Dialog model of WhatsApp Business API message accounting. A brief overview

Since February 1, 2022, WhatsApp Business API has a new message accounting system – dialog (Conversation model). The previous model, the Notification model, has ceased to exist. Let's try to understand the advantages of the new system, highlight its strengths, and also understand what subtleties of the new system should be known in order to use it most effectively.

How it worked until February 1, 2022

The previous message accounting system was quite justifiably called the "Notification model", since the fee was charged for outgoing messages that "notify" the client about something. That is, the initiative on the part of the business to start communicating with the client was paid, while all incoming messages are free. The old model was especially advantageous for the organization of customer support services, which could handle a large number of incoming messages for free, while paying only for the hosting of the number.

Each template message sent opened a window of 24-hour free communication with the client, in which it was possible to use not only template versions of messages, but also messages with any text and media content. It is important that this 24-hour window had the property of stretching over time, in other words, if communication with the user was resumed before the expiration of 24 hours, then 24 hours began to expire again from the moment of the last message sent by the client.

What has changed since February 1, 2022

The new pricing system is called the dialog "Conversation model" and also for a reason. In the new approach, not "Notifications" are paid accounting units, but the "Dialogue" itself between the client and the business. At the same time, both the dialogue initiated by the business and the client will be considered paid. Let's note this again. There are no free incoming messages in the dialog system, all dialogues are paid, but dialogues initiated by customers are almost 2 times cheaper than dialogues that opened a business.

The rule of the dialog free 24-hour window has also changed. Now 24s start to expire not from the moment of the last message, but from the first message of the client. 24 hours are rigidly fixed. If earlier, theoretically, it was possible to conduct endless free communication with the client, having time to update the conditional timer with new messages within 24 hours, then since February 2022 this has become impossible.

After reviewing the changes, we can conclude that the WhatsApp Business API has become a more expensive tool, but do not get upset ahead of time, because there are also innovations in the dialog system that make the WhatsApp Business API very attractive for small and medium-sized businesses.

Firstly, every first 1000 dialogues per month of one WhatsApp account are free. If you have several numbers in one WhatsApp account, the dialogs will be distributed between them;
Secondly, all incoming messages that were initiated by the "Call to Action" Click to WhatsApp buttons from your advertising companies are free. It is important to note here that dialogs from Click to WhatsApp buttons will be free only if they are placed in advertisements through Facebook Business Manager. If you just install the "Send me" button with the transition to the messenger, then such a dialogue will not be considered free.

Thus, we see that some of the changes may make the WhatsApp Business API a more expensive tool, but for small and medium-sized businesses, the new offer may even be more profitable.

It should be noted that WhatsApp is becoming more and more popular for businesses and organizations, especially after Facebook lifted restrictions on marketing messages at the end of 2021. In this way, the dialog model looks like a reasonable step by Meta management, while we still recommend conducting a small analysis to make the right decision: count the number of sent and incoming messages, how much they exceed or not the pool of free dialogues and correlate with the value that you will receive when working with the 2 billion audience of the messenger.

Below is a small reference of all the current changes, so that you always have it at hand:

Notification model - Old model

Conversation model- New model

Only template messages sent by the business that initiate communication with the user are paid.

The dialogue initiated by the business is paid.

All incoming messages are free.

The dialog initiated by the client is also paid.

24 hours of free, free communication begin to expire from the last sent message. That is, 24 hours (theoretically) could be extended indefinitely.

24 hours are fixed and begin to expire from the moment the client sends the first message. It is not possible to extend the period of free 24-hour communication within the framework of one dialogue.


1000 free dialogues per month for one WhatsApp Account.


The first dialog initiated using Click-to-WhatsApp or the Facebook action button will be free.


How much will dialogues cost now?

Different regions and countries have different price lists, the cost of the dialog is read by the country receiving the message. The official price list can be viewed here.

API providers set their own mark-up for template messages, which can vary from 10 to 50%, so carefully study the provider's offer. For example, we do not have additional margins, but if they appear, we will definitely notify our partners.

To finally figure out how this will work, we offer several hypothetical examples.

Case one - the client initiates a dialog

The client writes to you about his order. Until you answer him, this dialog is not considered open. As soon as the bot or manager responds to the client with a template message, the dialog will be considered open and funds will be debited from you, as for the dialog that the client initiated.

Case two - Business initiates a dialogue

Everything is simple here, if you send a template message and it gets the status "Delivered", then this opens a dialogue with the client. This dialogue will be considered a dialogue initiated by the business and will be taxed according to the appropriate pricing.

The third case is with going beyond the 24-hour window

Let's take as a basis the situation when the client wrote to you first, you answered and the task was closed. If after 24 hours from the moment of the first message, you write to the client again, then this will be considered a new dialogue initiated by the business. If the client writes to you first, then with a new dialog initiated by the client.


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