Microsoft kills off the enterprise social network no-one remembered it has

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Microsoft has announced the final curtain for Yammer, the enterprise-focused social network it acquired over a decade ago.

Costing around $1.2bn, Yammer was snapped up by the office software giant in 2012, and was integrated within the company’s Microsoft Office suite as a social network companion to the likes of Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

However it failed to ever really gain traction, largely existing in the background, despite a healthy pipeline of updates and upgrades from Microsoft.

Viva Engage

However it isn’t fully the end for Yammer’s services and tools, as the platform will instead be rolled into Microsoft’s Viva Engage offering. 

Launched in 2019, Microsoft Viva was the company’s bid to pull together its online collaboration and business tools and services into a single platform, with Viva Engage being released in 2022 to let workers express themselves in a more personal way.

“Viva Engage is a social app for digital communities, conversations, and self-expression tools that builds on the existing capabilities of the Communities app for Teams and Microsoft 365 to connect employees and empower everybody to contribute and express themselves by meeting people where they are in Teams and Microsoft 365,” the company said at the time.

In the official Microsoft 365 roadmap entry outlining the change, the company notes that the rebrand will, “provide a consistent and delightful experience to our customers and users” that should help them get more out of the platform.

In a blog post expanding on this, Viva and Yammer chief vice president Murali Sitaram said that the platform was “evolving” to become part of Viva Engage following “confusion” around having two services offering many of the same experiences.

“Yammer has been powering community experiences in Microsoft for over a decade,” he wrote. 

“In that time, we’ve seen our customers use Yammer to influence their company culture, bring employees together during times of trial, share knowledge and empower employees with a voice that positively influences change within their organizations.” 

“During this period, you’ve inspired us, you’ve shaped us, and you’ve grown with us.”

The rebrand, set to be completed by late 2023, will affect Yammer across all its current iterations, with web and mobile customers set to be affected. 

Microsoft says that users will start seeing Yammer become Viva Engage through the update of brand elements like logo, app icon and name within the next few months, with Sitaram noting that the branding changes will not affect the pricing of Yammer or Viva for customers.

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