A new decade and the road ahead

Sojan V Jose

Sojan V Jose

Published on

4 minute read

Welcoming a new decade with some exciting news from Chatwoot.

It’s 2020 and the decade has begun with the world around us in turmoil. With rising political uncertainties across the globe and a warming planet that’s presenting us with new challenges, we all need to buckle up. However, the way communities have come together in these difficult times serve as the much-needed reassurance that it’s surely not the end of the road and that not all hope is lost.  We will persist and thrive together as a community, like always.

With half of our team traveling through south-east Asia right in the midst of the Corona outbreak,  this post has been in draft for way longer than it should have been. Nevertheless, now everyone’s back home, settled and are happy to share with the community some exciting news in the midst of this.

Premium support plans

Ever since the start of the journey, we have been asking ourselves the question of whether we should focus more on a hosted solution or on making our self-hosted solution more accessible. On the hosted front, there are a ton of products out there that offer similar functionality and features like Intercom, Freshchat, Zendesk Chat etc. In contrast to these players, we stand tall by being open source and providing users the flexibility to have on-premise installations, with 100% data in your control. Drawing from this, to focus more on making the setup of self-hosted Chatwoot easier,  we are introducing two premium support options:

The support plus plan is targeted at SMBs who want to use Chatwoot for their support ( available at an Early bird pricing : $20/month). The installation of Chatwoot on your Heroku account will be assisted by our engineers who will also take care of updates whenever a newer version is released, as long as you continue with the plan.
On the other hand, the enterprise support plan is focused at businesses that would want priority support via email/calls. The base plan starts at 299$/month and pricing is customized based on your requirements.

The above being said, all this doesn’t mean that we have stopped working on the hosted version. We are still working out the niggles with our early bird testers before we widely open it to the public. Do shoot us an email at sales@chatwoot.com, if you don’t mind checking out  bleeding edge software.

Chatwoot goes mobile

Early previews of Chatwoot mobile apps & Mobile SDKs

Providing support on the go is key for all small business owners. We had this realization right at the start and that’s probably why we had an iOS and Android app for Chatwoot under development all this while. Now, We are pretty close to giving an early preview, so do watch out for our updates in the upcoming weeks. You can also check the progress on our git repo. We are also building out our Mobile SDKs starting with android.

Twitter Integration & Twitty Gem

Finally the Twitter channel is available on Chatwoot.

At the IndiaOS conference, we received multiple requests to build a Twitter inbox into Chatwoot. Building a Twitter integration has always been in the back of our mind. Since Facebook & Twitter alone constitute the majority of the support tickets received via social media, the integration made perfect sense.

Over the course of the last month, we have actively worked towards releasing this integration. As we worked with Twitter API, looking at the available gems, we felt a lack of support for some of the use cases we wished to solve. This, in turn, has pushed us to release Twitty, yet another open-source gem to support the Twitter business APIs. More on this will be shared in a separate article that explains our architecture decisions behind Twitty.

Other January Milestones

1.1.0 the best Chatwoot release we ever made 🍎😉

In January, we shipped a bunch of features in our best ever release, 1.1.0. This includes agent online status in the chat widget, conversation continuity through email, storage support for GCS, Azure, among others. Do try and give us a shout out with your thoughts.

We also made our first appearance in a conference, sharing the Chatwoot story at the IndiaOS event in Bangalore.  We are also looking forward to sharing the story and meeting our community in various forums over the coming months.

And The road ahead

Start of this year is pretty exciting as we are starting to see Chatwoot installations being used in production. We also have few partners who are building their product offerings on top of Chatwoot. The product feedback and the bug reports from these users, have been of immense value. We have been working hard to address the bugs identified and incorporate the changes requested into our product pipeline.

All this progress did make us think about the direction which we are headed. And we have arrived at a conclusion. Rather than competing over feature comparison pages, we will be sticking to our strengths. Over the course of next few months, the journey will be all about building a minimum viable software offering, which offers strong data privacy attributes and complete control for the people who are using it. As always super thrilled to share this journey with you all.