WhatsApp is a channel that is built fundamentally on trust, safety and privacy. One of the reasons why so many people use WhatsApp is because it’s spam and advertisement free. Because WhatsApp wants to keep it that way, it can be a bit strict sometimes when want to create a chatbot for WhatsApp.
Even though the end-user won't notice most of these restrictions for WhatsApp Business, the developer has to take them in mind, not just during the concepting stage but also when developing chatbots for WhatsApp Business. That's why these docs can be very useful for developing your bot for WhatsApp. We will show you the capabilities for WhatsApp chatbots, how you should configure it and how you can test your WhatsApp bot.
WhatsApp supports a wide arrange of reply actions as seen in the messaging capabilities grid. Below is a detailed view of each capability.
Flow.ai provides an official WhatsApp Business API integration that connects a project to WhatsApp. WhatsApp has a strict approval process for businesses, but we've made it super easy to start testing a chatbot on WhatsApp in minutes.
What you'll need
Make sure your business and use case complies with the WhatsApp Business API policy and WhatsApp Commerce Policy. After contacting us for connecting with a custom WhatsApp phone number you will need to provide additional information and complete the validation process.
Facebook Business Manager ID
First, you will need a Facebook Business Manager ID to initiate a request authorising Flow.ai to message on your behalf. Read the official Facebook documentation for details on how to get this info.
Secondly, you will need a phone number that is reachable (phone or texting) and not yet used for WhatsApp. If you need more information regarding phone numbers. Once you have this information, please contact us and we’ll submit your request to WhatsApp.
Perhaps a little bit obvious, but in order to develop, test and launch your WhatsApp chatbot, you'll need a Flow.ai account. Sign up and get started with your WhatsApp Business bot right away!
When building a chatbot for WhatsApp, we recommend testing your bot live on WhatsApp. This can be done in a couple of minutes. The benefit of testing your bot within WhatsApp itself instead of in our Try it out preview mode is that you get a more realistic representation of how your bot will look in WhatsApp. This is especially useful when you use Rich UI Elements, since not all of them will work on WhatsApp due to the current limitations. We will now give you step-by-step instructions on how to test your WhatsApp chatbot. On the bottom of the page, we will also show you a video tutorial for even more clarity.
- Choose the project to which you would like to connect WhatsApp using the top left drop-down menu:
- Go to the “Integrations” section and press the “+” sign:
- Select the WhatsApp integration
- Add a testing phone number in the following format:
+31638678616When you want to test WhatsApp you can use the preview button in the top bar. This will open the Flow.ai test account. You are able to add up to 10 test phone numbers. If you want to test different projects connected to WhatsApp, simply re-add your phone number to the different projects. WhatsApp will only reply to a single project.
WhatsApp provides an official WhatsApp FAQ
Want to know more about using WhatsApp for your chatbot? Visit our WhatsApp integration page! We also have a lot of interesting blogs about chatbots for WhatsApp on our blog page, like use cases, a tutorial for using QR codes for WhatsApp chatbots, a guide for creating a quiz on WhatsApp and much more. For other questions, feel free to join our Slack Support Channel. It's a great way to get answers and inspiration, together with around 1000 other bot builders!