This article covers the basics of Yammer and its capabilities.

About Yammer

One of the big shifts that has taken place in the way people communicate is via social networks. This is now also becoming a major part of the way that businesses are also beginning to work. Yammer is one such social network, specially designed for employees of companies to help them stay connected with one another.

The easiest way to describe Yammer is that it provides a newsfeed section in the middle of the page where users can post updates and comment on existing posts. It also allows for users to use hashtags to highlight a certain point, or use the @ symbol to mention other people in a post and notify them of your postings. Yammer also supports the concepts of dedicated groups which serve as sub-groups to the overall company newsfeed. These groups are generally designed to be focused on a particular topic so it doesn’t swamp the main feed or annoy those who may not be interested in that topic. Access to these groups can be restricted.

Yammer is a mature enterprise social network that has both free and standalone versions, but it gains much more functionality when enabled as part of all Office 365 subscriptions. Social networks inside the enterprise are not something to be feared; they are a new tool that will increase the productivity of all of us and make us feel much more engaged in our work.

Why Should I Use Yammer?

Yammer allows you to:

  • Easily collaborate with other employees regardless of location. Yammer has a familiar, easy-to-use interface that allows co-workers to share what they are working on.
  • Spread information to a wider audience. Where you may have e-mailed something to a handful of people in the past, sharing on Yammer allows you to extend the reach of your message to others in your organization that may find it useful.
  • Get to know your coworkers better. By using Yammer, you can quickly find topic experts and business influencers, whether they are at the next desk or across the country.
  • Build up a knowledge base of information that anyone can refer to and that grows steadily larger over time. This becomes extremely useful to new employees for on-boarding purposes.