WhatsApp has rules and restrictions about the types of use cases and business verticals that are allowed to use WhatsApp for business messaging. WhatsApp also does not allow businesses in certain countries to utilize WhatsApp. This guide is intended to serve as an overview of what types of businesses and use cases are allowed by WhatsApp.
Notice: For full details, see WhatsApp's Commerce Policy (whatsapp.com).
Allowed messaging use cases:
- Customer care
- 2FA or user verification
Forbidden messaging use cases:
- Marketing/promotional messaging
- Newsletter or subscription-type messaging, including content subscription
Allowed business verticals:
- Family planning/contraceptives
- Grooming/boarding services for animals
- Healthcare technology
- Lifestyle & fitness
- Products for animals (toys, collars, etc)
- Real estate
- Transportation and travel
- Veterinary services
- Weapons licenses, safety training
Forbidden business verticals:
- Adult content
- Animal sales, including live animals, livestock, or any parts of animals
- Digital subscription and digital content
- Drugs or related products
- Healthcare products and supplements
- Weapons, ammunition, explosives
Forbidden business countries:
- North Korea
Governments and political organizations:
Currently, WhatsApp prohibits governments and organizations serving a political purpose from using the WhatsApp API. Businesses that fit into this category and do not fall under one of the forbidden categories above may submit an onboarding request for access, however WhatsApp is in an exploratory phase with these entity types and cannot commit to any specific timeline for review.
Note: Starting in April 2020, WhatsApp is selectively evaluating government entities for special approval during the COVID-19 crisis. For more info, see COVID-19 Guidance for the Twilio API for WhatsApp.
State-owned entities are allowed to use the WhatsApp API. For example, a commercial airline that is partially or fully-owned and operated by a government state is allowed to onboard. If your company falls into this category, please reach out to your account manager during onboarding for special consideration.