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WhatsApp Template Guidelines


  • A Message template must be approved before it can be used to start a conversation. 
  • To start a business-initiated conversation a customer must have opted-in to receive messages from your business. Here are some opt-in options:
    • Website
    • SMS shortcode
    • QR Code
    • Ads that click to WhatsApp

Language Packs

Message templates are stored in language packs. A language pack is a bundle of message template elements for a particular language or locale. If a business supports at least one translation for a language or locale, a pack for that language or locale is created.

A message template namespace is a bundle of language packs for a particular business.


  • The message template name field is limited to 512 characters.
  • The message template content field is limited to 1024 characters.
  • A template can only be edited when it is in a state of ApprovedRejected, or Paused. A template can be edited once per day, up to 10 times per month.
  • Do not use a mixture of languages. Select one language only for your template content, not a mixture like “English-Chinese” or “Malay-English”.
  • WhatsApp Business Accounts can only create 100 message templates per hour.
  • WhatsApp Business Accounts can have up to 250 message templates. That means 250 message template names, each of them can have multiple language translations. For example, a message template called hello_world translated into two languages counts as a single message template in regards to this limit.

Template Name

WhatsApp message template name can only include lowercase alphanumeric characters and underscores.

Example: support | order_received | event_subscription_1

To speed up the approval process, we strongly recommend using a descriptive name for the templates rather than random ones like “test_123”.

Edit a Message Template

  • Message templates can only be edited when in an ApprovedRejected, or Paused state.
  • Edits should be minor to correct small errors like spelling and grammar, or small tweaks to content. Edits should not change the category of the template (e.g. transactional vs promotional). For major edits which may change the template category, a new template should be created instead.
  • Message templates in an Approved state can be edited up to 10 times in a 30-day window, or 1 time in a 24-hour window. Messages in Rejected or Paused states can be edited an unlimited number of times.

Delete a Message Template

  • If that message template name exists in multiple languages, all languages will be deleted.
  • Messages that have been sent but not delivered will attempt to be delivered for 30 days. An example of this is when the customer’s device is offline.
  • If a message from an approved message template is sent 30 days after deletion, you will receive a “Structure Unavailable” error and the customer will not receive the message.
  • Once deleted, the name of an approved template cannot be used again for 30 days. Use a different name to create future templates.

Template Status

There are different statuses for templates:

  • Pending: This is when a business first submits a template that hasn’t yet been onboarded and approved.
  • Approved: The template is approved to be sent on our platform.
  • Rejected: The template is rejected based on two reasons:
    • The template is rejected to be on-boarded to our platform.
    • The template was rejected during a review. It will be rejected if it is reported to include harmful or restricted content per the WhatsApp Commerce Policy or Business Policy.
  • Paused: When the quality rating reaches a low (red) state, the template is moved to a Paused status. If the quality rating improves to a high (green) or medium (yellow) state, the template returns to Approved status.
  • Disabled: After a template has been paused for the 3-hour and 6-hour periods and/or reaches a low-quality rating for a third time, the template across all languages will be disabled. When disabled, a template cannot be edited or used for sending messages.

Rejection Reasons

Templates may be rejected for the following reasons:

  • Variable parameters are missing or have mismatched curly braces. The correct format is {{1}}.
  • Variable parameters are not defined. All parameters must have a known purpose, for example, the type of media you plan to send in a media message. Your template will be rejected if we do not know what goes into a specific parameter. We strongly recommend adding a sample to your submission.
  • Variable parameters contain special characters such as a #$, or %.
  • Variable parameters are not sequential. For example, {{1}}{{2}}{{4}}{{5}} are defined but {{3}} does not exist.
  • The template contains instances of \n (newline character).
  • The message template(s) contains content that violates WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy: When you offer goods or services for sale, we consider all messages and media related to your goods or services, including any descriptions, prices, fees, taxes, and/or any required legal disclosures, to constitute transactions. Transactions must comply with the WhatsApp Commerce Policy.
  • The message template(s) contain content that violates WhatsApp’s Business Policy: Do not request sensitive identifiers from users. For example, do not ask people to share full-length individual payment card numbers, financial account numbers, National Identification numbers, or other sensitive identifiers. This also includes not requesting documents from users that might contain sensitive identifiers.
  • The content contains potentially abusive or threatening content, such as threatening a customer with legal action or threatening to publicly shame them.
  • The message template is a duplicate of an existing template. If a template is submitted with the same wording in the body and footer of an existing template, the duplicate template will be rejected. You may also choose to edit the template and resubmit. Please note that this check does not apply to OTP templates.


In addition to the above, please consider the following to accelerate the approval process.

  • Make your message template name clear. Instead of using a name like “template_014,” use “bus_ticket_details”.
  • All appeals for rejected message templates require a sample.
  • If you need to write a message template to reopen the 24-hour window, we suggest starting with some mention of the previous conversation thread. Examples:
    • I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to respond to your concerns yesterday but I’m happy to assist you now. If you’d like to continue this discussion, please reply with ‘yes’.
    • I was able to do some follow-up based on our previous conversation, and I’ve found the answer to your question about our refund policy. If you’d like to continue our conversation, please say ‘yes’.
  • Avoid spelling or grammatical errors. Messages with misspellings or grammatical errors may prompt customers to view these messages as spam or a hoax.