Activating your own number on the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio is known as Bringing Your Own Number (BYON). To complete the BYON process, we need to verify the number with an OTP code. You can most likely complete the BYON process if your number can:
- receive SMS, or
- receive voice calls
If your non-Twilio phone number is only capable of outbound calls, it is not possible to activate it for WhatsApp.
Note that if the phone number is currently connected to the WhatsApp Business API, you should follow this guide instead: Can I move my approved WhatsApp Number to Twilio?
How to register non-Twilio phone numbers on WhatsApp
The ability to activate a non-Twilio number on the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio depends on whether you have onboarded via Self Sign Up or Guided Onboarding. To see which onboarding path applies to your account, please see the documentation here. If you have not yet onboarded to the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio, you will be eligible to onboard via Self Sign Up if you are sending messages on behalf of your own brand. See here for how to get started.
BYON on Self Signup Onboarding
Self Sign Up onboarding allows you to activate your non-Twilio number via the console following the instructions here.
BYON on Guided Onboarding
For Guided Onboarding, registering a non-Twilio number is currently in Public Beta. To participate, you will need to:
- Open a support ticket: Twilio will need to submit your number and display name to WhatsApp for review. Please review WhatsApp’s display name guidelines. Before opening your support ticket, see the requirements below.
- Use an API to trigger the verification code and registration process: Twilio will give you further instructions via your support ticket on how to trigger the verification and registration process. This is only available as an API at the moment.
Before opening a support ticket, please verify you meet the following requirements:
- Already onboarded to WhatsApp: You must already have a Twilio number registered with WhatsApp at Twilio. If you are new to WhatsApp, we recommend starting with a US Twilio number due to the low cost and ease of registration.
- Account volume requirement: You must already be sending/receiving at least 10,000 Twilio messages per week (SMS, MMS, or WhatsApp). If you are below this threshold, and still building up message volume, we recommend you start by activating a Twilio number for WhatsApp (see below).
- Number volume requirement: Each non-Twilio number registered with WhatsApp is expected to be sending at least 5,000 Twilio messages per week once ramped up.
What if I don’t meet the above requirements?
A non-Twilio phone number may be eligible to activate WhatsApp on Twilio by transferring the existing SMS and/or Voice capabilities for that number to Twilio. For full details, including the supported countries, see the following resources: US porting process | International porting process.
Otherwise, if your non-Twilio phone number is not eligible for porting into Twilio and you do not meet the above requirements for BYON, we recommend you use a Twilio phone number for WhatsApp. Since WhatsApp allows you to communicate globally with any number, we recommend starting with a US Twilio number due to the low cost and ease of registering.
Please note that many types of Twilio phone numbers can be enabled for WhatsApp messaging, even if they are not SMS-capable. For more info, see Which Twilio Phone Numbers are Compatible with WhatsApp?
For help getting started, please see the following resources:
- To sign up for a free trial project with Twilio, see twilio.com/try-twilio. Existing users can instead create a new trial project for testing.
- For tips on working with WhatsApp on Twilio, see our guide Getting Started with Twilio for WhatsApp.
- For a full overview of our API definitions, see Twilio API for WhatsApp (Twilio Docs).