Is Yammer dead? Microsoft announces major shift in focus to Viva Engage
Microsoft has announced its decision to discontinue Yammer, the enterprise social network it acquired over a decade ago for $1.2 billion. The origins of Yammer can be traced back to 2008 when co-founder David Sacks launched the startup at a TechCrunch event in San Francisco. The company successfully raised over $140 million in funding before it was acquired by Microsoft four years later.
In some regards, it is unexpected that the Yammer brand has endured for as long as it has. Despite Microsoft's endeavors to increase Yammer's user base by incorporating it into its core Office product suite, the company has shifted its focus to developing peripheral communication tools, such as Microsoft Teams, which it integrated with Yammer in 2019. Additionally, two years ago, Microsoft introduced Viva, an 'employee experience platform' that resembled the intranet solutions of the past. In the following months, Microsoft intensified its efforts on Viva, culminating in the launch of Viva Engage last year, which the company described as an 'evolution of the Yammer Communities app.'
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It had become increasingly evident that there was little room or necessity for Yammer in Microsoft's product portfolio, and maintaining two similar brands that served a comparable purpose was creating confusion. Consequently, Microsoft has decided to phase out the Yammer brand entirely and prioritize Viva Engage instead.
According to a blog post by Murali Sitaram, Vice President of Viva and Yammer, 'Over the last several months we’ve heard your feedback that having two apps surfacing similar experiences and the same services and content has introduced confusion and made it challenging to drive adoption and create clarity for end users.'
In essence, Yammer will be fully integrated into Viva Engage, with the branding gradually changing across the products throughout 2023. The process will begin with the transition of the existing Yammer mobile apps to Viva Engage in March, followed by the transition of the Yammer web app later this summer.