To integrate your chatbot with WhatsApp, you are required to use a WhatsApp provider. There are several providers in the market. Currently, BotDistrikt is integrated with UIB and Twilio, and is onboarding more providers by the day.
WhatsApp, is across-platform centralized messaging and voice-over-IP (VoIP) service owned by Facebook, Inc. It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other content. It became the world's most popular messaging application by 2015, and has over 2 billion users worldwide as of February 2020.
WhatsApp currently does not allow business to connect to their API or create business accounts directly. To do so, businesses have to apply through a WhatsApp partner. Once you have set an account with the WhatsApp partner, you can connect it to the BotDistrikt platform and manage your inbox.
The Customer Care Window is a 24-hour time frame in which you can communicate with customers in a rich conversation using so-called Session Messages, reacting to them in a real-time and interactive chat with rich media capabilities. This means your message is not limited to the pre-approved Message Templates, though Message Templates are possible within a customer care window as well. Moreover, chatting with your customer in this 24- hour customer care window will not be charged the WhatsApp fee. The customer care window ends 24 hours after the last message is sent by the end-user. After 24 hours, you will only be able to send a notification via Message Templates. Each time the customer sends you a message, whether this is the conversation initiating message or another reply in the conversation, the 24hour customer care window will restart. So, from the last message your customer has sent you, you have 24 hours to send custom messages, free of charge unless you exceed your package.
Session Messages VS Template Messages
Session Messages: When a user sends an incoming message to your number, a timer is set. You have 24 hours to send outgoing messages to that user without any restrictions.
Template Messages: To continue the conversation after the 24 hours window ends, you can send one single Message Template. However, this is only allowed if you have an active opt-in from the customer. Message Templates give you the opportunity to send a notification to your customer if you need more than 24 hours to solve the customer’s problem. Please see this WhatsApp Message Template Guidelines for detailed explanations.