You’ll find all of the information you need to start building apps here on our developers hub. 

What kind of apps can I build?

You can create two types of apps: 

  • Apps (products that connect with Intercom, like Salesforce and Slack)
  • Apps in the Messenger (widgets you can display in the Messenger home, share in conversations and/or send in outbound messages).

What’s the difference between an app and a Messenger app?

Apps

An app is anything that integrates with the Intercom platform, so you can connect Intercom with other products. Most apps don’t surface in the Intercom UI itself - they send data and take actions in products through our API.

For example, Salesforce and Slack are apps that allow you to take all kinds of actions, to keep your lead data up-to-date and help you manage conversations in other channels. Neither of them have Messenger apps.

Apps in the Messenger

 Apps in the Messenger are a specific type of app that make it easy for teammates and users in Intercom to get more done in the Messenger than just chat. They are great for streamlining existing workflows and enabling new ones by bringing other services into the Messeng

These apps are small widgets you can use in the Intercom Messenger. For example, the Shopify app is an app and a Messenger app. It lets you send your Shopify data to Intercom. But it also comes with a Messenger app that allows your customers to see and search their Shopify order status in the Messenger home. 

Then there are Messenger apps that are standalone. The Google Meet app, for example, lets you join video calls with your customers in conversations. It doesn’t do anything else, like send data between Intercom and Google.

Messenger apps can surface in three places: 

  • They can appear in the Messenger home, so visitors and users can complete workflows without needing to start a conversation 
  • Teammates can share them in conversations to help improve workflows for visitors and users 
  • You can set them up to automatically send in outbound messages to your visitors (in your visitor auto messages) and users (in your user auto messages) to help them complete workflows quicker and easier. 

Some Messenger apps can be used in all places; others can be used in only one place. 

You can identify if an app has Messenger app functionality by this icon:

What’s the difference between a public and private app?

You can also choose to create either public or private Messenger apps.

  • A public app is an app you’ve built for other companies to use. It’ll be listed on the Intercom App Store, with the label showing that it was built by your company. For example, the Aircall app is a public app.
  • A private app is an app you’ve created for just your team to use in conjunction with your own product. It won’t be listed on the Intercom app store. For example, Chargedesk built a private Messenger app, so their customer support team could easily share invoices with their customers:

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