In November 2019, Microsoft announced a new vision for Yammer – with a brand-new design and a revamped experience, the goal was to empower communities and push knowledge and engagement across Microsoft 365.
The New Yammer was officially launched in July 2020 to meet the need of leaders, internal communicators, community managers and of course end-users & first line workers, all while encouraging collaboration thanks to its integration with various services in Microsoft 365 such as MS Teams and SharePoint.
This is the new Yammer
Yammer has been completely redesigned, with dozens of new capabilities and offers a refined and more modern design. The remastered platform focuses on UX with a new splash of colors, icons and has become more user-friendly.
The new Yammer is the first Microsoft 365 service that has been redesigned from the ground up, using the “fluent design system”. It means that it uses a lot of common elements across the Suite. So, if you use Microsoft Suite you can switch to other apps such as MS Teams or SharePoint while using Yammer.
For example, with the new Yammer app for Teams, users can access their Yammer communities directly within MS Teams.
Within Outlook one can now also directly access Yammer conversations.
Main changes and features
Along with the new personalized UI, groups are now called “communities”. This simple name change clarifies the purpose of the three types of O365 groups that coexist on the O365 universe:
1 Groups for Outlook Groups
2 Teams for Microsoft Teams and
3 Communities for Yammer
So, what else is new with the new Yammer? Here is a non-exhaustive list of features that have been recently integrated or improved:
- Pin your favorite communities for quick access
- Broadcast events in the “Live Events” tab to the whole organization
- Fully integrate the new Yammer into M365 via Teams, SharePoint and your Outlook inbox
- Customize the All Company community and brand Yammer with your company logo on the Feed
- Increase cohesion by creating polls, praises and questions
- Pin important posts to the top of your communities for more visibility
- Feature posts to show them on Yammer’s discovery feed
- New UX allowing to better share and interact with posts (formatting, attach gifs, reactions, etc.)
- Easily share links and files, with automatically generated previews
- Find relevant conversations, people and topics in the new AI-powered discovery Feed
- Filter conversations to find unanswered questions, all questions or all conversations & ease information circulation by pinning “Best Answer
All these new features and improvements seem to respond to the demands of internal communication departments , and while this post will not go over every single one of them, here are the top features we consider are key:
BRAND NEW COMMUNITIES
Communities allow coworkers to collaborate and share content regarding specific projects, all in the same place. Users can now pin their top communities for a quicker access, and to top it off, AI curation filters content based on what is relevant to their role and interests.
Another key improvement for communities is that they can now be integrated in Microsoft Teams, providing members with a hub for their work, conversations can now be engaged from Outlook directly and even be shared in SharePoint sites as a webpart.
Lastly, and proving that the new Yammer is fully integrated with M365, Yammer conversations are now included in Microsoft Search results, allowing for users to find everything they are looking for in one single place.
PIN IMPORTANT POSTS TO THE TOP OF YOUR COMMUNITIES & FEATURE POSTS
Another important improvement is that now admins and community managers can pin posts, bringing the conversation top of their community, adding emphasis and longevity to the conversation.
Pinning a post is not to be confused with the option to have Featured Conversations. Indeed, another way to improve engagement and visibility of some campaigns is to set the conversation as “featured”. This allows for the post to be shown in the Yammer discovery feed, becoming visible to people outside the community.
MARK THE BEST ANSWERS
Members in Yammer can now post new messages as questions , drawing attention to their problem and allowing for experts and other community members to help find a solution. This knowledge sharing experience can be reinforced as Admins (and the individual who posted the question) can mark one of the answers as “Best Answer”, showing it on top of the replies of the post.
Another key feature to showcase is that once a conversation has come to a conclusion, it can be closed so no more comments are received. This can be helpful so that the space and discussion do not become cluttered.
NEW LIVE EVENTS EXPERIENCE
For better leadership engagement, the new Yammer includes a feature called “Live Event”, in which Admins can host live video conversations and workshops (up to 20 000 attendees), to ensure better engagement and allowing for a more immersive experience.
Producers of a live event can moderate comments, questions and answers before they are published in the live event, granting them full control of the content. And while the discussion is moderated during the event, attendees can take part of it even after the event is over, since all recordings are then made available via Microsoft Stream.
By simplifying and centralizing any kind of exchanges, employees can overcome the distance, mobilize collective intelligence, and increase cohesion within an organization.
By flattening the org chart of a company in some sorts, Live Events are perfect for top management to address all the employees regardless of their position and location, making them feel considered and welcome to ask questions and intervene in the company’s strategy.
A BRAND-NEW MOBILE APPLICATION
Modern organizations call for modern applications, which help connect with employees, regardless of where they are. The new Yammer mobile app available on iOS and Android and includes a Dark Mode option.
With the new mobile application, Yammer members can discover communities and contribute the conversation, as well as attend live events or even posting video content from wherever they might be.
Backed by the security of Microsoft, and empowered by the Microsoft Fluent design language, the new Yammer app gives a complete user experience with new layouts, personalized profiles etc.
To sum up
2020 was a milestone year for Yammer, and while there was a moment when companies wondered if both tools would eventually overlap, many of the features and improvements we have mentioned before are prove that the new Yammer is an amazing tool of its own and it is here to stay.
Among its benefits, Yammer has always been better at breaking silos than any other Microsoft tool, allowing for communicators and users to reach to wider audiences, encouraging collaboration and driving engagement and cohesion across the company.