WhatsApp Business Platform/API with MessageBird: A step-by-step guide
January 12, 2023
Table of contents
How to Get WhatsApp Business API with MessageBird
MessageBird is one of Meta’s official Business Solution Providers (BSPs) that grants businesses access to the WhatsApp Business API. To access the API, you must create a WhatsApp Business account (WABA) with MessageBird. The entire process of creating a WABA and accessing the API can take 2-4 weeks.
If you already have a WABA account with another BSP and want to switch to MessageBird, please contact MessageBird for the instructions.
Accessing WhatsApp Business API via MessageBird consists of four main parts:
- Create a Facebook Business account (you can skip this if you already have one)
- Apply for a WhatsApp Business account via MessageBird
- Verify your Facebook Business account
- Activate your WhatsApp channel
What you need before you start
- You need a phone number that meets Meta’s criteria:
- Owned by you
- Has a country and area code, such as landline and cell numbers
- Able to receive voice calls or SMS
- Not a short code
- Not previously used with the WhatsApp Business Platform
- You need to have chosen a display name that meets Meta’s guidelines. To learn more, check out our article Best Practices for Display Names of WhatsApp Business Platform/API.
Create a Facebook Business Account
Create a Facebook Business account. You need a personal Facebook account that your business account gets connected to.
Apply for a WhatsApp Business Account on MessageBird
Create an account on MessageBird.
In your MessageBird Dashboard, click on WhatsApp Business API.
You will then be taken to a page to Get started with WhatsApp’s Business API to start your WhatsApp Business application.
Click on Get Started.
Tick the box I have a Facebook account and understand the above. Select Next: Phone number.
Tick the box I have a number that meets the above requirements. Select Next: Channel creation.
Select Create your WhatsApp channel.
A new window will pop up. Log in to your Facebook Business account using your business email and password.
Click on Continue as [Your name].
Select Get Started.
Select your desired account and click Continue.
Fill in your business information and click Continue.
Fill in your business’s address information. Click Continue.
Fill in your business name and select your timezone. Select Continue.
After a few seconds, you’ll see the following page. Click Continue to Step 2.
Fill in your WhatsApp display name. This is the name that your customers see on your profile. It must follow certain guidelines. For more information, please read Best Practices for Display Names on WhatsApp Business Platform/API. Click Continue.
Select your business category and write your Business description. Click Continue to Step 3.
Select your WhatsApp Business number. Click Send Code. You’ll receive a code as an SMS or Voice call.
Enter your code and press Verify.
After a few seconds, you’ll see the following page. Click OK and the window closes.
If you want to start messaging your customers, you must have an opt-in from them and you can start conversations with them using template messages only.
For more information on opt-in, please read our article Opt-ins, consent and WhatsAPp Best Practices and policies.
For more information of how to create message templates read The Complete Guide to WhatsApp Message Templates for Your Business.
On your MessageBird dashboard, you’ll see WhatsApp Business account has been connected. Click Next: Select numbers.
Select the number(s) you’d like to connect to your WhatsApp Business account. Click Continue: Verify.
You need to verify your Facebook Business account to be able to use WhatsApp Business with MessageBird.
If you have previously verified your Facebook Business account, tick the box My business is already verified on Facebook. You can skip the following section, Verify Your Facebook Account and skip to the next section, Activate Your WhatsApp Channel.
If you haven’t verified your Facebook Business account, click Verify your business and follow the instructions in the next section.
Verify Your Facebook Business Account
After you click on Verify your business a window will pop up. Click on Get Started.
Select the country where your business is located. Click Next.
Add your company address information. Click Next.
Upload supporting documents to verify that your business exists. If you need to know which documents are accepted for your business, click on accepted documents. Depending on the country where your business is located, the acceptable documents could be different. You can see Facebook’s page for acceptable official documents based on the country of your business.
Select how you would like Facebook to send you a verification code. The phone number option may not be available in some countries.
Learn when to use domain verification to verify your business here.
If you selected Email in the previous step, you need to type in your email address in this step. Your email address domain must be the same as your company domain. Click Send Email.
If you selected SMS in the previous step, confirm your number and click Text Me Now.
WhatsApp sends you an email or SMS or calls you to give you the code depending on your selection in the previous step. Copy the code and paste it here. Click Next. The window closes.
That’s it. You now have to wait for Meta to notify you via email about the status of your verification.
Activate Your WhatsApp Channel
On your MessageBird dashboard, tick the box My business is already verified on Facebook. Click Complete installation.
Take note of the two API keys on the top right-hand side. You need them for when you want to connect your WhatsApp Business API to your other tools.
On your MessageBird dashboard, click on Channels on the left sidebar.
Click Get started.
On the dropdown menu on the right side, select your channel. Its status will be Pending. It can take up to 30 minutes for your account to be ready to be activated.
You should see “Activate channel” as a green button. If, after 30 minutes, you still cannot see Activate Channel, contact the MessageBird Support team.
Click Activate channel, request the code either via SMS or phone call, and type it in the right field.
Once the number has been activated, you’re all set to start using WhatsApp Business API.
Connect Your WhatsApp Business Account to a Tool of Your Choice
With your WhatsApp Business account, you have gotten access to the WhatsApp Business Platform/API. The API doesn’t have an interface for you to send and receive messages. To communicate with your customers, you must connect your account to a team inbox like Rasayel.
Rasayel helps you sell to and support your customers on WhatsApp as a team. It lets you run marketing campaigns, create a chatbot for repetitive communications, integrate it to your Shopify store, HubSpot and Zapier, and much more.
Regardless of the inbox you choose, you can receive customer messages without limits. However, you can only send message templates if you want to start conversations with them. In The Complete Guide to WhatsApp Message Templates for Your Business, we talk about them in more detail.
If you’d like to learn more about how WhatsApp can help you grow your business, please reach out to us on WhatsApp at +13024070488
We also offer a free consultation session where we go through your use case, answer any questions you have about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us here. We’d love to speak with you:
For Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
The Complete Guide to WhatsApp Message Templates for Your Business
All About Interactive WhatsApp Message Templates
Best Practices for WhatsApp Display Name on WhatsApp Business Platform/API