The Office Team announced another round of improvements to Yammer. The changes are part of an ongoing effort to make Yammer better for teams – those focused on projects and initiatives – as opposed to more loosely defined groups or communities of interest / practice.
The new changes will roll out before the end of 2015, and include:
– the Discovery feed, for showing related conversations from complementary groups in your network. In my book Collaboration Roadmap I talk about collaboration auto-discovery capabilities for both teams and groups; this is the latest iteration of Microsoft’s work within the context of Yammer.
– real-time group activity, for showing what’s happening in Yammer groups as it happens whether you are currently viewing the group or not. Better alerting capabilities allows for decisions around streamlined reactions.
– Yammer group branding, or what Microsoft has called “immersive group experiences.” There are new and better ways of making a Yammer group “yours.”
– next group notification, another notification approach for showing other updates across your groups.
With respect to what’s next after the current round of improvements, the Office Team said:
Up next in 2016: deeper integration with Office 365 to open up even more possibilities for teams. We’re working on wrapping up the foundational identity work with Azure Active Directory, leveraging Office Graph signals for better people and group suggestions; using Office Online for multi-user coauthoring in Yammer; and hooking into the Office 365 Groups service to enable cross-workload scenarios with OneDrive, Outlook, OneNote and Skype. And to improve collaboration with extended team members, we’ll also be delivering external groups, which lets users invite outside participants into their Yammer groups.