Yammer Updates iOS And Android Apps, Adds Universal Search And More To Enterprise Social Network

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Fresh off its first acquisition and $85 million in new funding, Yammer is debuting a number of product improvements in a new release for its social network for enterprises. The company has added universal search, premium groups, official content, Yammer embed, a new Office 365 integration, and updated mobile apps. Yammer is also announcing that it has surpassed five million corporate users and increased headcount to more than 300 employees

As you may know, Yammer has evolved into a more comprehensive, Facebook-like platform for social networking within the enterprise. Beyond being just a communications platform, Yammer now includes applications such as polls, chat, events, links, topics, Q&A, ideas and more. An activity feed aggregates stories about co-worker actions within all of their enterprise apps (both on and off Yammer) and allows users to follow content. The next step of this evolution is adding actual business functionality such as editing and file syncing to the platform.

Universal Search allows business data from any enterprise application to be accessed in Yammer’s search engine. The feature uses Yammer’s existing Activity Stream API, so third-party content from any activity stream integrations automatically appears in search. As we’ve reported, Salesforce.com, SAP and Microsoft SharePoint data can all be added into Yammer’s activity stream, and now is searchable. Selection of a third-party record in search seamlessly opens that system in a separate tab.

The API contains features to respect the permissions of the underlying applications, so only employees authorized to view a record can find it. And search results are type-ahead based on a relevance algorithm individualized to each user and categorized into People, Groups, Files, Pages, Topics and Applications. Additionally, files, pages and conversations are full-text searchable.

Another new feature in this release includes an upgrade to premium groups, with increased file storage limits and advanced admin controls. Admins can change group privacy settings, mark content as official and read-only, make group announcements, or delete any member’s messages, files and Pages. A new tier of Premium Groups offers teams and departments the ability to upgrade their Yammer group without paying for the whole company. Previously Yammer only offered admin functionality at the network level.

Yammer is ramping up content sharing with a new Share button, which allows conversations, files and Pages to be cross-posted from one group to another or to start a private message about a file, Page or conversation. A new Email File button enables employees to email third-parties such as customers and partners a secure, one-time URL to view a file or Page. The link cookies the recipient’s browser and can only be used once to ensure that only the intended recipient can view the content. Viewing rights can be revoked at any time.

Embeds are now turned on for every Yammer group. Appearing next to every group feed, a embed code can be copied and pasted to add a Yammer feed widget inside any business application. Only logged-in users logged can view the embedded feed; otherwise, they are prompted to log in. The embed widget automatically sizes to fit the available space. A new webpart for Microsoft Office 365 allows users to embed their Yammer feed directly into Office 365. And Yammer is launching a new connecter for Microsoft Access.

Yammer is also updating its iPhone and Android with slide-out navigation and an improved UI with in-line file thumbnails, access to more file types and a cleaner design. CEO and co-founder David Sacks tells us that while this release is comprehensive, the summer release will have twice as many new features, including OneDrum integration. He adds that this is thanks to the rapid hiring of engineers.