Collaborate with Feeds and Groups

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe live feeds in Lightning Experience.
  • Add an inline image and a hyperlink to a post.
  • Create and manage your personal Chatter streams.
  • Describe the difference between sharing in Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience.
  • Add a banner to a group.

Say Hello to Your New Best Version

Have you tried the Lightning Experience version of Chatter yet? If not, there’s a world of wonder waiting for you, where you’re going to have the best collaborative experience ever.

Salesforce Classic is probably the old friend who welcomed you to Chatter. We encourage you to let Lightning Experience take you into your bright, business-collaboration future.

Chatter Side by Side

Let’s look at each version of the Chatter publisher to get the lay of the land.

Here’s the Salesforce Classic Chatter publisher. It provides controls for adding styles and lists to a post.

Chatter publisher in Salesforce Classic

The Salesforce Classic Chatter publisher has controls at the top for posting a file link and adding an event. Plus more actions, like asking a question or running a poll.

Here’s the Chatter publisher in Lightning Experience. It provides all the style controls you enjoy in Salesforce Classic, but then…

Chatter publisher in Lightning Experience

You also have controls for adding an inline image and linking from the post. You can insert code snippets, select an emoji, and mention a person or a group. The link-to-record tip at the bottom of the publisher tells you how to link to records in your post. The paperclip button is for attaching up to 10 files to the post. To ask a question or run a poll, the tabs are right at the top, always on display, and easy to get to. In Lightning Experience, a draft of your post is automatically saved every seven seconds. You can view your drafts in the My Drafts feed, available on the Chatter page.

So the Chatter publisher in Lightning Experience has lots more that’s a lot easier to get to.

What’s the Difference?

Though Salesforce Classic remains its great self, collaboration is better in Lightning Experience—you can work faster and do more.

While giving you the features you’ve come to depend on in Salesforce Classic, Chatter in Lightning Experience also gives you great advances. Take, for example, live feeds, streams, record linking, hyperlinks in posts and comments, auto-saved draft posts, and cloned sharing. What are these things, and what do they offer? Keep reading!

Keeping Things Inline

In both Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience, you can attach an image to a post. Lightning Experience goes further by letting you also add an image inline, in the post itself. So your audience gets a more direct visual experience.

Inline image in the Chatter publisher

The image can be added anywhere in the post. When you’re ready, click the image icon in the Chatter publisher, select an image, click Open, and voilà!

Inline image icon in the Chatter publisher

Inline hyperlinking is another Lightning-only inline action. On posts and comments, highlight the text you want to link from, click the Link icon, enter your URL, and save.

Link icon in the Chatter publisher

Live Feeds! Live!

Chatter in Lightning Experience offers you live feeds in groups and live comments everywhere. No more page refreshes to keep your feed up-to-the-minute. As new posts and comments come in, they flash yellow. If the live update isn’t in view, a notification pops up at the top of the feed, alerting you to new stuff.

Live comments are available everywhere and not just in groups. When someone’s entering a comment, an animation shows that there’s activity on the post and lets you know who’s commenting. When the comment’s saved, it flashes yellow in the feed, and you get that pop-up notification letting you know that new content is available.

If you like the assurance of a refresh, there’s an improvement there, too. You’re no longer tied to a time-consuming, full-page refresh. Each feed has its own refresh icon that updates just the feed and no other elements on the page. This modest efficiency saves you time, and every bit of time counts!

Refresh this feed icon

Streaming You Along

Have you heard about streams? Only in Lightning Experience can you combine multiple feeds from many kinds of objects into a single view, called a stream.

Let’s say you want to read everything that’s posted about a project that you’re working on. With streams, you can combine feeds from the groups working on the project, the topics discussing it, the people assigned to it. You can add any other feed type that’s related to the project. Suddenly, instead of visiting many different feeds to get a full view, you have this one stream you can go to for all the goods!

Creating a stream is quick and easy. Go to the Chatter page, and click the New Stream icon next to the Streams header.

New Stream icon

In the New Stream dialog, enter a name for your stream and select a notification preference. You can add the records you want to follow in your stream now or later.

New Stream dialog



For your notification setting, if you add many feeds to this stream, consider your tolerance for frequent messages. If you welcome lots of emails, select Every Post, if you prefer less activity in your email, select Never. You can always change this setting later.

After you click Save, your new stream appears on the Chatter page under the Streams header. Up to five streams are listed—though you can have up to 100 streams. To see all your streams, click the Streams header to open the Streams homepage.

Streams homepage

You can add up to 25 feeds to any stream. Adding feeds to your stream is so easy. From the Streams home page, select the Edit action on the stream row. Or click the stream name to navigate to it, and then click the Edit button.

In the Edit Stream window, go to Records to Follow, and select the type of feed to add. In the same field, search for the specific feed and click a result to add it to the stream. Keep selecting feed types and adding feeds until you’re satisfied. Finally, click Save.

Edit Stream dialog

After you create a stream, you can add feeds to it right from a feed’s Follow action. Navigate to the feed you want to add, click Follow, and select the stream you want to add the feed to. You can still use the Follow button to follow people and objects in your What I Follow feed.

Follow menu

If you want to change the notification option on a stream, open the stream and click the Notifications button.

Notifications button on a stream detail page

If a stream has outlived its usefulness, you can remove it with a simple action. Navigate to the stream, and click its Delete button. Or go to the Streams home page, and select Delete from the actions menu on a stream row. No worries about losing the feeds that the stream contained. Deleting a stream doesn’t delete the feeds it contained.

Sharing, from Copy to Clone

There’s an interesting difference between sharing in Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience. In Salesforce Classic, a shared post is basically a copy of the original. In Lightning Experience, a shared post is more like a window on the original. So, if the original post is edited, the shared version also shows the update. How cool is that? (Hint, so cool!)

The process of grabbing the link to a post is a little more efficient, too. From a post’s Share menu, select Copy Link, then click Copy Link. The link is placed on your clipboard, so you can paste it anywhere.

Copy Link option on the Share menu



In our example, we aren’t showing a link in the Copy Link field. Normally a link to the post appears here. We removed it from this image for privacy.

No matter where you paste the link, only the people with access to the post’s home feed can navigate to the shared post.

The Scoop on Groups

Your Lightning Experience groups offer a unique and uniquely convenient feature set that distinguishes them from groups in Salesforce Classic.

We’ve talked about live feeds. Another example is the seen-by capability in private and unlisted groups. When the seen-by feature is enabled, it places a seen-by count by each post. Click the count to see who’s seen that post. It’s a great way to discover whether someone has seen a post that you wanted them to see.

The Seen by link and list

But seen-by is just a small part of Lightning Experience group excellence!

For example, consider post pinning. If you’re a group manager or owner (or an admin), you can pin up to three posts to the top of group and topics feeds. A pinned post stays at the top of the feed until someone unpins it. Post pinning makes sure that critical information gets the exposure it needs in your group and topics feeds.

Post pinned to the top of a group feed



Admins can assign pin post permission to selected users.

Groups Side by Side

Let’s look at each version of Chatter groups.

Here’s how a Chatter group looks in Salesforce Classic.

A group page in Salesforce Classic

You have a nice group image to reinforce the group identity. It has a marker in the corner that shows the group allows customers to participate (1). Then there’s that rich, long list of actions you can take in the group (2). So far, so good!

Now let’s look at the same group in Lightning Experience.

Group page in Lightning Experience

There’s the image to promote group identity and a banner to make the page more visually compelling. A statement about the group type, “Private with Customers” replaces the colored corner on the image (1). Lots of actions to take in the group, too (2). In Lightning Experience, these actions are more exposed and, therefore, easier to discover. The extra actions for polls, questions, and announcements are right in view (3). There’s even a field for searching in just this feed (4). So convenient!

A Rich Visual Experience

From setting up your group’s look and feel, to viewing useful group statistics, groups in Lightning Experience offer a rich visual experience.

On the fun side, you can strengthen your group’s brand identity by adding a banner image to your group page. Having a banner takes you from a fun group photo to a fun group photo on a field of color. Or, even better, your group banner can be a meaningful or relevant image.

A group banner in Lightning Experience

A Banner Day

Let’s take a minute to step through the process of adding a banner to a group page.

You can add a banner when you create a group, or you can do it later. You get best results using a panoramic image that’s at least 1280 x 300 pixels. If you’re the group owner or manager, you can add or change a group banner. It’s easy to create a group, and the group creator is the boss of the group, so have at it!

Go to the group’s page, and click Update Banner Photo icon on its default banner.

Update Banner Photo icon

In the Update Banner Photo dialog, click Select an Image. Then navigate to and select the image to use for your group banner. Click Open, then Save. Quick and easy!



While you work through the hands-on challenge, make sure that you’re logged in to your Trailhead Playground. Using your playground ensures that you don’t post to your company’s Chatter feed. To open your playground, click Launch in the Hands-on Challenge section.

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