A few weeks ago, WhatsApp took the wraps off the WhatsApp Business API - a tool for allowing large businesses to use the chat app to interact with their customers. It didn't take long for Smooch to get a ton of interest from brands and software makers eager to take advantage of the newly-opened platform.

Despite the excitement, production usage of the WhatsApp Business API is only available to a select few brands and software applications (you can register your interest here). So how can you get your business and your software ready for WhatsApp the moment you receive approval?

Introducing the Smooch Sandbox for WhatsApp

The Smooch Sandbox for WhatsApp lets you experience the capabilities of the platform while you patiently wait for approval from the WhatsApp team. The sandbox allows you to start building and prototyping with WhatsApp immediately.

With the Smooch Sandbox for WhatsApp, you can take advantage of most of the functionality of the WhatsApp platform and build, develop and test your applications. However, the sandbox has one key limitation that prevents you from using it in production - each instance of the sandbox can only speak to a single WhatsApp user.

Activating the Sandbox

Follow the steps below to get access to the sandbox.

Step 1: Choose your app

Sign into your Smooch account (or sign up for a free account) and select the app you want to connect to WhatsApp:

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Step 2: Connect WhatsApp to your app

From your app page, head to the integrations directory:
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Pick WhatsApp from the list of integrations:
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Click "Connect" to get to the sandbox:
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Step 3: Activate the sandbox

Click "Activate Sandbox" to receive instructions on how to connect your WhatsApp client account to the Sandbox:

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You can do it by scanning the QR code or by texting the secret code to the number indicated:
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Step 4: You're ready to message!

Once the connection is successful, the page will update and you're ready to start sending and receiving messages between your personal WhatsApp account (on your phone) and Smooch.

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Back on your app page, you should now see your WhatsApp integration:
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Where can you go from here?

Now that you've activated the Smooch Sandbox for WhatsApp, you're ready to start sending and receiving messages with it.

Use our API (here's a handy walkthrough) to send and receive messages in your software.

Or give it a quick spin by connecting to one of our built-in business system integrations and get started without writing any code.

Whichever route you choose, we're excited to help you experience WhatsApp and get a taste of how it will be transforming business-to-consumer interactions in the coming months.

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