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SMS Threading + WhatsApp Integration | November 2023
SMS Threading + WhatsApp Integration | November 2023
Michael Stephenson avatar
Written by Michael Stephenson
Updated over a week ago

Release Notes

Issued: 11/2/2023

SMS Threading

Overview: This change improves the existing conversation interface when communicating with students via text message. With this improvement, messages with a student will now be in one continuous thread for each to and from phone number pair. This will mirror the experience students see on their phones.

You will see these updates when you're viewing conversations in your Inbox by navigating to Engagement > Conversations > All Conversations.


  • Threading Messages: When communicating with a student via text message, all messages (no matter who communicates with the student) will be threaded in one continuous message. Note: If your institution has multiple outgoing numbers, messages will be grouped by outgoing number with its own thread with the contact.

    • Why is a continuous thread important? Imagine this scenario: you and another person on your campus send a text to the same student at around the same time. Although you both have different conversations, the student only sees one thread since the messages come from one outgoing number.
      This improvement prevents confusion when multiple people message a student from the same number, ensuring the student interacts with one consistent voice rather than conflicting threads. You and your team benefit from streamlined collaboration while your students experience an organized conversation.

  • Closing Conversations: If you have previously communicated with a student, closed the conversation, and the student subsequently sends another text message, that conversation is reopened with the retained conversation history.

    • Why is closing conversations important? Currently, automation rules are only executed for new inbound conversations. With this update, SMS automation will now execute against new and reopened by a new inbound from the student. For instance, if you have an automation rule that assigns conversations containing the phrase "financial aid" to a specific user. This rule will only activate on subsequent conversations for that student if prior conversation was closed.

WhatsApp Integration

⚠️ WhatsApp Integration is a premium feature for existing partners prior to November 1, 2023. To learn more about adding the feature and pricing, contact our customer support team.

Overview: With the addition of WhatsApp, you can seamlessly communicate with students via another conversational channel. The addition of WhatsApp will be highly beneficial for institutions communicating with international students.


  • WhatsApp will be a new channel in the Conversations module.

  • You must use a Meta-approved WhatsApp Business account.

  • BoltBot can be enabled to reply to new inbound messages.

  • To prevent SPAM (like with SMS), only inbound messages from known users will be routed to Conversations.

  • Meta allows for 24-hour conversation windows.

  • Meta requires new outbound messages to be sent via approved template(s).

  • In addition to Element451's annual fee, Meta charges a nominal fee per conversation window; inquire with Meta for specifics.

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