Send a WhatsApp Message in 30 Seconds with Ruby

April 13, 2021
Written by
Reviewed by
Phil Nash


Do I need to introduce WhatsApp? If you are reading this article, you are probably familiar with it, but in case you don't, WhatsApp is a cross-platform centralized messaging and voice-over-IP service that allows people from all over the world to communicate via text and voice calls.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to send your first WhatsApp message using the Ruby programming language and Twilio.

A bit of configuration, 30 seconds of code and you’ll be done!


To follow along with me, you will need:

Getting started

Create a new folder called ruby-whatsapp on your computer, this is where we are going to create our code files.

Install dependencies

We will need the following gems:

  • bundler for avoiding permissions error
  • twilio-ruby

First, let’s install bundler. In a terminal window, (or in a command prompt with administrative rights if you are using Windows) make sure you are in the ruby-whatsapp directory and run

gem install bundler

Let’s create a Gemfile in our ruby-whatsapp folder and seed it with:

source ''

gem 'twilio-ruby'

[See the code on GitHub]

Install the gem by running this command in the ruby-whatsapp directory in the CLI:

bundle install

Join the Whatsapp Sandbox

Go to the WhatsApp page in the Twilio Console and activate the sandbox.

screen shot of the Twilio WhatsApp sandbox

You will be redirected to the page above which shows you how to connect to your sandbox by sending a WhatsApp message through your device. In my case, I’m required to send something similar to join name-of-sandbox to +14155238886.

Get your Twilio Credentials

From your Twilio Console Dashboard, find your Account SID and Auth Token. Set these as environment variables in your console.To keep things simple, use TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID and TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN as environment variable names so we will use the same you and I.

Write the Ruby code to send WhatsApp messages

We are ready to write our Ruby code and send our first WhatsApp message.

In our ruby-whatsapp folder, let’s create a new file named whatsapp-sender.rb.

This file should contain the following code:

require 'twilio-ruby'

account_sid = ENV['TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID']
auth_token = ENV['TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN']
client =, auth_token)

message = client.messages.create(
                             from: 'whatsapp:+14155238886',
                             to: 'whatsapp:+<your WhatsApp phone number>',
                             body: 'Ahoy WhatsApp user!'

[See the code on GitHub]

Save the whatsapp-sender.rb file and run it with:

bundle exec ruby whatsapp-sender.rb

Now check your phone and see the incoming WhatsApp message you just received 🎉

Awesome! Let’s have a closer look at the code:

  • We create a new Twilio::REST::Client with our credentials
  • We send a message using this client client.messages.create
  • We set our from parameter to our WhatsApp sandbox number and specify that it’s a WhatsApp number
  • We set our to parameter to our own WhatsApp number and also specify that it’s a WhatsApp number
  • We define the message body so the message says Ahoy WhatsApp user!

And that’s it, really.

Bonus : Send images via WhatsApp with Ruby

Our code will mostly be the same as before, we just need to add a media URL to the message parameters:

# whatsapp-sender.rb
message = client.messages.create(
                             from: 'whatsapp:+14155238886',
                             to: 'whatsapp:+<your WhatsApp phone number>',
                             body: 'Ahoy WhatsApp user!',
                             media_url: ''

[See the code on GitHub]

Save the whatsapp-sender.rb file and run it with:

bundle exec ruby whatsapp-sender.rb

This will send a new WhatsApp message, containing the same text but this time with a doggo picture because everyone needs to see a cute dog from time to time. I found this photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels. The cool thing about the WhatsApp media URL parameter is that it also works for other types of files, likes PDFs and audio.

And what if you want to share something that’s not available on the World Wide Web? Twilio’s got you covered! Just upload your files to your Twilio account as assets and and send them to WhatsApp users by using their URL as media-url in the Ruby code.

Wrapping up

Woo, you just learned how to send WhatsApp messages from your Ruby code! And how to add cute puppies to your messages, too.

It’s a very good start. You can continue your journey by learning how to receive and reply to WhatsApp messages in Ruby or you could go deeper and build a location-aware WhatsApp weather bot with Ruby, Sinatra and Twilio. The choice is yours!

I can’t wait to see what you build!

Valériane Venance is a Developer Evangelist at Twilio. Leave her a message at or on Twitter if you’ve built something cool with Ruby. She’d love to hear about it!