WhatsApp Conversation Based-Pricing Replaces Template-Based Pricing.
Starting from February 1st, 2022, WhatsApp has transitioned from template-based pricing to conversation based pricing. Following a successful testing phase in Mexico, WhatsApp has now implemented conversation based pricing globally.
In essence, this new pricing model charges businesses based on conversations rather than individual messages sent or received.
But what exactly defines a conversation and how does it impact your payment to WhatsApp and your WhatsApp partner? Is it beneficial? This article aims to answer all your questions and provide a comprehensive understanding of WhatsApp conversation-based pricing.
Know how Previously WhatsApp was charging from Businesses using WhatsApp Business API?
Previously, WhatsApp employed a fee structure based on template messages for businesses using the WhatsApp Business API. The charges varied depending on the country code of the user.
WhatsApp categorized its messages into two types:
- Template messages and
- Session messages.
Template messages were sent by businesses, either outside the 24-hour session window or as the first message. Once a user responded, it initiated a session window that lasted for 24 hours from the user’s last message.
Session Messages: The initial 24-hour session between a user and a business was free of charge. During this period, businesses could send messages to users without incurring any fees.
Under the template-based pricing model, WhatsApp primarily generated revenue from template messages. Businesses were charged a fee for each message sent, based on the user’s country code. A country-wise conversation pricing sheet was made available to businesses for reference.
It’s important to note that with the Conversation Based Pricing model, the per-message charges for template messages and media messages have been eliminated. Instead, businesses are now charged per conversation, whether it is a User-Initiated Conversation (UIC) or a Business-Initiated Conversation (BIC), within a 24-hour window.
What exactly is WhatsApp conversation based pricing?
Conversation-based pricing entails WhatsApp charging for each conversation, which can be either a business-initiated conversation (BIC) or a user-initiated conversation (UIC).
A WhatsApp conversation refers to a 24-hour messaging window that starts when a business messages a user, thus initiating the conversation, or when a business responds to a user’s message. Incoming messages from users are free, and charges only apply when the business responds to the user’s message.
To qualify as a conversation, the following conditions must be met:
- Business responding to a user message, thereby initiating a user-initiated conversation (UIC).
- Business starting the conversation by sending a pre-approved template message, thereby initiating a business-initiated conversation (BIC).
Within a 24-hour conversation session, businesses and users can exchange an unlimited number of messages, including template messages, without incurring additional charges.
WhatsApp charges a specific fee for each BIC and UIC, which varies depending on the country code of the users.
In conversation-based pricing, businesses are charged for each conversation within a 24-hour window. There are no charges per message. Businesses can freely exchange any number of messages with the user during the 24-hour conversation window.
But what distinguishes Business-initiated conversations from User-initiated conversations?
(1) User-initiated Conversation
When a business responds to a user message within the 24-hour session window, it triggers a user-initiated conversation (UIC). The 24-hour session window commences when a user messages the business and remains valid for 24 hours from the user’s latest/last message. During this period, businesses can respond with any message without requiring prior approval.
If a business fails to respond within the 24-hour session window, they will need to initiate the conversation with a pre-approved template message.
In the given example, the 24-hour session window starts at 1:09 PM. The user-initiated conversation begins when the business responds to the user’s message, in this case, at 3:30 PM, and is charged according to UIC pricing. The UIC will remain valid until 3:30 PM the next day. If the conversation continues after 3:30 PM, the business will incur charges for another conversation.
The pricing for UIC, as determined by WhatsApp, is ₹0.35 for recipients in India.
(2) Business Initiated Conversation
Regarding business-initiated conversations (BIC), when a business initiates the conversation with a template message outside
When a business sends a Template message as the first message or outside the 24-hour session window, it is considered a business-initiated conversation. Prior to initiating such conversations, businesses are required to get their template messages approved, a process that typically takes 15 minutes to 3 hours.
To ensure a smooth experience, businesses need to follow the guidelines outlined in the WhatsApp Template Message guide, which provides valuable insights on creating template messages with a high probability of approval (up to 90%).
Unlimited Messaging within the 24-Hour Window: The advantage of initiating a Business-Initiated Conversation is that once a business pays for one conversation, it gains the ability to exchange unlimited messages with the user for the next 24 hours. This provides businesses with ample opportunity to engage in meaningful and continuous conversations with their customers.
Pricing and Cost: Business-initiated conversations are priced at ₹0.55 per conversation. With this fixed charge, businesses can interact with users without incurring additional costs for each message sent within the 24-hour window. This pricing model eliminates per-message charges for Template Messages, offering greater flexibility and cost control.
6 Key Pointers about WhatsApp Conversation based pricing:
- User-initiated Conversations (UICs) are priced lower than Business-initiated conversations (BICs). UICs cost ₹0.35 per conversation, while BICs cost ₹0.55 per conversation.
- User-initiated conversations are chargeable only when a business responds to a user message within 24 hours. If the conversation meets this condition, it will be considered a UIC.
- Business-initiated conversations (BICs) are charged from the moment a business sends a pre-approved template message to users outside the 24-hour session window or initiates messaging with the user.
- With Conversation-based pricing, WhatsApp has eliminated per-message charges for Template Messages. Businesses can send an unlimited number of messages to users within a 24-hour conversation without incurring extra charges.
- Each 24-hour conversation incurs a single charge. Conversations that extend beyond the initial 24-hour duration will be charged again based on the type of conversation (UIC or BIC).
- The pricing structure is based on the user’s country code. Conversation charges vary depending on the user’s region.
Regarding the rate cards for WhatsApp Conversational Based Pricing:
- User-Initiated Conversation: ₹0.35 per Conversation.
- Business-Initiated Conversation: ₹0.55 per Conversation.
Under Conversation-based pricing, there are no per-message charges. Each conversation within a 24-hour duration is only charged once. Businesses and users can exchange unlimited messages during the 24-hour duration.
However, if the conversation extends beyond the 24-hour window or if there’s a new conversation initiated after the 24-hour window, additional charges will apply.
It’s important to note that the session window stays open for 24 hours from the user’s last message. If there is any message exchange within this period, it falls under the same conversation.
In the Conversation based pricing model, there are certain aspects that remain the same:
- 24-Hour Session Window: The 24-hour session window still exists and starts from the latest messages sent by the user. During this window, businesses can freely exchange messages with users without incurring charges. After the 24-hour window expires, businesses can only send template messages to initiate a Business Initiated Conversation (BIC). Template messages can be used to send pre-approved messages to users outside the 24-hour session window.
- Template Messages: While businesses no longer need to pay for template messages in terms of per-message charges, they still need to go through the approval process for each template message before sending them to users. Template messages need to adhere to WhatsApp’s guidelines and policies to ensure a seamless and compliant messaging experience for users.
These aspects ensure that there is a distinction between user-initiated conversations and business-initiated conversations, and businesses have certain guidelines to follow while engaging with users on WhatsApp.
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