To integrate your chatbot with WhatsApp, you are required to use a WhatsApp provider. Currently, BotDistrikt is integrated with UIB and Twilio (while onboarding more providers by the day).
WhatsApp, is a cross-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.
Once you have set up an account with the WhatsApp partner, connect it to the BotDistrikt platform and manage your inbox.
WhatsApp API has a messaging window of 24 hours which you are allowed to reply to customers with any content when the client initiates a chat with you.
After 24 hours, you will need to send a Template Message in order to send a reply to the customer.
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-hour 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.