How to link to WhatsApp from a different app

There are several ways to have your iPhone application interact with WhatsApp: universal links, custom URL schemes, share extension, and the Document Interaction API.
Universal links
Universal links are the preferred method of linking to a WhatsApp account.
Use<number> where the <number> is a full phone number in international format. Omit any brackets, dashes, plus signs, and leading zeros when adding the phone number in international format.
Don't use:
Universal links can also include a pre-filled message that will automatically appear in the text field of a chat. Use where whatsappphonenumber is a full phone number in international format and URL-encodedtext is the URL-encoded pre-filled message.
To create a link with just a pre-filled message, use
Custom URL Scheme
Opening whatsapp:// URL with one of the following parameters, will open our app and perform a custom action.
app-The WhatsApp Messenger application
sendNew chat composer
textIf present, this text will be pre-filled into message text input field on a conversation screen.
The Objective-C call to open one of these URLs is as follows:
NSURL *whatsappURL = [NSURL URLWithString:@"whatsapp://send?text=Hello%2C%20World!"]; if ([[UIApplication sharedApplication] canOpenURL: whatsappURL]) { [[UIApplication sharedApplication] openURL: whatsappURL]; }
Be sure to include WhatsApp URL scheme in your application's Info.plist under LSApplicationQueriesSchemes key if you want to determine whether WhatsApp is installed on the user’s iPhone using -[UIApplication canOpenURL:].
Share Extension
Introduced in iOS 8.0, Share Extension provides a convenient way for any app to share content with other applications installed on user's iPhone. This is now the preferred way of sharing your content onto WhatsApp. To use Share Extension, create an instance of UIActivityViewController and present it in your app. WhatsApp accepts the following types of content:
  • text (UTI: public.plain-text)
  • photos (UTI: public.image)
  • videos (UTI:
  • audio notes and music files (UTI:
  • PDF documents (UTI: com.adobe.pdf)
  • contact cards (UTI: public.vcard)
  • web URLs (UTI: public.url)
Document Interaction
If your application creates photos, videos, or audio notes and you'd like your users to share these media using WhatsApp, you can use the Document Interaction API to send your media to your WhatsApp contacts and groups.
WhatsApp Messenger can handle various types of media:
  • images of any type that conforms to public.image (for example, PNG and JPEG)
  • videos of any type that conforms to (for example, MPEG-4 video)
  • audio files (only MPEG-3, MPEG-4, AIFF, AIFF-C and Core Audio)
Alternatively, if you want to show only WhatsApp in the application list (instead of WhatsApp plus any other public/*-conforming apps) you can specify a file of one of aforementioned types saved with the extension that is exclusive to WhatsApp:
  • images - «.wai» which is of type net.whatsapp.image
  • videos - «.wam» which is of type
  • audio files - «.waa» which is of type
When triggered, WhatsApp will immediately present the user with the contact/group picker screen. The media will be automatically sent to a selected contact/group.
For more information about sharing media to WhatsApp, consult the resources on Apple’s Developer website.
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