Yammer, the enterprise social networking company that was recently bought by Microsoft for $1.2 billion, is getting ready to add a new instant messaging feature called Online Now to its main service, enabling users to chat to each other in real time. Online Now will sit alongside existing services that let users post status updates and media as well as send private messages.
The feature was spotted earlier today by TNW, and we have now confirmed exactly what is happening with Yammer itself, including the name: “We will be announcing the chat feature through a press release in a couple of weeks as part of our summer release,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
If you are one of Yammer’s five million users and haven’t spotted an option to chat already, that’s because the chat that is coming out now is part of Yammer’s testing process. Yammer says that it has been implementing different versions of the upcoming User Interface (UI) and randomly displaying them to our users to test it.
“Analytics will then show how users are adopting the various feature versions and we will make the decision based on those results so we can then roll out the best possible product to our customers,” the spokesperson said.
The addition of a new chat feature demonstrates that Yammer is wasting no time sitting on its $1.2 billion laurels post acquisition by Microsoft. But nor is it rolling out products that point to it integrating with its new parent and its sister divisions so quickly, either.
“This is a Yammer developed feature. You will be able to use it within your normal Yammer environment,” the spokesperson said. Meaning: no Skype integration, no Sharepoint integration, and if anything a wider enhancement of Yammer’s own functionality and feature set.
One possibility for how Online Now will work — although, again, this may change before the final product comes out — is that it will feature as an additional tab in the lower right hand corner of the main Yammer communication screen, not unlike Facebook’s own instant messaging feature.
Cindy Alvarez, director of user experience at Yammer, posted a picture earlier this month on Yammer’s customer forums showing what the service looked like in testing mode:
Now all we need is some auto-refreshing action on the main feed and we might just be in business.
Yammer (www.yammer.com) is an Enterprise Social Network that brings together employees, content, conversations, and business data in a single location. Built for the entrprise and loved by users, Yammer empowers employees to be more productive by enabling them to collaborate in real-time across departments, geographies, and business applications. Employees can create groups to collaborate on projects and share and edit documents. It is a new way of working that fosters team collaboration, employee engagement, and business transformation. The service can...
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...