Yammer is an employee social network integrated with Office 365 and available to an organization’s Office 365-licensed users. Members can invite external participants into the network as guests, or at the group or conversation level. Members can also create new groups as needed. Yammer is generally used to share information, request input, and keep up-to-date with goings on around an organization in a less formal way than email or employee communications.
In companies with Office 365 Groups enabled, the creation of a Yammer group also creates an Office 365 Group. This equips Yammer groups with a OneNote notebook, a plan in Planner, a workspace in Power BI, and a SharePoint Online team site and document library. In addition, because every Yammer group has a unique URL, a Yammer group can be integrated into Microsoft Teams by creating a tab to pull in a website directed at the group URL. Teams also offers the ability to pull notifications of Yammer network conversations containing specified keywords into a channel. Video integration via uploaded files and Stream is available and evolving rapidly.
Microsoft differentiates Yammer from Teams as the “outer loop” that can connect and engage employees across the company, whether through “YamJam” conversations and video presentations by senior leaders, or cross-functional communities of practice or interest. At large companies, Yammer groups can offer value to employees who share no deliverables or reporting relationships, but use a common tool or process, like PowerBI and data visualization. Global participation is supported via in-platform translation at a click, when conversations are not in the member’s primary language.
Yammer is unusual in the Office 365 ecosystem with an open, public conversation model that is not driven by direct address or invitation, which is the basis of Outlook email and Teams. Many Yammer conversations involve participants who were never mentioned by name, and whose interest, expertise, or even existence may have been completely unknown. These “unknowable” but valuable connections are supported by community and group activity, algorithms, and network managers and champions. A thriving Yammer network answers the lament, “If only our company knew what our company knows.”
Yammer also differs from Teams by offering users a Home feed that consolidates conversations from all the groups the user joined and the people they followed. This Home feed view can be set to display “followed” content or a “discovery” option that prioritizes algorithm-suggested content.
- Yammer Blog [Microsoft]
- Yammer Roadmap [Microsoft]
- Which Tool When: Yammer or MicrosoftTeams? [Matt Wade]
- Yammer Admin Help [Microsoft]
- Should I Use Yammer or Microsoft Teams? [AvePoint]
- Facebook @ Work (Workplace)
- Melanie Hohertz, Yammer MVP