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How dates work in Intercom

Learn how dates are stored in Intercom, what formats we accept, and how your device’s timezone influences which dates you see.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated over a week ago

There are many different reasons to track dates in Intercom. Intercom already tracks some dates by default, such as when your users sign up, or are first seen on your website. Read more about the data that Intercom automatically tracks here

You can also send Intercom dates as custom user attributes. For example, you could track the date that a user subscribed to one of your products, or the date they cancelled their subscription.

Once you’re sending these date attributes to Intercom, you could send an Proactive Support Message to users who cancelled a week ago, or send a Product Tour to newly subscribed users to assist with their onboarding.

Tracking date attributes in Intercom

There are two ways to track date attributes in Intercom about your users: 

1. If you create a custom attribute name that ends with “_at” we'll automatically treat it as a date rather than a number (see  "last_order_at"  below).

window.intercomSettings = {
  email: "",
  user_id: "123",
  app_id: "abc1234",
  "last_order_at" : 1350466020, // Send dates in unix timestamp format and end key names with "_at"

2. Alternatively, you can create date attributes from Settings > Data > People in your workspace.

Choose the Date format when creating these attributes. When you start sending Intercom data for these attributes, make sure to either send the dates as a unix timestamp in seconds, or in a DD/MM/YYYY format.

We recommend that you do not allow attribute updates or creation via the Messenger as this can be a security risk. Learn more here.

What is a Unix timestamp and why is it needed?

Date attributes should ideally be sent to Intercom as a Unix timestamp. Every programming language has ways to calculate these timestamps. Intercom only accepts the timestamps in seconds, not in milliseconds. Intercom will also accept ISO 8601 timestamps if generating a Unix one is troublesome.

Unix timestamps are always the preferred format for date attributes in Intercom, as they provide a specific point in time, so they can be translated across timezones. If you don't know or can't generate the exact timestamp, you can also send Intercom date attributes in DD/MM/YYYY format. Then, filters such as “Signed up more than 30 days ago” will still work correctly - if not quite as specifically - for Proactive Support Messages, Workflows and more.

What dates can I see in the Intercom app?

The dates displayed in your workspace will always be in your computer or device’s timezone, which could be different from your workspace’s timezone.

For example, the date a user was first seen:

Or, when a message was received by hovering over the channel icon in your Help Desk:

Your workspace’s timezone is used for a number of reasons, such as when to send scheduled messages, or to determine your office hours, but it does not influence the dates you see in the Intercom UI.


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