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Like a dormant volcano, many social media tools will often sit silently for years before suddenly erupting and gaining the instant attention of the world.

Yammer is the latest in a long line of online tools to gradually build its popularity over time before finally entering ‘the mainstream’.

Founded in 2008, Yammer is a free premium social media networking tool aimed at businesses and professional organisations.

It is a form of internal communications between individuals or groups within an organisation. Initially launched as a micro-blogging tool, users can chat to friends, post photos or videos and upload documents to online conversations. To join a Yammer network, users must have the same internet domain as an existing network, therefore eliminating the potential for spammers or troll users to infiltrate an organisation’s internal set-up.

Despite the obvious similarities, Yammer is not designed to be a replacement for email, rather an alternative to sending those silly, irreverent work emails to colleagues who may be under the pump or working towards a tight deadline.

Yammer gives people an outlet to share pictures, videos or just chat with colleagues in a more relaxed online environment.

However, in the ever-changing world of social media, it is not out of the realms of possibility to think that Yammer could be used for more serious, work-related matters.

The ease of communication between two or more users could potentially combat or even break down the hierarchical barriers often found in large organisations or government departments.

Once people have joined, they are visible to others within the same network, taking away the arduous task of attempting to track down email addresses and contact information.

Like many forms of social media, Yammer has the potential to change the way businesses communicate. By improving internal communications, organisations can significantly boost productivity, and transfer resources to improving their client or customer services.

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