While Teams may be the focal point of Microsoft’s current collaboration strategy these days, Yammer — the enterprise social network it acquired in 2012 for $1.2 billion — hasn’t been exactly left for dead.

In fact, Microsoft unveiled a complete redesign of the enterprise social network at last year’s Ignite conference, offering up a new user interface based on Microsoft’s Fluent Design system, smart news feed recommendations, and tighter integration with Outlook, SharePoint and, of course, Teams. 

The ‘New Yammer,’ as Microsoft calls it, should be available to users this year. 

While Yammer was previously broadly seen as a collaboration and communications tool, its focus has been refined in three areas, said Murali Sitaram, Yammer general manager. “One is about building community at scale across organizations. The second is sharing and leveraging knowledge that is inherent in people that communicate and collaborate within organizations. And the third is ensuring that we can engage leaders and employees at scale.”

The company’s continued investment in Yammer as a separate entity contrasts with other Microsoft apps that have been subsumed by Teams — most notably Skype for Business. That trend has led to questions about Yammer’s future.

But Microsoft apparently sees it as a distinct way to connect larger communities of workers with long-tail information to share, rather than the smaller, focused groups more likely to use Teams for immediate communication.



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