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Conversations

Conversation-based pricing is changing starting June 1, 2023. Please see Meta's Official Pricing Change Documentation to see details about it.
We are gradually updating our documentation and will share more details soon
The pricing model is based on conversations, so instead of being charged for notifications sent, businesses pay per conversation, which includes all messages interchanged within a 24-hour period.
There is a conversation object on the webhook, as well as a pricing and an origin object. These indicate the conversation ID, how it was initiated and the pricing schema that is applied.

How It Works

Conversations

Previously there were only two types of conversations: user-initiated and business-initiated. From June 1, 2023, business-initiated conversations are unbundled into three categories utility, authentication, and marketing. User-initiated is categorized as a service conversation, reflecting key use cases of conversations on WhatsApp Business API, each with different rates:
  • Utility conversations - Business-initiated conversations with customers that have opted into facilitating a specific, agreed-upon request or transaction, or update to a customer about an ongoing transaction, including post-purchase notifications and recurring billing statements.
  • Authentication conversations - Business-initiated conversations with customers that have opted into, enabling businesses to authenticate users with one-time passcodes (OTP), potentially at multiple steps in the login process (e.g., account verification, account recovery).
  • Marketing conversations - Business-initiated conversations with customers that have opted into, which may include promotions or offers, informational updates like a back-in-stock alert, or invitations for customers to respond or take action. A marketing conversation is any conversation that does not qualify as utility or authentication.
  • Service conversations - Any user-initiated conversation, such as to resolve a customer enquiry.
The conversation starts when the first business message in a conversation is delivered. However, the conversation type will be defined once a message has been sent by the business with the category of the template message used.

Sessions

All conversations, or “sessions”, as we’ll refer to them here, with the exception of free entry point conversations, are measured in 24-hour window. A session starts whenever the first message is sent by a business, either in response to a user inquiry or if a business-initiated message template is delivered.
If a business replies to a user with a template message and sends different a template message in an open service conversation, this will open a new conversation based on the sent template category, so you will be charged 1 time for each template category used in the conversation.

Policy

The policy requires the use of a template message whenever sending a message to a user more than 24 hours after their last message. So, a new session begins.
If you send a free-form message outside the customer support window, you are not following the policy, so the delivery of this message will fail. However, it opens a business-initiated conversation that might be charged.
If the user sends a message back (replies) within 24 hours of the failed delivery, this conversation will be charged as business-initiated. Because, although the free-form message was not delivered, it was sent by the business.

Customer Service Window

Please note that conversations rules are different and independent from customer service windows, which are used to understand if the business can send a free-form message or a template message. Please see the customer service windows rules here.​
See the example below for more details:

Charges

Charges for conversations are based on the user’s phone number. Rates for business-initiated conversations and user-initiated conversations vary by market (country or region). See Rates for specific pricing information.

Free Tier Conversations

The first 1000 user-initiated(service) conversations (per WABA) each month will be free, so these conversation charges will only start on conversation number 1001. From June 1st, 2023, Business-initiated conversations are no longer included in the free tier.
If you have multiple phone numbers in the same WABA, the first 1000 user-initiated conversations among all phone numbers (meaning across the WABA) will be free. Free-tier conversations can be only user-initiated.

Free Entry Points Conversations

Conversations will not be charged when users message businesses using call-to-actions buttons on Ads that click to WhatsApp or a Facebook Page CTA. Free entry-point conversations last 72 hours and can only be user-initiated. Only the first conversation that starts from the entry point is free of charge. Subsequent conversations with the user are charged.
Standard pricing will apply for Ads that Click to WhatsApp. The conversation that initiates from the ad is free, but not the ad itself.
​

Understanding the Conversations via Webhook

There is a conversation object on the webhook, as well as a pricing and an origin object. These indicate the conversation ID, how it was initiated and the pricing schema that is applied.

conversation

The conversation object tracks the attributes of your current conversation. The following fields are specified within the conversation object:
Name
Description
id
type: string
Represents the ID of the conversation the given status notification belongs to.
origin
type: object
Describes where the conversation originated from. See origin object for more information.
expiration_timestamp
type: UNIX timestamp
Timestamp when the current ongoing conversation expires. This field is only present on "message sent" webhooks.

origin

The origin object describes where a conversation has originated from. The following fields are specified within the origin object:
Name
Description
type
type: string
Indicates where a conversation has started. This can also be referred to as a conversation entry point.
​
  • authentication — Indicates the business initiated the conversation with a message template categorized as AUTHENTICATION.
  • marketing — Indicates the business initiated the conversation with a message template categorized as MARKETING.
  • utility — Indicates the business initiated the conversation with a message template categorized as UTILITY
  • service — Indicates the user initiated the conversation.
  • referral_conversion — indicates that the conversation originated from a free entry point. These conversations are always user-initiated.

pricing

The pricing object includes your billing attributes, but does not include whether a message is part of your account’s free tier.
The following fields are specified within the webhooks pricing object:
Name
Description
pricing_model
type: String. “CBP” or “NBP”.
Type of pricing model being used. Current supported value is "CBP".
The Notification-Based Pricing (NBP) model has been deprecated.
category
type: string
Indicates the conversation pricing category.
​
  • authentication — Indicates the business initiated the conversation with a message template categorized as AUTHENTICATION.
  • marketing — Indicates the business initiated the conversation with a message template categorized as MARKETING.
  • utility — Indicates the business initiated the conversation with a message template categorized as UTILITY
  • service — Indicates the user initiated the conversation.
  • referral_conversion — indicates that the conversation originated from a free entry point. These conversations are always user-initiated.
Here's an example of a pricing object in a message status webhook:
"statuses": [
{
"id": "wamid.HBgLM...",
"status": "delivered",
"timestamp": "1674076968",
"recipient_id": "15550051310",
"conversation": {
"id": "91729e1df277b2ad74fc5fb6273eb3d1",
"origin": {
"type": "authentication"
}
},
"pricing": {
"billable": true,
"pricing_model": "CBP",
"category": "authentication" // Indicates conversation category
}
}
]

Facebook Documentation

See the below link for the official Facebook documentation on the Topic.

FAQ - Conversations

Q: Am I charged and then reimbursed for the first 1000 conversations per WABA? No. You are not charged for the first 1000 conversations. The first charge will be for the 1001 st conversation.
Q: Where can I see the total costs for my conversations? For owned WABAs (if you onboarded with the Embedded Signup process) you can view the following metrics are available in the Insights tab of your WhatsApp Manager:
  • Messages sent: The number of messages sent from the selected phone number(s). This is different from messages delivered, which only count messages that were confirmed as being delivered to the recipient.
  • Messages delivered: The number of messages that your recipients received that were sent and delivered from the selected phone number(s). This only counts messages that were confirmed as being delivered to the recipient.
  • Messages received: The number of messages that the selected phone number(s) received from recipients.
  • Amount spent: The estimated total amount of money you've spent on messages delivered from the selected phone number(s). This metric is an estimate.
You can export these metrics from the Insights tab by phone number, country and message type.