Microsoft has confirmed that it is finally killing off Yammer, the business social network it bought for $1.2 billion more than ten years ago.
Yammer’s founding team was based in San Francisco, and co-founder David Sacks officially launched the company at a TechCrunch startup event in 2008. Before Microsoft intervened with its $1 billion offer four years after the company’s launch, it raised more than $140 million in funding.
The longevity of the Yammer brand is surprising in many ways. Microsoft has been working on tangential communication tools like Microsoft Teams, which the company integrated with Yammer in 2019. This is despite the company’s best efforts to make Yammer widely available by integrating it into its core Office suite of products. Then, two years ago, Microsoft introduced Viva, which was positioned as a “employee experience platform” akin to the corporate intranet of the past. Microsoft has been accelerating Viva over the past few months, and last year it introduced Viva Engage, which it described as a “evolution of the Yammer Communities app” at the time.
Yammer’s place in Microsoft’s line of products was becoming increasingly obvious, and having two brands that essentially did the same thing was confusing. As a result, it is now completely discontinuing the brand and focusing exclusively on Viva Engage.
In a blog post, chief vice president of Viva and Yammer Murali Sitaram stated, “Over the last several months we’ve heard your feedback that having two apps surface similar experiences and the same services and content has introduced confusion and made it challenging to drive adoption and create clarity for end users.”
Short version: Yammer will be completely replaced by Viva Engage in 2023, with branding changes occurring gradually across all products. This will involve switching the current Yammer mobile apps to Viva Engage starting in March, and starting this summer, the Yammer web app will follow suit.