Social tools are a great way to collaborate, especially in a work environment. You can get your team up to speed on projects, share progress, encourage discussion, and ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Microsoft’s version of this is Yammer, a social tool for work. They recently announced Viva Engage, which replaces the Yammer Communities App in Teams. But it has left people confused. Is Viva Engage replacing Yammer? And with some organisations still not seeing the value of Yammer, will Viva Engage have a place? Let’s take a look.
What is Yammer?
For those who don’t know, Yammer is a social media platform that allows employees to communicate, collaborate and share information. It’s an internal communications tool that helps companies keep employees up-to-date on company activities.
Yammer can be accessed on a browser and has the same feel as a forum where you can scroll to see new updates from colleagues. My organisation uses Yammer for praise, customer feedback, new exam updates and general social events. We have banned company-wide emails and replaced them with Yammer.
Yammer has a feature called Communities. Yammer communities are groups of people who come together around a specific topic. They can be open to everyone (public) or invite-only (private). The content in these communities is typically generated by the members of the community itself, not Yammer itself.
Yammer can be added to the Teams taskbar as an app called “Communities”, so you can receive Yammer announcements via Teams notifications and access the feed and communities through Teams.
What is Viva Engage?
Viva Engage was announced as the latest addition to Microsoft Viva in July this year (2022). Viva Engage is an exciting new tool that helps you and your team stay connected and engaged at work. It’s available via Microsoft Teams and Outlook as part of the Microsoft 365 software suite, so it’s easy to add to your workflow.
In addition to having all the features you’d expect of a social media platform like news feeds, profiles, and the ability to post images and videos, Viva Engage also has storylines and stories that let users connect with colleagues in unique ways.
With stories, you can share your thoughts on current events or personal interests in an open-ended format that allows anyone on Viva Engage to comment or react as they see fit. These conversations are not limited to single posts; instead, they form a continuous thread of thought that can be viewed by anyone who follows your profile page or searches for your name in the search bar at the top of any page within Viva Engage.
Viva Engage is available to customers licensed with Yammer and is included in most Office 365 plans.
Is Yammer replacing Viva Engage?
Viva Engage will replace Yammer in Teams, but it lives on the web and native mobile apps. This means you can continue using Yammer Communities in Teams—and now you’ll have access to new features that make it easier to connect with others and find a sense of connection at work.
Can I use both?
Viva Engage is not replacing Yammer, so yes, you can use both. You can access Viva Engage through Teams and use the web version of Yammer and the mobile app to view and access the same feed.