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Moving from HSM to Conversation-Based Pricing

Starting February 1, 2022, Meta (the owner of WhatsApp Messenger) is changing its pricing for using WhatsApp Business API. Now, instead of being charged for HSM messages*, businesses will be charged per conversation. For more details, refer here. Consequently, edna is changing its pricing model as well. Starting February 1, 2022, HSM costs are replaced with conversation costs in the pricing. All other components of the WhatsApp Business API cost (connection fee, subscription fee, price per AMAU) remain unchanged.

* An HSM (a highly structured message) is a template message that a business is allowed to send to initiate a conversation with a client or to send them a notification.
** The prices in the picture are given for example. The actual cost of the service might be different for each client.

What is a Conversation?

A conversation is a 24-hour long session that starts whenever the first message is delivered by a business to a client. There are two types of conversations:

  • Business-initiated conversation (for example, when a business sends an HSM to a client informing them that their order is ready to be picked up)
  • User-initiated conversation (for example, when a user messages a business to learn where their order is, and the business replies with the information on the order pick up point)
1,000 free conversations regardless of their type are available to a business every month. Also, there is no additional charge for conversations started by users from a click-to-WhatsApp ad on Instagram or Facebook or started by using the Send Message button on a business’ Facebook page.

Business-Initiated Conversations

Example 1:

In this example, the MyBuz company sends an HSM to their client at 12:00 which initiates a conversation.

Cost: The company will pay for one business-initiated conversation.

Example 2:

  1. In this example, MyBuz sends an HSM to their client Alex at 12:00 which initiates a conversation.
  2. Alex replies within the same conversation at 12:22.
  3. Within the same conversation, MyBuz sends another message to Alex at 12:23.

Cost: The company will pay for one business-initiated conversation.

A company can only initiate a conversation by sending an HSM.

User-Initiated Conversations

Example 1:

  1. Client Alex messages MyBuz at 12:00.
  2. MyBuz replies to the client at 12:02. This is when the user-initiated conversation starts for the company.
  3. Within the same conversation, Alex sends another message to MyBuz at 12:05.

Cost: The company will pay for one user-initiated conversation.

Example 2:

  1. Client Alex messages MyBuz at 12:00.
  2. MyBuz replies to the client at 12:02. This is the time when the user-initiated conversation starts for the company.
  3. Within the same conversation, Alex sends another message to MyBuz at 12:05.
  4. The next day at 19:24, which is 31 hours later than the beginning of the user-initiated conversation, MyBuz sends Alex an HSM with an update on his order delivery. This opens a new business-initiated conversation because the previous user-initiated one only lasted for 24 hours which have already passed.

Cost: The company will pay for one user-initiated conversation and one business-initiated conversation.

FAQ

QuestionAnswer
Why has Meta changed the pricing?Meta believes that commercial conversations are the future of WhatsApp. So the main value of WhatsApp Business API is calculated in the number of conversations that happened between a company and a client.
Meta has done a pilot project in Mexico that turned out a success.
Will edna charge for free conversations?No.
How many messages can be sent within the same conversation?Unlimited amount of messages.
When does a conversation start?A conversation starts when the first message from the company is delivered to the client. This starts the 24-hour long conversation.
What happens if it’s been 24 hours since the first message from the company was delivered but the communication with the client is still in the process? A new conversation will start. This is a rare situation, though, as most conversations take no longer than 12 hours.
Will HSMs be charged?No.
How do I start a conversation with a client?If it’s been more than 24 hours since the last message from the client, you can only send an HSM to start a conversation with them.
How does the new pricing affect what I pay for WhatsApp?It depends as different customers use the channel differently. Roughly speaking, if the actual number of your MAUs is less than 1,000, the amount you pay will not be affected.
If a conversation starts from ads on Facebook/Instagram or a company’s Facebook page, will this conversation be counted as one of the 1,000 free monthly conversations? No. Conversations started from ads on Facebook/Instagram or a company’s Facebook page are not charged and are not included in the 1,000 free monthly dialogs. So, if, for example, you have 400 conversations this month that start from Facebook/Instagram ads or the company’s page on Facebook and 800 conversations that start some other way (1,200 conversations total), you will not be charged for any of them.
How much time do I have to answer a client in their user-initiated conversation so that it stays a user-initiated conversation (and does not create a business-initiated one)?You have 24 hours. A user-initiated conversation begins once you reply to the client.
What happens if I do not reply to a client in their user-initiated conversation? Will I be charged?No, if you do not reply in the conversation, it will not be charged. Only the conversations in which you reply to a client (or initiate a conversation with them yourself) are counted and charged.