Keep in mind that this stage can take up to 10 minutes.

Check out to our step-by-step Install WhatsApp as a Channel quickstart if you need further guidance.

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If the status 'Pending' is displayed for longer than 30 minutes, please contact our Support team.

Step 10: Activate your WhatsApp channel

Once your channel has been installed, you'll get the option to 'Activate Channel'.

We now need to verify the number on our side; if you are using a MessageBird VMN, please open a new window to view your incoming verification token, this code will be sent through the MessageBird Dashboard under your ‘Received messages’.

And that's it! WhatsApp is now installed 🎉

Once the number has been verified, you're all set to start using WhatsApp Business. Connect your CRM with our Programmable Conversations API to get the full use of our options!

Next steps

You may now want to check out these resources:

Questions?

We’re always happy to help with code or other questions you might have! Check out our API Reference, Developer Tutorials, or contact our Support team.

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