Capacity, Quality Rating, and Messaging Limits

Capacity Rate Limits

Capacity rate limiting is imposed on each available API endpoint and will return the appropriate HTTPS error codes (e.g., 429, 503, etc.) depending on the state of the system.

Two forms of capacity rate limiting are currently supported:

  • Request rate limiting — Request rate limiting is the throttling of incoming requests on an API endpoint. When the number of requests per second limit is reached, the endpoint will start returning a 429 error code.

  • Concurrent rate limiting — Concurrent rate limiting is the throttling of incoming requests when the Coreapp itself is under heavy load (e.g., job queue size grew too large). At this point, the endpoint will start returning a 503 error.

When you hit either of these capacity rate limiting scenarios, you should halt any further requests and slow the pace of your API requests. If you start seeing many capacity rate limit errors, it would be advisable to build a queue on your end to throttle the requests.

Messaging Limits

Messaging limits determine the maximum number of business-initiated conversations each phone number can start in a rolling 24-hour period. These limits do not apply to user-initiated conversations. A business-initiated conversation starts when the first message is delivered to a customer and ends 24 hours later.

There are five messaging limit levels:

  • 250 business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period (when number is registered)

  • 1K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period

  • 10K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period

  • 100K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period

  • An unlimited number of business-initiated conversations in a rolling 24-hour period

Increasing Messaging Limit from 250 to 1k

If the business initiates conversations with 1000 unique users in a 30-day rolling period maintaining high-quality rating, they will automatically be upgraded to the next tier.

The process also evaluates implicit risk signals to determine eligibility. WhatsApp may also evaluate the account for additional risk signals, before upgrading the account. In a scenario where WhatsApp cannot deem high confidence of trust based on message quality alone, a business may be prompted to complete individual verification, or may be able to verify via business verification before upgrading to more phone numbers with higher messaging limits.

This will also trigger a Display Name review which, if approved, will show the business Display Name in chats with users without needing to go through OBA approval.

Increasing Messaging Limit from 1k upwards

Messaging limits are increased or decreased automatically based on your phone number status, phone number quality rating, and how often you initiate conversations with unique customers.

All businesses and phone numbers start with 1K business-initiated conversations with unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period. If you reach your messaging limit, you can start more conversations as soon as one or more active conversations end. For example:

Each time you initiate a new conversation with a unique customer WhatsApp will determine if your limit should be increased. This determination is based on the following criteria:

  • your phone number status is Connected

  • your phone number quality rating is Medium or High

  • Display name is approved.

  • in the last 7 days you have initiated X or more conversations with unique customers, where X is your current messaging limit divided by 2

If you meet all conditions, WhatsApp will increase your messaging limit by one level in 24 hours.

Examples

Messaging limit increased from 1K to 10K in 2 days:

* If the 500th conversation is initiated at 3pm (for example), the messaging limit is increased at 3pm the following day (i.e. 24 hours later).

Messaging limit increased from 1K to 10K in 4 days:

* If the 500th conversation is initiated at 7pm (for example), the messaging limit is increased at 7pm the following day (i.e. 24 hours later).

Decreasing Messaging Limit

Each time you initiate a new conversation with a unique customer, WhatsApp will check your phone number quality rating.

If the rating has been Flagged for the last 7 days, WhatsApp will immediately decrease your messaging limit by one level.

Quality Rating

Your quality rating is based on how messages have been received by recipients over the past seven days and is weighted by recency. It is determined by a combination of quality signals from conversations between businesses and users. Examples include user feedback signals like blocks, read rates, reports and the reasons users provide when they block a business.

A message template's Quality Rating can have the following status:

  • Active - Quality pending: The message template has yet to receive quality feedback from customers. Message templates with this status can be sent to customers and will be monitored for rating.

  • Active - High Quality: The template has received little or no negative customer feedback. Message templates with this status can be sent to customers.

  • Active - Medium Quality: The template has received negative feedback from multiple customers but may soon become paused or disabled. Message templates with this status can be sent to customers.

  • Active - Low Quality: The template has received negative feedback from multiple customers. Message templates with this status can be sent to customers but are in danger of being paused or disabled soon, so it is recommended that you address the issues that customers are reporting.

Approved message templates start out with a Quality pending rating. If a message template continuously receives negative feedback, it will eventually cause a change in the template status. As long as a message template has an Active status, regardless of the quality rating, it can be sent to customers. However, once a message template's status changes to any other status, it cannot be sent to customers until it becomes active again.

Maintaining High Quality

To help your clients create a quality customer experience, review these expectations and best practices with them and include them in your documentation:

  • Meta requires businesses to get opt-in from customers before initiating a conversation, which can be obtained both on and off WhatsApp

  • Make sure messages follow the WhatsApp Business Policy and Commerce Policy.

  • Only send messages to users who have opted into receiving messages from your business.

  • Make the messages highly personalized and useful to users. Avoid sending open-ended welcome or introductory messages.

  • Be mindful of messaging frequency; avoid sending customers too many messages a day. Be thoughtful of informational messages, optimizing for content and length.

  • Clearly communicate the value of receiving important updates on WhatsApp. Make the messages highly personalized and useful to users

  • Be explicit about what types of messages a customer is opting-in to and honor those customer choices

  • Regularly monitor your quality metrics. Be mindful of customer preferences and update communications strategy accordingly, such as message frequency, contacts list etc.

  • Provide instructions for how to opt-out of receiving specific messages. For example, include a ‘STOP’ or an ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ button to make it easy for people to control the communication they receive. We’ve made this simple with the marketing opt-out button that businesses can add to their templates.

  • Honor customer requests by ensuring opted-out users don’t receive messages from any phone numbers from your business to mitigate risk of customers blocking or reporting your business

Meta constantly monitors user sentiment and feedback shared by the user. If a business’s phone number has a low quality rating for an extended period of time, the phone number is flagged and could be rate limited. If a message template a business sends results in a high enough rate of people blocking or reporting the business, the template will be paused from being sent to more customers until it is updated.

Please ensure your clients are aware of these quality systems and processes. As more businesses find value in connecting with people through messaging, Meta continue to refine their quality systems, build helpful user controls and introduce additional types of enforcement.

See more messaging best practices here.

Checking Messaging Limits and Quality Rating

It is important to build and maintain a high quality customer experience on WhatsApp, so that customers can keep using this channel to communicate with your business. To protect users, WhatsApp has a reporting and blocking mechanism. If a user doesn't like the experience they get, they might block or report your business number.

A block or report action against your business keeps you from contacting those users and impacts your phone number reach and the template availability.

To help you keep a high quality experience for your customers, we recommend that you monitor the quality signals to assess how messages are being received by users and act on relevant updates as quickly as possible.

In the API

Get webhook notifications for Quality Rating

You will get updates from the phone_number_quality_update webhook.

What to watch for: the Flagged status. Flagged status occurs when the quality rating reaches a low state. If the message quality improves to a high or medium state and maintains this for 7 days, your status will return to Connected. If the quality rating doesn't improve, your status will still return to Connected, but you'll be placed in a lower messaging limit tier.

In the Business Manager

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