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Making it easier to build on Intercom

Manager of Engineering, Intercom

Bob Long

@bobjlong

If software is eating the world, then platforms are the cutlery.

The Platform team at Intercom is dedicated to ensuring that Intercom works for everyone, agnostic of frameworks, programming languages, or external dependencies. We discuss “using Intercom in unexpected ways”, and how we can provide a canvas for solving problems. We like to think we are making less and less assumptions about how our customers want to run their businesses.

Intercom creates packaged Javascript and iOS/Android integrations, but last year I wrote about Intercom’s commitment to enabling extraordinary business use-cases by also offering APIs, webhooks, and external integrations. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the improvements we’ve made since then:

Acquire API

With the launch of the Acquire package, we believe Intercom has become the best way to help you convert your website visitors into paying customers. Since the launch we’ve extended full API and webhooks support to logged-out users, known as Contacts. This includes creating Contacts, and managing the conversion and merging of Contacts and Users.

Conversation API

Intercom’s Team Inbox supports managing huge amounts of conversations with a varied user base within a connected environment. It ensures you stay in-sync with your team and provides real-time updates on the status of each customer conversation. You always have the context on who you are talking to and can work fast while staying personal with Saved Replies.

Now the Conversations API has been updated to support a full range of actions. Whether it’s initiating conversations, replying, opening, closing, sending attachments, or assigning, you can automate more of your workflow.

Client updates

With help from the open-source community, we now maintain client libraries for Ruby, Node.js, PHP, Java, and Go. We also have community contributed Haskell,  Python and Perl clients. Our client libraries have been downloaded approximately 300,000 times, and provide the easiest way to start talking to Intercom from your own software.

Stripe Integration

Our Stripe Integration allows you to import your user-base from Stripe, and then keep it in-sync with live events and user updates. With Intercom you can intelligently seek feedback from your paying customers, message them at the right times, and solve their problems faster. With our Stripe Integration the answer to questions like, “which of my highest paying customers are slipping away?”, can be found with a few clicks.

Bulk Improvements

Our updated Bulk API offering provides a fully asynchronous, monitorable way to perform bulk operations against your data set in Intercom. It’s now painless to migrate entire user-bases to Intercom, and update large batches of users.

WordPress Plugin

WordPress powers 25% of the web. We have released a fully supported WordPress plugin, which provides the simplest way to get up and running with the Intercom widget and Acquire on your WordPress site.

OAuth

We’re rolling out OAuth as a more secure alternative to API Key authorization. Initially, we’ve shipped OAuth support to our Salesforce integration; which means you can now connect to your Intercom apps within Salesforce on a per-teammate basis without needing to expose API keys.

If you’re interested in building connected apps with Intercom using OAuth, please get in touch!

What others are building on our platform

By its very nature a platform is only successful if it is being used by third parties to create new and unexpected things. Here are a few case studies of apps that have taken advantage of Intercom’s public platform:

AskNicely

AskNicely integrates with Intercom to help you automatically track your NPS score, using real-time dashboards, weekly emails, and live comment feeds.

Gini

Gini leverages Intercom’s platform to provide beautiful automatic reports. Gini generates interactive graphs and charts describing growth, cohort analysis, feature usage, and customer profiles.

Talkdesk

The Talkdesk integration with Intercom allows Support and Sales staff to intelligently manage phone-calls and deliver a better customer experience. Using Intercom, Talkdesk provides contextual information about the caller in real-time. Agents are able to save time by creating and logging Intercom conversations or calls using in-app prompts and automated workflows.

We’re eager to help support this emerging ecosystem of apps and integrations built on the Intercom platform. Get in touch with the platform team – Brian, Bob, Jamie, Mike, Ruairi, and Bill – to show off what you’ve built, or to give us some feedback on what we should build next!


Interested in building an integration with Intercom? Join the Developer Program and get listed.