📞 WhatsApp Lite Pack — The essentials to send messages, documents, and files from Coda

As a little side quest, I made a WhatsApp pack.

There was one already, but as @Breno_Nunes himself said, we needed a better one. That one was using the 3rd party service for the integration. And my pack doesn’t — it integrates directly with Facebook API.

One gotcha. This pack is only for sending messages, not receiving them.
Processing incoming updates is tricky, but I’m working on it :wink:

And when that’s done, eventually there’ll be a Full/Pro pack, which will have all the formulas for working with incoming messages, replying and reacting, and processing incoming button clicks. It will be a premium pack aimed at those who want to build functional chat bots right in their Coda docs. It’s not a priority project for me, but if you want to fast-lane it and open to sponsoring the development, I’m all ears: paul@codatricks.com :slight_smile:


P.S. Huge thanks to @Eric_Koleda for suggesting a much better way to set up authentication with Facebook than I would think of.

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Thank you @Paul_Danyliuk, really helpful!

I am very excited about the Full Pack!

Sincerely
Jannis

This sounds great @Paul_Danyliuk . Thank you for releasing it! Does it require businesses to pay to use the API to send messages? Or is it only for personal numbers to send messages?

I don’t remember the pricing exactly; you can look for the info here:

If I remember correctly, there’s some number of interactions that you can do for free (1000 or 10000 or 100000 per month, I don’t remember honestly) and then you have to pay if you go over the limit. An interaction is one chat with unlimited messages but limited to 24 hours since the first message (i.e. any message after 24 hours starts a new interaction). Also I don’t remember if the limit is for any interactions or only those initiated from the business (i.e. a mass send over your subscribers). If it’s the latter, then the bot can basically function for free (i.e. work as a reply bot to user messages)

Oh, and there’s also two stages:

  1. In development you’ll be using a temporary token. It has to be refreshed every 24 hours. It gives you a fake WhatsApp number, and it only allows sending messages to up to 5 contacts (developers). Obviously you can’t go into production with it, even for your own use it’s very tedious to refresh it every day.

  2. To fully use the platform you’ll have to get your business verified. I haven’t passed that yet lol so I have no idea what the process is. From what I’ve read, they’ll require paperwork and that you have a website with company info etc.

You’ll pay (or not pay) Meta. This pack is free. A more complete pack will be paid. Getting messages into Coda also will be paid either way: you’ll have to use either some Zapier or Make (both basically paid) or my upcoming “Doc as API” platform that I’ll keep reasonably priced (i.e. you’ll be able to subscribe from a single-user workspace so that you won’t have to pay for every maker; as a pack maker I don’t know how many seats you’re paying for anyways)

Full disclosure, not a big fan of whatsapp bots. When it comes to messenger bots, Telegram absolutely kills it. I only made this pack to complete my “doc as api” demo. As for Telegram, there are some very basic packs for it in the gallery — I haven’t yet made mine but I have ambitions for it, as I’ve been having quite some experience building TG bots this last year.

Very nicely done.

For our business, we have a need to send (from Coda) WhatsApp messages to WhatsApp groups and I am pretty sure that it can’t be done this way.

I am using a commercial solution to send new messages from Coda to our WhatsApp groups (ultramsg.com). I could have opted for sending each message by itself to each group member individually, but that was for our purposes not a very good solution.

It’s pretty straight forward - the concept (I think) is that ultramsg sends messages from their system as if they were you sending a message. The only implication is that their systems have have access to your whatsapp account and consumes one of your four allowed simultaneous connections and that your phone can’t be inactive for longer than 14 days (but I guess that never happens anymore).

They have a free trial period, but that’s only for three days or so and max 100 msg per day. After the free trial you have to extend the trial every day (I don’t know how long you can use it that way).

If this can be done with a 3rd party platform, this can be done in a pack this way or another :slightly_smiling_face: Right now for me it’s a matter of priorities. I’m trying this and that to see what might have a bigger demand. If there’s a lot of excitement for the WhatsApp integration, I’ll put more effort into it sooner.

Also, Facebook designs their APIs the same way it designs their UX… :man_facepalming: :man_facepalming: :man_facepalming: top company with elite talent my -ss

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