Illustration by Saskia Keultjes
Illustration by Saskia Keultjes

Release Notes: Beacon Improvements + New Integrations

Release Notes is our monthly update that highlights recent product improvements we’ve made so you can easily stay up to date on what’s new.

What's new

Beacon and Chat Updates

You’ll be happy to know that we pushed all sorts of bug fixes and updates to Beacon and live chat in February. We improved some API methods, adjusted translation labels, made all sorts of UI improvements, and so much more. Head over to Beacon Release Notes for the full scoop.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Load relevant content when your customer’s URL changes

You asked, we listened. We added a new page-view method that you can use to let your single-page web app know the customer’s current URL has changed. You might use this to reload content suggestions on the fly or load a specific article as soon as the URL changes.

Update the customer profile with Beacon

Beacon’s identify method now allows you to specify an avatar for the customer if you have one. You can also update the company name and job title automatically, so that the customer profile can be much more complete.

Keeping the code

We no longer strip HTML code from chat messages, as it’s now properly escaped and still secure. Prior to this, if someone tried to send the message “<hello>”, or “Here’s the code you want to add: <img src=PATH>” anything between “<” and “>” would be removed.

More visitor activity

We’ve updated the Beacon visitor activity section to include additional location information, OS and browser type, as well as the Beacon’s authentication mode. Trust the source!

More visitor activity

Custom links

If you’re using the JavaScript API for content suggestions, you can now use the suggest method to offer up custom links via the API. Previously you could only suggest articles by Docs Article ID, but now you can suggest a custom link easily, such as

Stronger, better, faster

We spent a lot of time optimizing the Beacon embed package. You’ll be pleased to know that the JavaScript file is 8% smaller, and much faster than it was!

Speaking of Beacon, if you haven’t read Buzz’s excellent post on how we designed Beacon from the ground up, give it a read — you’ll be glad you did.

And finally…

We made a bunch of improvements to other areas of Help Scout as well. For instance, you can now click embedded images and they’ll open in a lightbox at a proper resolution. Huzzah!

Embedded images open in a lightbox


Updated: Zapier

We’ve revamped the Create Conversation trigger so that it now supports Tags, Custom Fields, Cc, Bcc, drafts, auto-replies, and even attachments. Our updated Mailbox API 2.0 is the backbone for the Zapier integration. It allows you to trigger a zap at any point during a conversation, and it helps keep information in sync across all of your channels and third-party tools. When you’re ready to tinker with the updated Help Scout zap, head over to Zapier and have at it.

New app: Close

The Close integration brings Close lead data straight in to Help Scout. From Help Scout, you can see a customer’s Lead Status, Lead Owner, Company Description, and many other custom fields as you work on a conversation. Additionally, you’ll have the ability to create a new lead in Close if a lead matching the customer’s email address cannot be found.

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Paola


Happy March! Wait, how is it already March? I’m going to keep this short and sweet: If you haven’t already, do take the time to set up two-factor (2FA) authentication in Help Scout. It adds a valuable extra layer of security to your account. You can set it up with SMS verification or use a mobile authenticator app such as Google Authenticator or Authy.

Learn more about how 2FA works in Help Scout here: Set Up Two-Factor Authentication.

Set up two-factor authentication in Help Scout

And while you’re over there setting up 2FA, take a moment to review your Authorized Apps and Active Sessions. You probably won’t find anything unexpected, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look every now and again!

Justin Seymour
Justin Seymour

Justin is an alum of Help Scout, where we make excellent customer service achievable for companies of all sizes.

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