SharePoint & Microsoft Resources

2020 – The Year of the New Yammer

By Alex Graves, Co-Managing Director & Founder

2020 – The Year of the New Yammer

At last year’s Ignite conference Microsoft announced exciting changes and enhancements coming to Yammer in 2020. And, as a Microsoft Silver Partner and SharePoint development agency, Silicon Reef are thrilled to be able to give you our take on some of the fantastic new features launching for Yammer this year.

A unified look… and feel

With this new release, Yammer has become the first of Microsoft’s applications to fully use Fluent and adopt a fully adaptive, device agnostic design making it faster, more fluid and more adaptable to use. Styling across the whole application has been sharpened and modernised, making content clearer and more visually engaging.

Many functional and back end changes also drive an improved consistency between Yammer and Microsoft 365, such as the unified user profile and people card pulled from O365, and the ability to set a customised navigation header. You’ll notice that the search bar and notification bell have been brought into the nav bar to bring this consistent experience.

Groups becomes Communities

Communities (previously Groups) brings a wealth of visual enhancement options and more scope for the user to personalise their view.

Enhancements include setting custom cover photos for a Community, pinning a question poll or announcement to the top of a Community feed, applying conversation filters, and the ability to ‘favourite’ a Community.

In essence you can do more, see more and customise more within your Communities than ever before.

More opportunities for sharing and learning

Feeds have been given a power boost with AI and machine learning, sorting the content to prioritise importance and relevance. You can pin your favourite communities to the sidebar, and combine top posts from groups, people and topics.

Question and Answer – a feature set launched in July 2019 – gets a bunch of enhancements, including improved visual styling that makes it easier to scan and find where input is required. You also get filters that quickly identify questions that need answers and a ‘best answer’ function marking helpful or closure-providing responses.

Live events have also been improved. You can schedule, produce and broadcast your live event through Yammer now, and even manage the whole thing from your mobile.

Rich content comes to the fore across the release. You can now capture, edit and publish video into Yammer all on your mobile, allowing you to share highly engaging, relevant and fresh content with your entire organisation.

Integration across 365

The new Yammer app for Teams brings Yammer into your Teams hub for project based collaboration and communication. The Yammer App can be pinned to the Teams navigation rail to give you quick and always-there access. Engage with Yammer content, and stay connected, without the ned to toggle in and out of Teams (and away from your projects, chats and meetings).

Engage in Yammer conversations from your Outlook inbox, as Yammer email notifications now render an interactive Yammer thread, so you can continue to engage without stepping out of Outlook.

All the styling and function enhancements of the new Yammer are reflected in the web part for SharePoint, including rich content and text, Q&A and intelligent sorting.

Safe, secure and consistent

From December 2019 eDiscovery searches include Yammer conversations, communities, and files, creating opportunities for greater compliance controls. eDiscovery will support both per-message and full conversation views, allowing your admins to search, discover, and place legal holds on all messages and files in your network.

Microsoft have also standardised the administration of Yammer people, groups, conversations, and files to provide a more robust and consistent governance experience across Microsoft 365.

Native Mode means that your admins can manage Yammer policy through Azure Active Directory and the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre without entering Yammer to manage things like group membership, group privacy, or data classification. Native Mode also ensures a consistent user experience across all users and communities, and gives users access to modern experiences like Live Events, connected SharePoint Sites, and shared document libraries.

Engagement, engagement, engagement

It’s obvious across the release that the emphasis has been on significantly improving the engagement factor across Yammer. And it has certainly driven massive improvements.

New Yammer’s Fluent-led design is simpler, cleaner and more focused on engaging content, clear paths to important information, and putting more control in the hands of the user. The mobile apps have been rebuild for both iOS and Android and, with the promise that all new features will be available for the apps either concurrently or ahead of the web, it is excellent news that Microsoft is giving us a Yammer that plays so well to the needs of the ‘work from anywhere’ modern workforce.

The simple fact that using Yammer on your mobile is easier, quicker, more consistent and more enjoyable makes a significant difference and Silicon Reef thinks this is going to drive the biggest change in the way you and your people use Yammer.

What are you looking forward to from the New Yammer? Find out more about how Microsoft 365, Yammer and Teams can help your business to connect and thrive.

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