WhatsApp Business API Tutorial

When your customers think about mobile messaging, most of them will probably think about WhatsApp. In terms of user power, WhatsApp still tops all other messaging apps out there. To tap into that vast potential, Userlike can integrate with the new WhatsApp Business API.

With our integration, your contacts can reach you from whatever device they run WhatsApp on. Their messages will pop up in your Message Center so that your operators can deliver the best support.

This feature is available starting from our Team plan. To learn more, please get in touch with us via your dedicated account manager, our website chat or via support@userlike.com.


Facebook requires all users of their WhatsApp Business API to share some information about their intended WhatsApp usage and their setup. Our certified partner and official Business Solution Provider will handle the communication with Facebook and provide you with the necessary documents. Contact us first, we’ll connect you with our partner and they’ll support you every step of the way.

First of all, please make sure you meet the following requirements defined by Facebook for using their WhatsApp Business API:

While not required, it is helpful if you already have a verified Business Manager account on Facebook, as this can speed up the process. If your Business Manager account is not yet verified, you will be able to complete verification during the submission process.

Channel setup

Once the process with our WhatsApp partner is complete, they will provide you with all the necessary information to connect Userlike to the WhatsApp Business API.

For each WhatsApp Business number that you want to connect with Userlike, you have to create a WhatsApp channel. Click here to add a new WhatsApp channel.

Fill out the form and click **Create channel**. If the connection to the WhatsApp Business API was successful, your channel is ready to receive messages in Userlike.

WhatsApp’s 24-hour service window

On the WhatsApp channel, you can directly answer your contacts within 24 hours following their last message. After that, WhatsApp requires you to get their consent before you send further messages. It’s a measure to protect their users from unwanted marketing.

To get permission, or to simply share some important information with the contact, you can send any message templates that have been approved by WhatsApp. For more on template management, scroll down.

To trigger the message template selection in a conversation outside the 24-hour service window, try to send a message. This message will not be delivered to the contact before or after they’ve agreed to receive messages. Then, to select one of your templates, click **Send message template** at the bottom of the page.

In the following window, select a template from the dropdown menu. It contains all templates that have been approved by WhatsApp and are selected for use in the template overview. Check the preview to make sure that you’ve selected the right template, then hit **Send** to send it to your contact.

While waiting for your contacts’ permission, you can already send messages. They’ll be delivered as soon as your contacts have agreed. Note that any messages you sent prior to your permission request will not automatically be re-sent.

Managing message templates

To add, edit or delete templates, go to **Channels** > **Messaging apps**, open your WhatsApp channel settings and switch to the **MESSAGE TEMPLATES** tab. Here you’ll find an overview of all your templates and their most important information.

Adding new templates

Click on **Add template** in the template overview.

Next fill in all the fields:

**Template name:** Choose a descriptive title for your template, so it’s easy to recognize for operators in the template selection during conversations (more on that later). You can edit your template’s name at any time.

**Language:** Select the language the message’s text is written in.

**Category:** Select a category that reflects the topic of your message. The available options are provided by WhatsApp.

**Text:** The actual message that you’ll send to contacts. Just like the language and category, it cannot be edited once it’s set.

**Placeholder (optional):** Placeholders allow you to personalize your message by inserting your contact’s name, email address, customer ID, the assigned operator’s name, or the conversation subject. To do so, click on **Add placeholders**, set the placeholder type and make sure to include the placeholder itself (e.g. `{{1}}`) in your message.

You can change the placeholder type later on. Since this is not the case for your message, make sure that it contains all the placeholders you wish to use and that they’re positioned in the right place.

Placeholders can be used multiple times in a message, but the total number of placeholders you add must always match the number of placeholders you use your message. So if you don’t need a placeholder after all, just delete it.

Finally, click **CREATE TEMPLATE** to submit it for review by WhatsApp. This typically takes less than a day. You can monitor all your templates’ status in the lower part of your channel settings.

Selecting templates for use

In order to use templates in conversations, you need to first enable them in the template overview by clicking the toggle icon. By default, new templates are disabled. You can enable them once they’ve been approved by WhatsApp.

Editing and deleting templates

To edit an existing template, click the slider icon to the right of a template in the template overview. You only can edit its name and placeholder setup. To delete a template, click the trash bin icon.

Using bots on your WhatsApp channel

We offer the possibility to either integrate your own chatbot using our API or to create rule-based bot flows written in the Userlike Bot Language (UBL). Your bots can also respond to contacts reaching out to you via channels, such as WhatsApp. However, Facebook has set out some specific requirements for using bots with the WhatsApp Business API.

If you use automation to respond to contact messages, Facebook asks you to offer a direct human escalation path within the conversation. Not adhering to this guideline may result in Facebook limiting your ability to send messages via the WhatsApp Business API.

One such escalation path would be a clearly labeled option in your bot dialog flow to forward the chat to a (human) operator. You could also specify a keyword to be sent by the contact, such as “stop”, which immediately aborts the bot flow and forwards the conversation to a human. This path can be easily set up when building bots with the Userlike Bot Language. For more details, refer to our bot API or UBL tutorial.

Other acceptable escalation paths include providing a phone number to call, an email address, a web support form, and prompting in-store visits.