Send a File Message

In this code snippet you learn how to send a WhatsApp file message using the Messages API. For WhatsApp the maximum outbound media size is 64MB.

IMPORTANT: If a customer has not messaged you first, then the first time you send a message to a user, WhatsApp requires that the message contains a template. This is explained in more detail in the Understanding WhatsApp topic.


Ensure the following variables are set to your required values using any convenient method:

Key Description
WHATSAPP_NUMBER The WhatsApp number that has been allocated to you by Nexmo.
TO_NUMBER The phone number you are sending the message to.
FILE_URL The URL of the file to send.
FILE_CAPTION The text describing the file being sent.

NOTE: Don't use a leading + or 00 when entering a phone number, start with the country code, for example, 447700900000.


Create an application
If you do not have an application you can create one. Make sure you also configure your webhooks.

Write the code

Add the following to

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curl -X POST \
  -H 'Authorization: Bearer '$JWT \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -H 'Accept: application/json' \
  -d $'{
    "from": { "type": "whatsapp", "number": "'$WHATSAPP_NUMBER'" },
    "to": { "type": "whatsapp", "number": "'$TO_NUMBER'" },
    "message": {
      "content": {
        "type": "file",
        "file": { 
          "url": "'$FILE_URL'",
          "caption": "'$FILE_CAPTION'"

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Run your code

Save this file to your machine and run it:


Try it out

When you run the code a WhatsApp file message is sent to the destination number.