Note: Previously, the public contact record was to be removed on December 20, 2018. In order to allow some wiggle room around the winter holiday season, the cutoff date for the public contact record removal is being moved from December 20, 2018 to January 23, 2019.
On January 23, 2019, access to the public contact record is being removed. If you’re not sure what we mean by “public contact record,” chances are good that the change won’t impact you. If you’re familiar with it (or just curious), read on.
The contact record is the backbone of HubSpot --- where all your interactions with a given customer live. Back when the current contact record was first introduced in 2013, we created a mirror image of every HubSpot contact record that was accessible to anyone with the link. This second version served one primary purpose: it enabled you to share the contact’s details with anyone, even if they weren’t a HubSpot user. That might’ve been your CEO, who was curious about your interactions with a certain lead, or perhaps your sales reps, who worked out of a CRM; the public contact record was frequently used in custom CRM integrations.
Over the years, several things have changed that have rendered the public contact record less useful:
- As the contact record has gotten more robust; the public contact record has lagged behind. Since we introduced contacts, we’ve launched two entirely new product lines: Sales Hub and Service Hub. With those new products, the contact record in HubSpot now includes a much broader picture of your customers’ interactions. Things like tasks, notes, calls, meetings, and tickets now appear on the timeline. While the contact record has been filled out, the public contact record has remained stagnant. Today, it offers an incomplete picture of a contact’s interactions.
- You have more granular control over access and viewership in HubSpot. With more advanced permissions, you can limit who sees what in HubSpot. You can now set read only access for users, or ensure reps can only view the records that he or she owns. When the public contact record was introduced, user access to HubSpot was “all or nothing.”
- Adding users is fast and easy. Previously, adding users to HubSpot was manual and one-by-one. Adding your whole sales team to HubSpot could take an entire afternoon; it was easier to skip that step, and send them a contact’s public record instead. Now, you can import users with a CSV.
While these reasons don’t take away from the fact that a small group of customers and integrators find value in the legacy public record, they give you a sense of what goes into making the decision to remove a feature like this.
Moving forward, we’ll continue to invest in making the contact record even more robust. With that in mind, if you’ve been using the public record in the past, we’d recommend using the “real” contact record moving forward. No need to correct past usage of the public record; when it’s removed on January 23, all instances will be redirected to their associated contact record automatically.
As a result of this change, anyone who is not a HubSpot user will not be able to view the contact record after January 23 --- either within HubSpot, or elsewhere. With that in mind, we’d recommend adding users to your account with the appropriate permissions before that date.
If you’re using the public contact record as an embed in an integration, we’ve created a custom timeline view that enables integrators to insert the HubSpot contact timeline into an external system, like this:
You can find the documentation here. Note that HubSpot access will be required in order to view this embed.
Note that the newest release of the HubSpot-Salesforce connector uses a similar embed, which requires HubSpot access to view. In order to ensure continuous access to your HubSpot intelligence in Salesforce, we’d recommend updating to the newest version of the connector, and adding any relevant Salesforce users to your HubSpot portal. After January 23, any records still using the old Visualforce module will no longer populate; you'll see "No Data Available" until you update the package.