Making WhatsApp chatbot from TARS dashboard is quite similar to making web chatbots.

In case you are new to TARS chatbots, please check out this Getting Started Guide first on how to make a chatbot from scratch from TARS dashboard: https://help.hellotars.com/en/collections/336877-getting-started

There are some limitations due to the limited input options available in WhatsApp. Let us take a look on how creating a WA chatbot is different than a web chatbot:

Input Types

Let us go through the possible input types in WhatsApp:

  1. Open Text: Open text input type works the same way as in web chatbot. We can put validations on numbers, emails and other inputs as we do for the web chatbots and even the WA chatbot will show error messages in case of non-validation.

  2. Auto-Suggest/Calendar/Date-time Scroller/Star Rating/Media Input: It is not possible to have all these input types due to limitations from WhatsApp input message. We would be able to take media inputs as well in the next release.

  3. Buttons: Buttons are the most used input type in WA chatbot to take users through a guided flow. The buttons come as numbered options in a WA message bubble and the user would need to type in the option number to go to a particular message. The default message will be "Please select one of the following options by typing the option number." and can be changed depending the locale of your chatbot (https://help.hellotars.com/en/articles/728042-language-settings)

  4. Conditional Jump: In case your chatbot has a more open ended flow where we are collecting text inputs and want to take users to a flow depending on the input, you can always use the conditional jump feature to take user to different branches depending on the input text (https://help.hellotars.com/en/articles/1174270-conditional-jump-in-the-conversation-based-on-logical-conditions)

Gambit Options

Other than the basic gambit options, we can use the API gambit as well and use all API functionalities in the chatbot like referencing API response values, displaying arrays in buttons etc.

Message Bubble Options

Other than texts, you can push multimedia files inside the WA chatbot like images and .pdfs. We can't send GIFs in the WA chatbot since it has its own Tenor keyboard. (NOTE: Sending pdfs in message bubble is not possible from the dashboard and you will need to contact your Success Manager to configure the same)

All links are sent with a meta image and in case of YouTube/Facebook videos, we can play the media inside the WhatsApp App by clicking on the image.

Ending a chat session:

By default the chat ends in a 24-hr window and if any user sends a message after 24 hrs from the last message, it will be considered as a new session. Ending a WA chat session is quite similar to ending it in a Web chatbot using auto-page redirection input type.

NOTE: We cannot redirect a user from the WA Application using auto-redirection. It is just used to end the chat session

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