Yammer’s Getting a Facelift — But Can it Still Compete?

Why All Businesses Should Check Out the 2020 Yammer Update

If you think Yammer is outdated, think again. Continue reading to learn what’s so important about the new Microsoft updates.  

Short answer: Yes!

Now, for the long answer. Yammer not only can compete in the growing niche market of social networking tools for organizations, but we believe it is apt to come out swinging on top by the end of this year. This is thanks to Microsoft’s unveiling of a comprehensive redesign of Yammer at last year’s Ignite conference and their plan to implement those changes in the coming months. Yammer general manager Murali Sitaram neatly summarizes the changes as being refined in three key areas, “One is about building community at scale across organizations. The second in sharing and leveraging knowledge that is inherent in people that communicate and collaborate with organizations. And the third is ensuring that we can engage leaders and employees at scale.”

Of course, if you have never used Yammer as part of an organization, or any other type of organization social networking tool, then it’s essential to take a look back at where Yammer started and why it faltered to understand why this new redesign and refocus is apt to be a massive success.

Microsoft Yammer Support In New Jersey

The Short History of Microsoft’s Yammer

Yammer was first built in 2008 as an internal feature for the commercial genealogy and social networking website Geni.com. But its creator David O. Sacks saw greater things for it. They started shopping it around, redesigning its capabilities and fine-tuning it for more commercial usage within his own small company. In 2012, Microsoft bought Yammer for a cool $1.2 billion, but this acquisition marked the start of the rough years.

As part of a larger company, Yammer fell to the wayside. This was, after all, the era in which Office 365 was being designed and rolled out. Microsoft moved the development of Yammer as a social networking component to the Office 365 development team. This streamlined things and ultimately in 2016, Microsoft offered Yammer as a free service for its Office 365 customers.

While many businesses raved about how easily Yammer was to use in tandem with Microsoft 365 features, it’s being paired with the platform itself undoubtedly hindered its growth and adaptability. If you hadn’t already invested in Microsoft, then you wouldn’t appreciate the system. If you’d already invested in another type of business-oriented social networking tool, then as a business you’d be less likely to switch to Yammer when switching to Microsoft 365.

Why the 2020 Yammer Facelift Matters

So while Yammer from 2012 to 2018 was more of an afterthought than a priority, all that’s changed in recent years as Microsoft has invested significantly more effort in enhancing this facet of their software to make it more streamlined, more efficient, and more productive. Just take a look at the following key updates that will be rolled out this year:

  • Smarter discovery feed powered by AI. At the heart of Yammer is the discovery feed which connects each user to the meaningful conversations happening around the organization or company. But what uses is this system if the conversations most relevant to you and your position within the organization can only be found with a lot of scrolling? With this new update, Yammer’s AI prioritizes the conversations most relevant to the user and directly connects them with those conversations in a beautifully laid outfeed.
  • New community experiences. The community has long been a driving force of Yammer and thus the renaming and re-outfitting Yammer groups into communities is a noteworthy change that will likewise help streamline communications and projects.
  • More powerful publisher. Microsoft expanded the existing use of announcements with Yammer and added a new mobile text editor to make publishing events, polls, questions, and other items on the go easier.

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