Last Updated on March 11, 2024

What is Meta’s latest frequency capping update for WhatsApp Business API, and how does it impact your message deliverability?

Facing High Failure on Whatsapp

Recently, you must have started experiencing a high rate of failure with WhatsApp. This is due to the new frequency capping update from Meta for its WhatsApp Business APIs. Here are some of the frequently asked questions from our customers regarding Meta’s frequency capping.

Q: What is the recent change?
Now, after frequency capping is in place, the end user can only receive messages from a limited number of brands (e.g., ’10’) in a rolling 7-day window. The window is dynamically decided by Meta and cannot be shared with the end business to protect the channel’s user experience.

Q: What is Frequency Capping?
Simply put, Frequency Capping is the latest update by Meta for Indian WhatsApp Business APIs that limits the number of marketing messages that can be sent to a user in India within one week.

Q: How are messages delivered under Frequency Capping?
Frequency Capping works on a first-come, first-deliver basis, meaning the first set of brands will have their messages delivered to the end customer, after which the remaining messages will fail.

Q: What determines the capping for a specific WABA with multiple phone numbers?
The capping is done at the end-customer level independent of the WABA but determined by the phone number. The limit is calculated based on the number of marketing template messages that an individual has received from any business. It is not specifically related to one business.

Q: Does this mean a WhatsApp user may not receive a marketing conversation they were expecting?
Yes, this has always been the case. Messages may not be delivered to people for a variety of reasons. There can be multiple reasons why delivery rates are not 100%.

  • Sporadic access to the network
  • Being inactive for a period of time
  • Create a high-quality user experience.

Q: What should I do if I sense high failure?

  • Please do not immediately retry sending the same template to the user, as this will result in another error message.
  • You may retry that person at a different time, within the 24-hour window
  • Also, it is suggested you tweak the template a bit and not repeat the same template
  • You can create a segment of bounced users from a particular campaign on Contlo, and then retry on that audience.

Q: Why did Meta introduce Frequency Capping?
Meta introduced Frequency Capping to address the message overload experienced by users, which leads to a lower Return on Investment (ROI) for Marketing Messages.

Q: Does Frequency Capping affect all users?
Frequency Capping affects only marketing messages to users in India (+91) country code.

Q: Will session messages and CTWA retargeting campaigns be affected?
No, session messages and CTWA retargeting campaigns will remain unaffected by Frequency Capping.

Q: What messages does the limit apply to?
The limit applies solely to marketing template messages that will open a new marketing conversation. If a marketing conversation is already active between a business and a WhatsApp user, any marketing template messages sent to the user will not be affected by this limit.

Q: Does the limit apply to messages that are a mix of utility and marketing?
Yes, messages with a blend of utility and marketing content may not get delivered, as they fall under the category of marketing messages.

Q: What’s in scope?
Initially, only marketing conversations were sent by businesses on the WhatsApp Business Platform to people with an Indian (+91) phone number. WhatsApp Business App users’ messages are not in scope currently.

Q: Which templates are impacted?
New marketing template conversations only. Utility and authentication templates will continue to be delivered normally.

Q: What is a marketing conversation?
A new marketing conversation is defined as the first marketing template sent in a 24-hour conversation window. Marketing conversations sent within an existing 24-hour conversation window will not be impacted.

Error Codes

Q: Will Meta provide an error message for failed messages?
There is no specific error message for this use case; however, it will fall under a generic error code.
Global Error is 003

Q: Why was my message marked as “UNKNOWN_SUBSCRIBER” with error code 003?

The message couldn’t be delivered, and possible reasons include:

i)The recipient’s phone number isn’t registered on WhatsApp.

ii)The recipient hasn’t accepted the new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
iii)The recipient is using an outdated WhatsApp version.

iv)The message couldn’t be delivered to maintain a high-quality user experience (Frequency Capping).

Q: How do I know if my message was not delivered for this reason?

Businesses will receive error code 003, in the delivery report downloaded from Gupshup.

Q: Is it possible to bypass the message delivery limit on festivals and holidays?

While there might be a chance to bypass this limit during festivals and holidays, the system won’t specify reasons for message-sending failures, although probable reasons will be shared.

Please read more about this frequency capping on the Meta article here.