As of May 2022, most direct customers are now being enabled via the self signup onboarding process and the instructions below no longer apply.
In this guide, we walk you through getting your Twilio phone number approved to be used with WhatsApp. This gives you the ability to receive and send messages from your Twilio number through the WhatsApp. If you want to use a non-Twilio number, please refer to this article.
If you don't have access to WhatsApp, follow the Requesting Access to WhatsApp guide.
At a high level, to enable your Twilio number for WhatsApp, you must complete the following steps:
- Submit a WhatsApp Sender request in the Twilio console
- Approve Twilio to message on your behalf in the Meta Business Manager console
- Submit your Meta Business Manager account for Business Verification
- (Twilio completes your WhatsApp Sender registration)
This guide includes instructions for both direct businesses and third-party vendors. Third party vendors include independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators (SIs) who are implementing WhatsApp on behalf of another company or brand. Under each step, look for the Note for third-party vendors subheading to find specific instructions.
For additional guidance on WhatsApp ISV/SI onboarding, please refer to Integrating WhatsApp with Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and System Integrators (SI)
Before getting started, please make sure your business meets the eligibility criteria for the WhatsApp Business API.
Please make sure your business is not on the list of prohibited verticals is listed in WhatsApp's commerce policy. In addition, developers will need to verify their business through Meta Business Manager as part of the WhatsApp onboarding process.
Note: Once a number is registered with WhatsApp on Twilio's API or with any other Business Solution Provider, that number can no longer be used in the WhatsApp consumer or business app. WhatsApp may allow numbers to be deleted from the API after a 3 month period of inactivity.
To connect your Twilio number with your WhatsApp Business Account, have the following information handy:
- Meta Business Manager account ID: If you do not already have one, please follow Meta's instructions on setting up a business manager account. WhatsApp uses the Meta Business Manager account to identify your business to safeguard the WhatsApp ecosystem.
- Twilio account: You will need your Twilio Account SID, which you can find in the Twilio console. At this time, trial accounts are not eligible to create a WhatsApp Business Profile with Twilio.
Please note for third-party vendors: If you are a third-party vendor, independent software vendor (ISV) or system integrator (SI), you will also need:
- Twilio Subaccount for your client: This is where your client’s account will be provisioned. It is the subaccount on your (the ISV's) account. You must submit this Account SID in the "Request Access" form, both in the main Account Sid field and in the "Assign approval to alternate Account SID" field.
For additional guidance on WhatsApp ISV/SI onboarding, please refer to Integrating WhatsApp with Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and System Integrators (SI).
Note: If you have received an email notifying that you are in the "WhatsApp Self-Serve Sign Up" beta, the instructions below do not apply. Please follow the WhatsApp Self-Serve Sign Up instructions and refer to the email you received for more details. For additional assistance, open a ticket with the Support Team.
You will receive a pre-approval email containing "next steps" that instruct you to submit a sender profile and Message Templates.
If you want to use your number, and that number has never been registered with the WhatsApp Business API, then it can be used to register with Twilio. You will still need to follow the steps described in this guide.
- If you want to port your number to Twilio, please read our support article about moving an existing WhatsApp Number to Twilio.
- If you just want to register your own number without porting it to Twilio, please read our support article about activating your own number.
Click here or navigate to the Messaging > Senders > WhatsApp Senders section in the Twilio Console. Click the "Submit a WhatsApp Sender" button to create a new sender profile. If you already have a WhatsApp sender, the button will say "New WhatsApp Sender".
When you submit a business profile, your "Display Name" must be the business name used in the Facebook Business Manager account. If you want to use another name, it must follow WhatsApp’s Display Name rules.
Twilio will submit your Display Name to WhatsApp. This is the final piece of information that WhatsApp will need to approve to register your number. You will receive automated confirmation through Zendesk that your Profile Information form has been received.
Logos are not reviewed by WhatsApp and can be set by submitting a link to an image as part of your WhatsApp Sender Profile. Please be aware of the following requirements when submitting a logo:
- Minimum size restriction: 640x640 px
- Maximum size restriction: 5 MB
- Square aspect ratio
- PNG or JPG (JPG recommended)
- No clear (alpha) background
You can update your logo after your sender profile is approved by navigating to the WhatsApp Senders page and clicking on the sender.
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 info, see WhatsApp's Display Name rules.
When you receive notice that Twilio has submitted your Display Name and number to WhatsApp, you will need to approve Twilio to send messages on your behalf. You will receive an email to "Approve Twilio to message on behalf of" in Facebook Business Messenger. This email usually has the subject "WhatsApp Profile Request."
Go to the Facebook Business Manager console and approve Twilio to "message on behalf of." You can find this request by following this link, or navigating to business.facebook.com > Business Settings > Requests section. Once there, click the Approve button.
Please note: If you have already verified your Meta Business Manager account previously, you will not need to complete this step again. Consult Meta's documentation about verifying your business for more information.
As soon as you receive the ability to "Approve" Twilio to send messages on your behalf, you will be able to verify your Meta Business Manager account if you have not already done so. In the Meta Business Manager>> Settings console, click the Start or Continue button under in the Verification section.
(The verification button may be greyed out prior to starting the onboarding process.)
You may be required to upload supporting documents to verify your business. See Meta's guide on uploading official documents to verify your business for more information.
The Meta Business Verification process can take anywhere from 5 to 20 business days, depending on your region and company type. If you have not heard back from Meta in more than 10 business days, please let the Twilio team know.
After you approve Twilio to message on your behalf, Twilio will complete the registration process to register your WhatsApp sender. You will receive an email confirmation that Twilio has finalized the registration of your profile.
At this point, your Sender is ready to receive messages from customers in production. You can test this by sending a WhatsApp message to your Twilio number and checking the Message Logs section in the Twilio Console. Once you receive a message, you can reply within 24 hours with free-form messages. You can read more about Conversational messaging with WhatsApp here.
To start conversations with new users, or with existing users who have not sent you a message for more than 24 hours, you are required to use a message template. To submit a message template, navigate to Messaging > Senders > WhatsApp Templates.
Learn more about WhatsApp Message Templates here.
Once your Twilio number is connected to WhatsApp, you have many options.