Microsoft shows interest in buying Yammer

Business and social networking are two things you would never have mixed a few years ago. It would have been a faux pas in the serious world of most businesses. Now, social networking is becoming more and more useful to businesses as a method of sharing news and events, much like it has been for the normal public. Yammer is a prime example of a corporate social network, geared towards providing social networking utilities for businesses. The other major example of a corporate social network is LinkedIn, though several sources are suggesting Microsoft have an interest in buying Yammer out entirely.

The tweet which first suggested this to be the case came from @SarahTaylor, who has since deleted it. It was posted from inside the Creamery cafe, across the street from Yammer's offices. From inside the cafe, Sarah Taylor overheard employees discussing the takeover. If employees themselves are aware of Microsoft's intentions then it may be a low-key affair which was not intended to make major news, at least not yet.

Yammer is a fairly new social network, having launched in 2008. By way of comparison, LinkedIn has been usable since 2003. Yammer functions like a business version of Facebook, right down to a similar UI. Yammer also is focused upon people already working in an industry, rather than providing for those seeking jobs as well. Demonstrating this point, Yammer will not allow you to sign up from an email account which is not related to the domain of the company you're listing yourself as an employee for.

In 2010, TechCrunch indicated Yammer was in use by 80% of Fortune 500 companies. Months before, Yammer CEO David Sacks said the number was at 70% of Fortune 500 companies. Adoption of Yammer appeared to be growing at this point, with the service's design having been improved upon through regular updates. The service has generated $142 million in funding from investors, garnering praise for its capability as a business version of Facebook.

Microsoft could be weighing up a purchase of the social network now. Yammer has boasted integration with Microsoft's SharePoint since 2010, so the two already have a link. The rumor mill suggests that Microsoft could be considering purchasing Yammer outright, for $1 billion. In February 2012, Yammer was valued at being worth $500,000,000, so a takeover bid could be worth more still. Ownership of Yammer could give Microsoft a boost into the world of corporate social networking. At present the company is already responsible for the So.cl social network, which is not primarily intended for business.

With both the possibility of a Yammer buyout, and Microsoft having considered the purchase of Nokia, the company could be interested in expanding in numerous fields.

Source: Business Insider

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8 Comments

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Yammer is quite business orientated, its more like Facebook but just for your organisation. We use it a lot and everyone seems to like it.

They could be setting it up to be a single Business Directory/Social Networking service where Skype users could call Lync users completely over VOIP without having to hit a POTS(Plain Old Telephone System) network. It could make Business to Business and Customer to Business relations easy and add value to Lync for businesses. The only way I'd see it implemented in this fashion though is to have it represented as a "Yello Pages" type directory where an individual company could control its own directory and choose what to publish to it. It could be interesting.

hagjohn said,
Never heard of Yammer. Why bother breaking into social network now? A fool and their money are soon parted, I guess.

I think you've missed the point; chances are the network is not for you.

Its not a social network like facebook where people post what they had for their dinner, or that they're going to sleep, just woke up in the middle of the night to eat pickles, that they've been tagged in a yet another picture of sparkly stuff drawn in paint or indeed getting spammed by 1 of the 1000s of stupid games on there.

Its a social network for business people, and their associates. If you were high enough up to have your own email address in a public company, then you might be very interested in this type of network. All company contacts who sign up are authorised via their company email address. a very nice way to ensure who you're socialising with online is who they say they are, ie working for the company.

There might be more money in business people then average joe blogs..