WhatsApp Web Automation to Official API Migration Guide 2024

This guide will help you migrate your WhatsApp Web Automation services to the WhatsApp Fully Managed or WhatsApp Cloud API-based solutions. Official support for WhatsApp Web Automation service becomes unstable from May 2024 due to the recent changes by WhatsApp,

We request all users who are using WhatsApp Web Automation to migrate their numbers to either the WhatsApp Fully Managed or WhatsApp Cloud API-based solutions.

Overview of Migration Options

Picky Assist, an official ISV of WhatsApp since 2019, offers two official solutions for businesses:

1. WhatsApp Official Fully Managed

The WhatsApp Official Fully Managed service is fully managed by Picky Assist on behalf of your business. We handle the billing and provide support, ensuring a seamless experience. To use this service, businesses need to maintain a prepaid credit in their Picky Assist Wallet to send messages.

This fully managed solution is offered as a paid add-on at the same rate of $19 per month for those on the Ultimate Plan.

2. WhatsApp Cloud API

The WhatsApp Cloud API service is partially managed by Picky Assist. We manage the sending and receiving of messages, while WhatsApp handles the billing and support directly with the business. For this service, businesses need to link a credit card in their Facebook Business Manager for billing purposes, with charges applied based on usage. Support is provided directly by WhatsApp.

This solution is free for one channel and included in all plans, with additional channels incurring extra costs.

We have enabled embedded signup for both WhatsApp Fully Managed & WhatsApp Cloud API from June 2024 onwards so you do not need to create any app on your Facebook Account, you can complete the onboarding in just 5 minutes through our embedded signup directly using your Facebook account.

Key Differences and Benefits

Conversation-Based Billing

When migrating from WhatsApp Web Automation to an official solution, it is important to understand the conversation-based billing system. WhatsApp charges for sending messages based on the destination countries and conversation categories.

A conversation session is valid for 24 hours, so you will be billed only once within that period for a specific conversation category, rather than for each message sent. This can help reduce costs significantly. Read More

Template Messages

Unlike the freehand messaging allowed in Web Automation, the official solution requires the use of pre-approved templates for sending messages to customers who have not had any active conversation with your business in the past 24 hours.

Templates must be requested and approved by WhatsApp according to your messaging needs. Once approved, these templates can be used to communicate with customers effectively. Read More

Opt-In Requirements

While WhatsApp Web Automation allowed messaging without explicit consent, the official solution requires that you have obtained consent from the recipient before sending messages. This ensures compliance with anti-spam policies and enhances the quality of customer interactions. Spamming is strictly prohibited in the official WhatsApp solution. Read More

Free 1000 Service Conversations

WhatsApp offers 1000 free service conversation messages per month. These are categorized as service conversations when you respond to customer-initiated messages. Each conversation session lasts for 24 hours, allowing you to communicate freely within this period.

However, other conversation categories like Utilities, Marketing, and Authentication are billed separately and are not included in the free quota. Read More

Business Verification for High-Volume Messaging

To send more than 250 template messages daily, your business must undergo verification with WhatsApp. This involves uploading business documents and address proof to your Facebook Business Manager, which WhatsApp will review and approve within 2-5 working days. This step is necessary to ensure compliance and enable high-volume messaging capabilities. Read More

Steps for Migration

Delete WhatsApp from your existing WhatsApp App

You need to delete the existing WhatsApp number from your WhatsApp business or personal app if you wish to use the same number as your WhatsApp official account.

  1. You will not be able to use WhatsApp Groups further

  2. You or the customers will not be able to call on WhatsApp

  3. All chat history will be lost

Connect WhatsApp Cloud or Fully Managed Solution

Please go to Picky Assist Channel https://pickyassist.com/alpha/settings/channels and choose the solution you prefer to connect and complete the on-screen onboarding process

  1. You should have a Facebook account logged in to complete the onboarding

  2. You need a credit card to link if you are using WhatsApp Cloud and wish to send template messages. Read More

  3. You need to add money to your Picky Assist account to send template messages

  4. In order to send more than 250 template messages your business should complete the one-time business verification by uploading your company documents to your Facebook business manager

Change Channel IDs

Update your contact channels from WhatsApp Web Automation to the official solution. Each channel has a unique ID, and you need to ensure that contacts are correctly mapped to the new channel ID. If you are using the same mobile number, manually change all the contact channels in our platform.

Note that previous messages will not be visible after this change due to the different channel IDs.

Chat History

When you upgrade the number to WhatsApp Official you will loss all the chat history that was saved on your phone so you will not be able to sync the chat history.

Update Connectors and Templates

Modify any existing connectors and set up new templates as required. Freehand messages will no longer be delivered without an active session, so it is crucial to configure and use templates for messaging.

Recreate Chatbots

Rebuild your chatbots using the Flow Builder to leverage the new features available in the official solution. This will ensure that your automation processes remain effective and compliant with WhatsApp's policies.

Update Integrations

Change the channel settings in third-party applications like Zoho CRM or Zapier to reflect the new official channel. This step ensures seamless integration and functionality across your systems.

Adjust API & Webhooks

Update application IDs to match the new channel IDs and configure template messages appropriately. This will ensure that your API and webhook integrations continue to function correctly.

Educate Your Team

Train your team to use templates and manage the new system effectively. This will help ensure a smooth transition and maintain the quality of your customer interactions.

Quick Comparsion between WhatsApp Web Automation & Official WhatsApp Solutions

Feature

WhatsApp Web Automation

Official WhatsApp Solution

Type

Unofficial, Workaround Solution

Official, Authorized Solution

Stability and Reliability

Less stable, prone to disruptions due to WhatsApp updates

Highly stable and reliable

Scalability

Limited scalability

High scalability

Billing

Flat fee, no conversation-based billing

Conversation-based billing

Templates

No templates required, freehand messages allowed

Templates required for non-active conversations

Opt-In Requirement

No opt-in required, allowed sending to any number

Opt-in required

Support & Billing

Managed by Picky Assist

Managed by Picky Assist or WhatsApp, depending on the plan

Compliance with WhatsApp Policies

Non-compliant, prone to account bans

Fully compliant with WhatsApp policies

Additional Features

Limited features

Advanced features like interactive buttons, list menus

Legal and Security Risks

Higher risk of legal issues and security blocks

Low risk, fully supported by WhatsApp

Business Verification

Not required

Required for high-volume messaging

Cost

$19 per month (Ultimate Plan)

Varies, based on conversation categories and usage

Service Discontinuation

Support ends June 2024, fully stop by December 2024

Ongoing support

Free Conversations

Not applicable

1000 free service conversations per month

Training and Migration Effort

None initially required

Requires training and migration efforts

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is Picky Assist discontinuing WhatsApp Web Automation services?

Picky Assist is discontinuing WhatsApp Web Automation services due to frequent updates and changes made by WhatsApp, which have made it challenging to maintain the service. Additionally, WhatsApp has implemented measures to block unofficial automation solutions and has issued a legal notice to stop promoting these services. Maintaining the service is no longer economically feasible or legally viable.

2. What are the main differences between WhatsApp Web Automation and the Official WhatsApp Solution?

WhatsApp Web Automation is an unofficial and workaround solution, prone to disruptions and limited scalability. It allows freehand messaging without templates and does not require recipient consent. However, it is non-compliant with WhatsApp policies and poses higher legal and security risks.

In contrast, the Official WhatsApp Solution is an authorized and highly stable service with high scalability. It uses conversation-based billing, requires pre-approved templates for non-active conversations, and mandates recipient consent to prevent spam. The official solution offers advanced features like interactive buttons and list menus and fully complies with WhatsApp policies, posing low legal and security risks.

3. What are the costs associated with the Official WhatsApp Solution?

The Official WhatsApp Solution uses conversation-based billing, where charges are based on the destination country and conversation category. While the service offers 1000 free service conversation messages per month, other conversation categories like Utilities, Marketing, and Authentication incur charges. The WhatsApp Official Fully Managed solution costs $19 per month for those on the Ultimate Plan, while the WhatsApp Cloud API solution has variable costs based on usage.

4. How does conversation-based billing work in the Official WhatsApp Solution?

Conversation-based billing charges you based on 24-hour conversation sessions. For example, if you send multiple messages to a customer within a 24-hour period, it counts as one conversation, reducing costs. Charges depend on the destination country and the conversation category.

5. What is the refund policy for the discontinued WhatsApp Web Automation services?

For monthly add-on users, refunds for June 2024 will be credited to your Picky Assist Wallet. For yearly plan users, pro-rated refunds from June 2024 onwards will be credited to your wallet. This credit can be used for WhatsApp Official messaging charges or other Picky Assist services.

6. What steps are involved in migrating from WhatsApp Web Automation to the Official WhatsApp Solution?

  • Delete the WhatsApp number: Delete the existing WhatsApp number that is installed on your phone.

  • Connect with Picky Assist: Connect the WhatsApp official number through Picky Assist using the embedded signup method

  • Change Channel IDs: Update your contact channels from WhatsApp Web Automation to the official solution. Each channel has a unique ID, and you need to ensure that contacts are correctly mapped to the new channel ID.

  • Update Connectors and Templates: Modify any existing connectors and set up new templates as required. Freehand messages will no longer be delivered without an active session, so it is crucial to configure and use templates for messaging.

  • Recreate Chatbots: Rebuild your chatbots using the Flow Builder to leverage the new features available in the official solution.

  • Update Integrations: Change the channel settings in third-party applications like Zoho CRM or Zapier to reflect the new official channel.

  • Adjust API & Webhooks: Update application IDs to match the new channel IDs and configure template messages appropriately.

  • Educate Your Team: Train your team to use templates and manage the new system effectively.

7. Do I need to verify my business for the Official WhatsApp Solution?

Yes, to send more than 250 template messages daily, you must verify your business with WhatsApp. This involves uploading business documents and address proof to your Facebook Business Manager, which WhatsApp will review and approve within 2-5 working days.

8. What are the opt-in requirements for the Official WhatsApp Solution?

The official solution requires that you obtain consent from recipients before sending messages. This ensures compliance with anti-spam policies and enhances the quality of customer interactions. Spamming is strictly prohibited.

9. Are there any free messages included with the Official WhatsApp Solution?

Yes, WhatsApp offers 1000 free service conversation messages per month. These are categorized as service conversations when you respond to customer-initiated messages. Each conversation session lasts for 24 hours, allowing you to communicate freely within this period. However, other conversation categories like Utilities, Marketing, and Authentication are billed separately and are not included in the free quota.

10. What should I do if I need help with the migration process?

If you need any assistance with the migration process, you can schedule a 30-minute discovery call with our solutions team. Visit Schedule a Discovery Call to book your appointment.

11. What will happen to my previous chat history when I migrate to WhatsApp Official ?

All your previous chat history that is stored will be deleted and can't be recovered or synced with WhatsApp's official number.

12. What will happen to the groups that my number is currently participating?

Currently, the official WhatsApp number does not support groups. As a result, you will be automatically removed from any such groups. WhatsApp announced a group integration for the official number in May 2024, but it is still not available to the public. This feature will be available soon.

13. What will happen if the customer tries to call my business via WhatsApp ?

Currently, WhatsApp Official does not support the calling feature. Therefore, your customers will not see a calling button to make calls. WhatsApp announced a calling feature for WhatsApp official numbers in May 2024, but it is not available to the public yet. This feature will be available soon.

14. Can I downgrade WhatsApp Official to normal WhatsApp after upgrading to Official?

Yes, you can delete the number from your Facebook Business Manager and then link it with the regular WhatsApp Personal or Business App. Please note that if you have an outstanding bill with WhatsApp, this process may not be possible, as it's mandatory to settle all bills with WhatsApp before migrating the number.

Final Note

We are committed to providing the best business automation services. Please explore our Picky Assist 3.0 platform, which includes Conversation CRM, No Code Chatbot Builder, Business Analytics, and upcoming features like WhatsApp Flow, WhatsApp Commerce, and WhatsApp Pay.

Thank you for being part of the Picky Assist journey. If you need any migration assistance, please schedule a 30-minute discovery call with our solutions team: Schedule a Discovery Call.

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