Salesforce: Who Sees Your Chatter Feed?

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

Only internal users of your company’s Salesforce instance can see your Chatter posts and comments, depending on where you enter that update. As far as having outsiders or Google see your updates, you’re safe because Chatter uses the built-in privacy and security functionality in the Salesforce native Force.com platform.

Internal users can see whatever you post, if they have access to the record you’re posting on or about. So if you post from your home page that you’re looking for a notary, everyone can see that (what’s the point if they can’t?). But if you’re on the Opportunity record for “Big Secret Government Deal” and make a post there asking about a notary, only people that can see that opportunity will be able to see your post.

One of the key differentiators of Chatter, as compared with other social networking sites — or other services that attempt to bring social networking into the businessplace — is that you can also follow nonhuman things in your Salesforce database.

This feature means that you can follow specific opportunities, accounts, contacts, leads, price lists, cases, and any changes that are made to those records. You can even create or follow groups, focused on a single competitor, region, or vertical. Being able to choose what things you want to stay in the loop about makes Chatter highly relevant to what you need to be successful at work.

To follow a record feed, click the Follow link under the record’s name on the record’s detail page. Below that link you’ll see who else is following that record.

Whenever someone changes a field in an opportunity, for example, you know about it. If you’re a sales manager, you can choose to follow a strategic opportunity that one of your reps has been toiling over.

The moment she updates that Opportunity Stage field to a Closed-Win, it appears in your feed. If you have key executives following that opportunity, too, they can provide comments that amount to a virtual high-five for all to see.

When you follow a specific record (see this figure), your profile photo appears as a follower of this object on the record’s page so that others will know you’re interested in this record.

Following a record on Chatter.
Following a record on Chatter.

You can also add comments to specific records, just like you can with people you follow. They appear in your feed on your home page and on the feed on the record’s page.

Only users with read access to a record will be able to see any posts that you make on that record.