Any plans to have message type for apps?

We are using notes to post notifications from our Intercom app to conversations. So far this has been working well, however we are now facing an issues that seem to be out of our hands:

When a admin snoozes a conversation it disappears from the list of open conversations. If anyone other than that admin posts a comment or a note to that conversation (in this case our app posts a note) it is reopened. Unfortunately, this seems to be baked-in rule in Intercom and we don’t seem to have control over this (see this article > When does a snoozed conversation automatically reopen?).

I can imagine some nasty workarounds for this, e.g. if we want to post a note to a conversation that is snoozed:

  1. take note of the snoozed_until value
  2. post the note
  3. re-snooze the conversation with previous snoozed_until value

Not sure if the re-open and then re-snooze steps trigger some other side effects but otherwise this could work.

App Message Type?

I am wondering if there are any plans to have a message type for apps to post information to conversations that is visible to admins only? Basically we would like to have exactly what Operator already has today. An app could post to a conversation and admins can see (via the app avatar) that it made the post (like with Operator). Messages could be formatted with mechanisms that already exist in Canvas Kit (as JSON object).

I think this feature sort of exists already for customer facing messages via cards but is lacking for admin-only messages.

We currently have two main issues with (mis-)using notes for app messages:

  1. notes have side effects that we cannot control (as described above)
  2. properly styling note messages is a challenge because it interferes with the CSS on the Intercom page

I am interested to hear what others think of this. Does anyone have a similar use case?

Hey @tobi, thank you so much for the detailed and thorough feedback.

We could look into removing the baked in rule for messages posted via the API to not re-open the conversation, and then let conversations be opened in a separate call (more flexibility). This should obviously need to be versioned so that it doesn’t break existing workflows.

In regards to message type, we have been teasing out the idea for apps to have a sort of admin account that can post like bots, and perhaps offer a richer “posting” options. Nothing in the immediate term, mostly because there are some open “strategic” questions to be answered about how a sort of bot framework would look like and what are the implications with existing Operator bot.

Thanks @hellojeanpierre, removing the baked in rule would address the problem and I believe would be a good thing because it eliminates the unexpected reopen side effect.

Regarding the message type, yes, that’s exactly what I have been thinking of. This would obviously be the preferred long term solution and would also address the message formatting challenge. Thanks for being open and clear about where Intercom stands in that regard.