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The easiest way to install Intercom in a Rails app.
Latest commit 2cdc2ab @bobjflong bobjflong Merge pull request #131 from kayluhb/master
Adds support for configuring the activator selector via the config



The easiest way to install Intercom in a rails app.

For interacting with the Intercom REST API, use the intercom gem (


Add this to your Gemfile:

gem "intercom-rails"

Then run:

bundle install

Take note of your app_id from here and generate a config file:

rails generate intercom:config YOUR-APP-ID

To make installing Intercom as easy as possible, where possible a <script> tag will be automatically inserted before the closing </body> tag. For most Rails apps, you won't need to do any extra config. Having trouble? Check out troubleshooting below.

Disabling automatic insertion

To disable automatic insertion for a particular controller or action you can:

  skip_after_filter :intercom_rails_auto_include


If it's not working make sure:

  • You've generated a config file with your app_id as detailed above.
  • Your user object responds to an id or email method.
  • Your current user is accessible in your controllers as current_user or @user, if not in config/initializers/intercom.rb:
  config.user.current = { current_user_object }
  • If you want the Intercom Messenger to be available when there is no current user, set config.include_for_logged_out_users = true in your config and sign up for the Acquire package.

Feel free to mail us:, if you're still having trouble.


API Secret

If you want to use secure mode, ensure you set your API secret in config/initializers/intercom.rb:

  config.api_secret = '123456'

User Custom data attributes

You can associate any attributes, specific to your app, with a user in Intercom. For custom data attributes you want updated on every request set them in config/initializers/intercom.rb, the latest value will be sent to Intercom on each page visit.

Configure what attributes will be sent using either a:

  • Proc which will be passed the current user object
  • Or, a method which will be sent to the current user object


  config.user.custom_data = {
    :plan => { |user| },
    :is_paid => { |user| user.plan.present? },
    :email_verified => :email_verified?

In some situations you'll want to set some custom data attribute specific to a request. You can do this using the intercom_custom_data helper available in your controllers:

class AppsController < ActionController::Base
  def activate
    intercom_custom_data.user[:app_activated_at] =

  def destroy
    intercom_custom_data.user[:app_deleted_at] =

Attributes must be accessible in order to sync with intercom. Additionally, attributes ending in "_at" will be parsed as times.


By default, Intercom treats all Users as unrelated individuals. If for example you know users are part of a company, you can group them as such.

Read more about it here

Basic usage is as follows - in config/initializers/intercom.rb = { current_company }

and like with Users, you can set custom attribute on companies too: = {
  :number_of_messages => { |app| app.messages.count },
  :is_interesting => :is_interesting?

Live Chat / Acquire

With our Acquire package, Intercom Messenger now works with logged out users and visitors to your web site. Include the Intercom snippet on every page by setting:

  config.include_for_logged_out_users = true


Intercom includes an in-app messenger which allows a user to read messages and start conversations.

By default Intercom will add a button that opens the messenger to the page. If you want to customize the style of the link that opens the messenger: = :custom

With this option enabled, clicks on any element with an id of Intercom will open the messenger. So the simplest option here would be to add something like the following to your layout:

  <a id="Intercom">Support</a>

You can customize the CSS selector, by setting

  config.inbox.custom_activator = '.intercom-link'

You can read more about configuring the messenger in your applications settings, within Intercom.


By default Intercom will be automatically inserted in development and production Rails environments. If you would like to specify the environments in which Intercom should be inserted, you can do so as follows:

  config.enabled_environments = ["production"]

Manually Inserting the Intercom Javascript

Some situations may require manually inserting the Intercom script tag. If you simply wish to place the Intercom javascript in a different place within the page or, on a page without a closing </body> tag:

  <%= intercom_script_tag %>

This will behave exactly the same as the default auto-install. If for whatever reason you can't use auto-install, you can also provide a hash of user data as the first argument:

<% if logged_in? %>
  <%= intercom_script_tag({
    :app_id => 'your-app-id',
    :user_id =>,
    :email =>,
    :name =>,
    :created_at => current_user.created_at,
    :custom_data => {
      'plan' =>
  }) %>
<% end %>

You can also override IntercomRails::Config options such as your api_secret, or widget configuration with a second hash:

<% if logged_in? %>
  <%= intercom_script_tag({
    :app_id => 'your-app-id',
    :user_id =>,
    :email =>,
    :name =>,
    :created_at => current_user.created_at
  }, {
    :secret => 'your-apps-api-secret',
    :widget => {:activator => '#Intercom'}
  }) %>
<% end %>

Importing your users

To get started faster with Intercom, IntercomRails includes a Rake task that will do an initial import of your users:

rake intercom:import

Any custom data defined in config/initializers/intercom.rb will also be sent.

Running tests/specs

specs should run on a clean clone of this repo, using the following commands. (developed against ruby 2.1.2 and 1.9.3)

bundle install
bundle exec rake spec
bundle exec rspec spec/


  • Dr Nic Williams (@drnic) - provided a rails generator for adding the Intercom javascript tag into your layout.
  • Alexander Chaychuk (@sashich) - fixed bug in user detection when users not persisted (e.g. new session view with devise).


intercom-rails is released under the MIT License.


Copyright (c) 2011-2012 Intercom, Inc. All rights reserved.

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