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Show HN: Papercups – Open-source alternative to Intercom (papercups.io)
148 points by areichert 10 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 34 comments

Wow, cool to see this here!

Just recently reached out to Kam, founder of Papercups, on LinkedIn as I had read his article about them going through YC. I wanted to know more about people's experiences with remote YC batches, and Kam responded very quickly and set up a call with no hesitation.

If you're looking for great chat solutions made by great people, check this out :)

I'd be really interested to hear more regarding people's experiences with remote YC batches. Please share if possible.

Thanks Satam! We're always happy to chat :)

This makes me wonder if website chat could be implemented by connecting user directly to Slack or other messaging service of your choice and skipping the "admin panel" part?



Creates a short-lived channel per chat. It works well in terms of sharing responsibilities with a team and allowing people to jump in easily.

I did feel a bit of unease with having customers in the same place as our "private" conversations.

Shameless plug: My project, Cactus Comments[1] does something similar, although for commenting, instead of support chat.

We ship a web-embeddable Matrix client. The users' browser connects directly with a Matrix server of their choice (or a default one).

[1]: https://cactus.chat

This is very close to what I had found a need for today - now if only I had a (self-hosted)-wordpress-user-accounts bridge for the login -

and auto-prune to delete all messages after X number of hours - a new project could happen quickly with this.

Yup! To be honest, a lot of the smaller teams using Papercups with our Slack integration rarely need to interact with the admin dashboard if they don't want to. (But it turns out that having a dashboard to manage unresolved questions, add private notes/labels/tags to customers/conversations, etc. is still pretty helpful)

I’m curious about why did they chose elixir to build papercups

For a chat solution I can’t think of a better option. BEAM is ideal for that type of workload.

Yup! We talked about it a bit here: https://serokell.io/blog/elixir-in-production-papercups

questions I had when looking at home and features page..

Is it encrypted? in transit? data at rest?

I see 'enterprise option' for self clouding - guessing this means data is sent to third parties - is that hosted in the USA?

Really like the screensharing bit - is this share either screen? (site admins and or site visitor?) - is that encrypted? Is that (or any info) stored? (by site owner or and third parties ie papercups.co

We use https so its encrypted at transit. We host with heroku and fly.io. So we use their encryption policy for our cloud solution.

We have papercups-eu.io which is hosted in Frankfurt and is encrypted at rest.

For those who are more privacy contentious we have a self hosted solution. Where we collect logs and anonymized data to make our product better and debugging purposes.

been using chatwoot, which is opensource too. is this better?

Funny thing is, Chatwoot did their HN launch just 2 days ago [1], so I’m curious to see a head-to-head comparison between Papercups and Chatwoot, two nice-looking chat products that happen to be open source.

1: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26501527

We're pretty similar to Chatwoot in some ways - Kam described some differences here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26503697

To reiterate some of the differences, or why people might choose us at the moment:

- A lot of our users really like our Slack integration. For small teams, this means they don't even really have to use our dashboard if they don't want to, because they can do everything from Slack. [0]

- We offer a live screen sharing feature [1]

- We're working on a library to offer complete customization of the chat UI on your website [2]

[0] (We need to set up a better recent demo video of our Slack integration, but if you skim our changelog you'll probably get the gist: https://github.com/papercups-io/papercups/blob/master/CHANGE...)

[1] https://storytime.papercups.io/

[2] https://github.com/papercups-io/chat-builder

Why don’t you show screenshots of your demo in the landing page instead of those meaningless illustrations?

Yeah I agree, we're planning on updating the landing page to include a lot more screenshots/videos/demos :)

In the meantime, here are some screenshots from our GitHub wiki: https://github.com/papercups-io/papercups/wiki/Features

And our demo page: https://app.papercups.io/demo

Part of the demo is running on the page, I believe. It's the chat widget in the lower-right corner, you can talk to the team directly!

Interestingly, the features page goes straight to github. With a list of features... followed by screenshots. So I found it!


We just updated it! Thanks for the advice!

Why not matrix connectivity?

submit a pull request?

Switched to Papercups from Drift a few months ago. Really like how dead-simple it is and the fact that we can reply and resolve customer threads right in Slack.

Thanks Collin! Glad you're enjoying it so far :)

For what it's worth, I've been using Papercups for my projects for a few months and it's been super easy. Love it.

It’s only the chat interface right? It doesn’t have any of the bot builder stuff nor the customer journey no-code tool

We have API docs [0] and webhook events [1] so it's possible to integrate with something like Dialogflow for chat automation :)

[0] https://docs.papercups.io/api-endpoints

[1] https://docs.papercups.io/webhook-events

Dammit, I thought this was actual audio intercom. Looks great though, going to keep this in my back pocket.

Haha sorry to disappoint :P

Any plans for Discord support? We might be odd in that we've switched away from Slack to Discord.

It's on our roadmap!

One downside of Discord is that we use threads in Slack to manage conversations, and I don't think Discord has great support for threading. But I know some solutions have worked around this by spinning up a new channel for every new conversation... still need to figure out the ideal UX.

Channels are easy to automate this way- look at the Typescript discord by Microsoft where they spin up channels per support request.

ha, laughed at the "Welcome to Hooli"/Gavin Silicon Valley reference on the landing page screenshot

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