When social accounts and contacts are enabled you get an image at the top of the Contact or Account with links to a host of social media. It looks something like this;

Social Contact section

This image also controls the Salesforce1 profile image which is very important if you are using SF1 in a meaningful mobile way.

So, what I am trying to do is find a way to update this in code. I did some research and found a PhotoURL field which sounded promising, description in this link https://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/api/Content/sforce_api_objects_contact.htm

I looked at the data in this field and found a bunch of links like this /services/images/photo/003F000001Nh5FyIAJ. So there are three issues with this; 1 it just forwards to another image URL so cant find a way to update the actual file, 2 it appends to the salesforce URL so I can not use a social media URL, 3 they all seem to be this link and not the social image (below, this is for me above) so it is probably not even the right field.

Generic icon

I basically got stuck here as I couldnt find anything other field or setting that even resembles this image. Having this drive the Salesforce1 profile image means it is important we can update this without having to login to social media and find each Contact.

I am guessing this is all related to the Social Persona Object as spelled out in this other post Is it possible to connect a social networking profile to a custom object record? but I feel the Contact image needs to be open because it is such a key component to the rest of the system.

Does anyone know if we can control this image with our own URL through code or data loader?


Kris, When you use Salesforce in the browser, you will notice that on displaying a Contact, there is a lag until the photo displays. This is because the info is only displayed once the social network has been called to fetch the photo.

A User connected to their social networks will decide whether to use the Facebook or LinkedIn photo of the Contact's profile. Another User might decide to use another photo. I'm pretty sure that the PhotoUrl field is populated dynamically, upon query of the Contact.

Unfortunately, this points to 2 extra issues :

1) You cannot update or set the URL by the API since it is part of the Social Persona package

2) If you are using a non-CRM app or, should I say, anything else than the web app, there is no other way to populate this field than by selecting (manually) the Contact's social profile (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) photo. This will then be available through the API ... as long as you do not revoke your LinkedIn or Facebook OAuth token stored in Salesforce.

So, Force.com apps or 100% mobile Salesforce1 users will never get a Contact's photo unless they have logged into the web app and hooked things up there with those social networks.

We need a mobile, Salesforce1, UI to select and update the chosen photo.

I hope this helps, Rup

PS : anyone who has worked with the LinkedIn API, for example, will recognize that this mechanism set up by Salesforce is the only way to respect their API's terms and conditions.

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  • Thanks for the feedback. It is a shame we can not overwrite or remove this section of a SF1 page if it is so limiting. It takes a lot of real-estate on the standard page and if it is just shows the contact logo it is quite redundant. I can add a VF section that shows profile information I pull through but would be a double up. – Kris Moyse Jul 18 '14 at 18:35
  • vote for this idea to get this feature : success.salesforce.com/ideaView?id=08730000000kkZXAAY – altius_rup Nov 29 '15 at 11:39

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