Can I use my Twilio number with the official WhatsApp mobile/desktop app?

It is possible to use Twilio numbers on the WhatsApp consumer mobile app, desktop app, or WhatsApp Business app, however there are several limitations to be aware of when doing so:

  • The same number cannot be used on the WhatsApp application and the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio at the same time.
  • Messages sent to and from the WhatsApp application will not be visible to the Twilio platform and will not be available in Twilio messaging logs.
  • It will not be possible to integrate the Twilio number with any third party applications for purposes of sending WhatsApp messages via the application nor WhatsApp Business API with Twilio.
  • When registering your Twilio number on the WhatsApp application, you will need to receive an OTP code. These codes may not always be successfully received by Twilio’s platform for reasons outside Twilio’s influence. Please see here for further details: https://support.twilio.com/hc/en-us/articles/223133447-Not-Receiving-Incoming-SMS-and-MMS-Messages-on-Twilio-Phone-Number 

WhatsApp Business API with Twilio vs. WhatsApp Applications

The official WhatsApp application is intended for use by individuals only. The "WhatsApp Business" mobile application is intended for small businesses, for example a 1-person business where the owner responds to customers from his or her own mobile phone.

The WhatsApp Business API with Twilio is designed for use by businesses at any scale, large or small. With the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio, you can send and receive messages using the Twilio Programmable Messaging API, or a third-party Twilio integration that supports our Programmable Messaging API including our WhatsApp capabilities, such as FrontApp.

Moving your Twilio Number from the Application to the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio

If you have already registered your Twilio number on the WhatsApp application, you can migrate to the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio by first deleting the WhatsApp account associated with your number. Please see here for how to delete your WhatsApp account: https://faq.whatsapp.com/605464643328528/?locale=en_US 

Please note that it is not possible to import messaging history from the WhatsApp application into the Twilio console.

Once the account is deleted, read the guide here for more information on how to get started with the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio: https://www.twilio.com/docs/whatsapp/self-sign-up

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