WhatsApp Self Sign-up with the Twilio Console
Twilio WhatsApp Self Sign-up, or "Embedded Sign-up", provides you with an easy way to get up and running with WhatsApp. This process is self-service, and you can get started from the Twilio Console. If your Meta Business Manager has not yet been verified, certain restrictions will apply until the Business Manager has been verified (see below).
If you are not onboarding a WhatsApp sender for your own business, STOP!
Twilio customers who have already onboarded to WhatsApp or those attempting to onboard their customers to WhatsApp, e.g. Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) or System Integrators (SIs), are ineligible for this process to register WhatsApp senders for their customers. Please review "Getting Started with WhatsApp" for details on how to proceed.
Before you get started with this guide, you'll need:
- An upgraded Twilio Account. If you are new to Twilio, create a free account and upgrade it by linking a payment method.
- A Twilio Phone Number. View instructions for purchasing a Twilio Phone Number here.
- You may alternatively choose to "Bring your own number" (BYON) instead of using a Twilio number. However, the number must be able to receive an SMS or phone call. If the number can only receive phone calls, it cannot be using an IVR.
- If your business already has a Meta Business Manager account created, you'll also need
- access to a Facebook account that has been added to the Meta Business Manager for your business
- access to create a new WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) or access to an existing WABA
Let's get started!
1. Create a WhatsApp Sender
To create a WhatsApp Sender:
- Start by logging into the Twilio Console.
- Click here or navigate to Messaging > Senders > WhatsApp senders. This will take you to the WhatsApp Enabled Senders section of the console where you will create your WhatsApp sender.
- Review the information on this page and click "Get Started".
- View WhatsApp's Terms of Service and check the box if you agree to them. Then click Confirm.
- Next, select the phone number you wish to connect to WhatsApp’s Business API. You may use your Twilio Number or your own phone number.
2. Link your WhatsApp Business Account with your Twilio Account
There is a one-to-one association between your WhatsApp Business account and your Twilio account. Therefore, you’ll link your WhatsApp Business account with the Twilio phone number that you chose in the previous step.
This step will open a pop-up window leading to Facebook.com. Do not close the pop-up window or navigate to a different page in the Twilio Console. You will need the Twilio Console window for later steps in this guide.
Log into Facebook if you haven't already or click Continue as [your name] if you’re already signed in. After logging in, you will be shown an overview of the process to connect your number to WhatsApp.
Facebook will then ask you to allow Twilio to manage your WhatsApp Business Account. Click Continue to proceed.
On the next screen, select your the Meta Business Account for your business from the list. If you don't have one, you may create a new one by selecting the option Create a Business Account.
Next, you will be able to create a WhatsApp Business Account (WABA). If you already have an existing WABA with another provider, you should create a new one to use with Twilio.
If you have already onboarded a WhatsApp sender in this Twilio account, a WhatsApp Business Account has already been linked to your Twilio account. You must select the same WhatsApp Business Account in this step, otherwise the sender registration will fail. The Twilio Console will specify the WhatsApp Business Account's ID previously linked. If you cannot select the WABA with the ID shown, please make sure you have selected the correct Business Manager.
At this time, Twilio only supports one WABA per account.
On the next screen, you will need to enter in the following information:
WhatsApp Business Account Name - This is only used for internal purposes and is not consumer facing. If you are onboarding additional senders and have selected the WABA that's already connected in your account, you will not be able to change the name here.
WhatsApp Business Profile Display Name - This is what your customers will see. It must meet the requirements set by WhatsApp. See below for more guidance.
Category - Select the category that best describes your business. This is shown to consumers when they view your profile.
Business Description - This is also shown to consumers when viewing your profile in the WhatsApp application.
Website - This is also shown to consumers when viewing your profile in the WhatsApp application. Once you register your WhatsApp Sender, you will have the ability to add an additional website if you wish.
Using a brand name in your WhatsApp Business Profile instead of your company name
We highly recommend using your company name for your display name when registering WhatsApp senders, as WhatsApp will reject anything that does not match the company name in the linked Business Manager.
However, you may have a brand name that you wish to use as the Display Name for your WhatsApp Business Profile that differs from the name of your company. If so, there must be a clear, externally published association between your company and the brand. This association between the brand and your business needs to be displayed on your website and on the Display Name itself.
For example, if your company is Johnny Mobile and your brand is "PizzaApp", then we would recommend using the Display Name "PizzaApp by Johnny Mobile". This association must be published on your website, so WhatsApp can verify it. This means that somewhere on the website, there must be a visible relationship between the two names. If you would like to keep the name "PizzaApp", this will generally require an appeal to WhatsApp and may extend the registration process.
For more information, you can go to the WhatsApp’s Display Name rules.
3. Verify your WhatsApp Business Number
If you are using a Twilio number with SMS capabilities, switch to the Twilio Console window you left open in step 2 and click to copy your Twilio number.
Then, paste the number into the Facebook pop up window. Keep the Text Message verification method selected and then click Send Code.
Alternatively, if you are using a Twilio number with Voice capabilities, follow the instructions below first in order to receive the code via email. Then, choose Voice Call and click Send Code.
If you are not using a Twilio number, enter your number you wish to use and choose your verification method.
The verification code will then show in the Twilio console under the "Verification code" heading. Click Copy and paste it into the Facebook pop-up window.
You may then click OK on the following screen to close the pop-up window.
Setting up your Twilio phone number to receive the verification code via email
If you’re using a Twilio phone number with Voice capabilities, you may choose to receive the code via a voice call. However, before having WhatsApp send your code, you first need to configure your webhook so that you can receive the code via your email address.
In the Twilio Console:
- In a new tab, navigate to the Active Numbers configuration page and look for the Twilio number that you are attempting to register with WhatsApp.
- Click on the phone number and scroll down to the Voice & Fax section to configure the number.
- In the Configure with dropdown, select the Webhook, TwiML Bin, Function, Studio Flow, Proxy Service option.
- Change the Webhook URL and use the Voicemail Twimlet following this convention:
http://twimlets.com/voicemail?Email=[your email address]. For example, your twimlet can look like this:
- Click the Save button.
Now, any incoming calls will be transcribed and sent to your email. Once you’re done registering WhatsApp, simply remove the twimlet from the Webhook field and restore what you had it configured to previously.
4. Register your number with WhatsApp
Congrats! Your WhatsApp Business Account is now linked to your Twilio account. Twilio will then begin the process to register your number with WhatsApp. This process may take up to 2 minutes.
Upon successful registration, your number will be displayed. You may click Edit Sender to use a messaging service, set your inbound message webhooks and update the rest of your WhatsApp Business profile including your profile picture.
If you haven't yet completed Meta business verification, your access to WhatsApp will be limited at first (see below). If you've already completed business verification, then you will have full access to WhatsApp.
Onboarding Additional Numbers
To onboard additional numbers, you need to repeat this process, while taking care to select the same Meta Business Manager account and WhatsApp Business Account. The Meta Business Manager and WhatsApp Business Account currently linked to your Twilio account are shown in the Twilio Console.
Please note that until you complete Meta business verification, some numbers may stay in a pending status and cannot be used to send messages. After completing Meta business verification, you may need to delete the WhatsApp senders and go through the process again to onboard them completely.
Frequently asked Questions
- Why am I still seeing a notice in the Twilio Console about completing verification when my Meta business verification is completed?
After completing Meta business verification, you may still see a notice directing you to complete verification. This is safe to ignore if you have already completed it.
- What happens if I do not complete Meta business verification?
You will be limited to two WhatsApp senders, and each sender is limited to starting 250 business-initiated conversations within a 24-hour period. You also must be verified before you can apply for an Official Business Account (OBA) status (green checkmark).
- Can I submit templates through the WhatsApp Business Manager?
No, please submit templates through the Twilio Console. If you submit a template directly through the WhatsApp Business Manager, it may not stay in sync with your Twilio account and may cause messages utilizing the template to fail.
Now that you've completed the Self Sign-Up process, you're ready to dive into other WhatsApp topics!
- Learn how to edit your WhatsApp Business Profile, to tweak how your business is represented to your customers.
- Learn how to send WhatsApp notification messages using templates.
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