Microsoft has confirmed that it’s finally killing off Yammer, the enterprise social network it procured more than a decade ago for $1.2 billion.
Yammer was initially created out of San Francisco back in 2008, with co-founder David Sacks formally launching the startup at a TechCrunch startup event. The company went on to raise north of $140 million in funding before Microsoft swooped in with its billion-dollar bid four years after its launch.
In many ways, it’s surprising that the Yammer brand has lasted this long. Despite Microsoft’s best efforts to bring Yammer to the masses by integrating it into its core Office suite of products, Microsoft has set about developing tangential communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, which the company integrated with Yammer in 2019. And then two years ago, Microsoft launched Viva, pitched as an “employee experience platform” that was something akin to the corporate intranet of yore. In the intervening months, Microsoft has been turbo-charging Viva, and last year it launched Viva Engage, which it said at the time was an “evolution of the Yammer Communities app.”
It was becoming increasingly clear that there was little space or need for Yammer in Microsoft’s array of products, and having two similar brands that did much the same thing was confusing. And so it is now phasing out the brand completely and going all-in on Viva Engage instead.
“Over the last several months we’ve heard your feedback that having two apps surfacing similar experiences and the same services and content has introduced confusion and made it challenging to drive adoption and create clarity for end users,” noted Viva and Yammer chief vice president Murali Sitaram in a blog post.
Long story short, Yammer will be swallowed entirely by Viva Engage, with the branding changing incrementally across the products throughout 2023. This will include changing the existing Yammer mobile apps to Viva Engage from March, which will be followed by a transition for the Yammer web app starting this summer.