Before we get started, it’s important to understand the difference between Messages and Conversations in Intercom.
Messages – These are pieces of text sent to and from users or leads in Intercom. They can be emails, in-app or push.
Conversations – These are collections of messages that you read in the Intercom Inbox.
When a message is sent to a new lead or user (For example, a cold outbound email) or a message is sent that starts a new conversation with an existing lead or user, Highways Sync is not told by Intercom about this message.
Intercom only informs Highways of updates to a conversation when the intended User or Lead replies.
This problem is unique to Intercom.
As a result, Highways Sync needs to conduct an additional step every 12 to 24 hours to check for these messages via the Message Export function provided by Intercom. In other words, if you send a message to a User or Lead that does not reply, it may be up to 24 hours before this message is replicated to your other systems.
If a User or Lead replies before this check is conducted, the conversation is generally synced within 30 mins of the last update or reply
Why can’t Highways Sync detect these new messages?
The simple answer is that Intercom does not tell Highways about them. From a technical perspective, Intercom does not provide the necessary webhooks that other providers e.g. Drift offer to Highways.
Highways are currently working with Intercom to include this webhook and functionality such that this problem, and delay, no longer exists.
Can Highways check more often than every 12 to 24 hours?
Highways are limited by the number of export jobs it can request from Intercom in a given time period. Furthermore, these export jobs take time, often hours in large workspaces, and hence Highways must wait for one to complete before requesting another.