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WhatsApp – Limitations & Advanced Features

In this article we will discuss certain limitations of the WhatsApp Business API and newly introduced features

Go straight to: 
  1. Limitations of WhatsApp Business API
  2. Advanced Features
    -  WhatsApp Business Number Portability

    -  How to chat internally, when the WhatsApp chat is locked

1. Limitations of WhatsApp Business API

Although useful, the WhatsApp Business API also has certain limitations. Before you start using the WhatsApp Business API it is important to know the following limitations:

WhatsApp Business API restrictions

One of the things to keep in mind is the 24-hour limitation while using the WhatsApp Business API. This means that as soon as a customer sends a WhatsApp message to your WhatsApp Business Account (aka WABA) you are given 24 hours to respond to this message. This way, a so-called 24-hour service-window is started. Within these 24 hours, a normal chat can be conducted in WhatsApp, in which both parties can respond.

If you are not able to respond in 24 hours there are two alternatives which enable you to continue the chat. You can either send a SMS or make use of WhatsApp Templates, or chat internally by making use of our new feature.

Starting a chat initially is only possible with the use of WhatsApp templates on WhatsApp Business API.

Downgrade restraint

Once a phone number is registered on the WhatsApp Business API, it cannot be used for WhatsApp Business or the WhatsApp consumer app. A phone number can be upgraded to the WhatsApp Business API, but never downgraded.

More information on the WhatsApp and Facebook policy around this matter can be found in the Facebook developers guide.

Group chat

Currently, WhatsApp group chat is not supported within the WhatsApp business API.

Calling through WhatsApp 

Currently, WhatsApp doesn't support calling through their WhatsApp Business API.

2. Advanced Features

WhatsApp Business Number Portability

Recently, it has become possible for businesses to migrate their WhatsApp Number from one BSP to another BSP provider.

Last week, WhatsApp released support for businesses to be able to migrate their WhatsApp phone numbers from one WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) to another one, in other words, businesses can now migrate their WhatsApp Number from one BSP to another BSP provider.

WhatsApp's solution is a self-service API-based solution where BSPs can call an API to migrate a phone number between the Source and Destination WhatsApp Business Accounts. The phone migration is initiated by the destination BSP or business that owns the destination WABA. (i.e., the new BSP the business is migrating to).

After being migrated, a phone number keeps its display name, quality status, messaging limits, Official Business Account status, and any High quality message templates previously approved. Migration does not create any downtime in sending messages. Messages and chat history are not migrated.

How to chat internally, when the WhatsApp chat is locked ("WhatsApp template only")

You may have noticed that when a WhatsApp chat is "locked" (waiting for the recipients to accept the chat), there is no typing area accessible to type your /command or @commenting to a teammate.
To use the commands, you can click on one of the message prefixes below the typing area, this will override the WA template lock and lets you write your own message anyway.  



WhatsApp Business prices change in 2022 - click here for more info

All information about phone number migration is now publicly available on Facebook's developer documentation here. Please also see their FAQ.

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