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Effective from June 1, 2023: WhatsApp Conversation Based pricing

Meta introduced a conversation-based pricing model to charge businesses that use the WhatsApp Business API.

These rates will take effect from June 1, 2023. Click here for current pricing.

Free Conversations

Each WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) will receive 1,000 free user-initiated conversations. The free tier is refreshed monthly.

How It Works

WhatsApp Business API conversations can either be:

  • User-initiated, A conversation that initiates in response to a user message. Any time a business replies to a user within the 24 hour customer service window, that message will be associated with a user-initiated conversation.

  • Business-initiated, A conversation that initiates from a business sending a user a message outside the 24 hour customer service window. Messages that initiate a business-initiated conversation will require a message template.

All conversations are measured in 24-hour "sessions", that start whenever the first message from a business is delivered. The first message can be initiated by the business (business-initiated) or a business reply within 24 hours of a user message (user-initiated). A user is defined as the person or entity with whom the business is messaging (customer, student, patient, guests)

Not to be confused with the 24 Hour Customer Care Window. These windows are separate from each other.

Conversation categories and how they apply to your pricing

Businesses can initiate a conversation using a WhatsApp Template message. The category of the template message used will define the conversation category.

There are three business-initiated conversation categories:

  1. Utility conversations - Facilitate a specific, agreed-upon request or transaction or update to a customer about an ongoing transaction, including post-purchase notifications and recurring billing statements

  2. Authentication conversations - Enable businesses to authenticate users with one-time passcodes, potentially at multiple steps in the login process (e.g., account verification, account recovery, integrity challenges)

  3. Marketing conversations - Include promotions or offers, informational updates, or invitations for customers to respond / take action. Any conversation that does not qualify as utility or authentication is a marketing conversation.

The fourth category is service conversations – all user-initiated conversations will be categorized as service conversations, which help customers resolve enquiries.

💡We set up some examples to show you how WhatsApp defines conversations and when certain costs are calculated.

Charges for conversations are based on the user’s phone number (countrycode). Rates for business-initiated conversations and user-initiated conversations vary by market (country or region). See Meta's rates for the specific pricing of both user- and business initiated conversations per country/region.


Will the conversation types be specified per customer on the invoice?

Yes - we separate out conversations on the invoice.


Each WABA gets 1000 free user-initiated conversations. If I contact a customer (within the free 1000), and we have another conversation a week later, do we pay for both, one, or none?

These are just 1000 free user-initiated conversations per month (regardless of whether it's to a repeated number). Outside of these 1000, you would pay for two conversations in this situation.


How does WhatsApp apply the 1000 free conversations per month?

No charges will be incurred for the first 1000 free user-initiated conversations.


What happens if someone sends spam to a company? Do we have to pay for that conversation because it's user-initiated?

User charges are only incurred if the company responds (so the company can choose to ignore spam).


What happens if a company receives a message from a user but does not respond? Will there be any charges?

No charges will be incurred if the company does not respond.


If a user sends a message and the company responds more than 24 hours later with a template. Will we be charged for both the user-initiated and company-initiated message or only for the company-initiated conversation?

The 24-hour session starts when the company responds (and is therefore charged as one user-initiated message).


WhatsApp does not know when a conversation ends. When does the 24-hour window start again?

The window is fixed at 24 hours (once the company sends a message). Messages (even if part of the same logical conversation) sent after the 24-hour window will be charged as a new conversation.


How can we know what the current costs are if we want to know halfway through the month?

No current way - invoices with a breakdown of costs are generated monthly.


I have set up an automatic response. Will these responses cause my company to respond to spam messages and thus incur a user-initiated conversation cost?

Yes, an automatic reply counts as an actual response and is therefore charged as a user-initiated conversation.


Source: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/whatsapp/updates-to-pricing