Meta is changing the Whatsapp conversation-based pricing that will be effective from 1st June 2023.
Check out this post to find out everything included in the new update.
Old Pricing Model
In the existing model, conversations are split into only two categories — Business Initiated Conversations (BIC) and User Initiated Conversations (UIC).
All types of conversations initiated by the business fall under the BIC category and conversations initiated by the users fall under the UIC category and businesses are charged based on these two categories.
Refer to this page to learn more about the old pricing.
New Pricing Model
In this update, Meta is introducing three new categories under the Business Initiated Conversations and there will be total 4 categories as stated below:
1. Utility Conversations
Business-initiated conversations that are related to any transaction including post-purchase notifications (such as delivery updates, order status, etc.) and recurring billing statements will fall under utility conversations.
2. Authentication Conversations
Business-initiated conversations that help businesses to verify a customer with one-time passwords at multiple steps during login processes such as account recovery, account registration, etc. will fall under authentication conversations.
3. Marketing Conversations
Business-initiated conversation used by businesses for marketing or promotion of products or services or to provide offers etc.
All the business-initiated conversations that don’t fall under utility conversations and authentication conversations fall under marketing conversations.
4. Service Conversations
All the user-initiated conversations will fall under the service conversations, which help customers to resolve their queries.
Refer to this page to learn more about the new pricing.
Free Tier Conversations
Earlier, each WABA used to receive 1000 free conversations in both BIC and UIC.
Now, each WABA will receive 1000 free User Initiated Conversations (service conversations) only each month.
Changes to Free Entry Point Conversations
Free entry point conversations are conversations that initiate from Ads that Click to WhatsApp or Facebook Page CTAs.
I already mentioned above that when a user messages businesses, it initiates the service conversation, and service conversation charges are incurred.
But when a user messages businesses by clicking on call-to-action buttons on ads that click to Whatsapp or Facebook page call-to-action button, it is not considered a service conversation, and no charges are incurred.
Starting March 1, Whatsapp is extending the free conversation window from 24 hours to 72 hours when the user messages businesses through these entry points.
Also, when a free entry point conversation is opened, no other conversation can be opened. This means even if the business sends messages to users during the 72 hours window of free entry point conversation, it will not be considered a conversation and no charges will be incurred.
How the conversation charges will be initiated?
Conversation charges will be based on the template category.
When you’re creating a template in Whatsapp Business Manager or Business Manager API, you have to choose a template category based on which the conversation charges will be initiated.
If the selected category does not match with the Whatsapp categorization, Whatsapp will reject the template.
Whenever a conversation is initiated, based on the template category of that conversation, charges are incurred.
If a conversation is initiated during a 24-hour window of an open conversation of that same category, no extra charges will be incurred.
Meaning, if a utility template is delivered during an open utility conversation, it won’t open a new utility conversation and no extra charges for this conversation will be incurred.
Check out the below examples to understand it better —
Example 1: Opening a marketing conversation inside a service conversation
When a service conversation is already opened and during its 24-hour window, a new marketing message is delivered, it then starts a new separate marketing conversation
When a business answer to a customer message is delivered at 9:31, a service conversation is initiated. While this service conversation is still open at 4:30, a marketing message is delivered. This starts a new separate marketing conversation. As a result, there is one charge for a service conversation and one charge for a marketing conversation.
Example 2: Two templates of the same category result in only one conversation charge
When a conversation is already opened and during its 24-hour window, a new message is delivered of the same category as the already opened conversation, it will not be counted as a new conversation.
When a utility template message is delivered at 9:00, a utility conversation is initiated. At 11:00, another utility template message is delivered while the utility conversation is still open. Because the template category used within the open chat window did not change, there is no new conversation charge. As a result, there is only one utility conversation charge.
Example 3: One template with both utility and marketing content
Whenever a template is delivered that includes content that is both utility and marketing as per the Whatsapp guidelines, in that case, only the marketing conversation charges will be incurred.
Whenever marketing content is identified in a template, it will be categorized in marketing conversation. As a result, there will be only one marketing conversation charge.
I hope the above examples clarify how the conversation charges will be initiated after the new pricing update of Meta.
WhatsApp API Pricing India 2023
Check out the below table to understand the change in the conversation-based pricing after the Meta update.
Hope it clarifies how the prices will be incurred.