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Our lessons learned on migrating the WhatsApp Business Number to WhatsApp Business API

Reaching a global audience is now easier than ever thanks to WhatsApp Business API. Migrating from a WhatsApp for Business to the Business API comes with some aspects to follow which we learned with a large number of account migrations.

WhatsApp officially offers a migration path from the WhatsApp for Business App to the WhatsApp for Business API, which works like a charm. Here is a peek into how we tackled it.

In short: what’s the official migration path?

WhatsApp for Business  -> WhatsApp for Business API:

  1. First of you need to get your display name approved. Your WhatsApp Business Solution Provider can do this while setting up your WhatsApp Business Account in Facebook Business Manager. This step is essential to create a certificate, otherwise, the API of WhatsApp Business client will not work.

  2. It is possible to keep the phone number that is already registered in your WhatsApp Business app. However, it is required to delete the old account associated with that phone number and then triggering the WhatsApp for Business API registration process. The migration of your phone number is described here. While you are migrating your number all incoming messages will be queued by WhatsApp servers and delivered after a successful migration. 

      From here there is no way back; existing chats (history) cannot be imported once the number has been moved to the API; profile settings need to be reconfigured. Your former WhatsApp Business Client can not be used afterwards.

  3. The number is now on the API of WhatsApp Business.
    All numbers set up for the WhatsApp for Business API need to remain with the Business Service Provider that originally implemented the number. There is currently no way to move the number to another Business Service Provider.

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