Social network Yammer is nearing the 8 million user level, and Microsoft has updated the product road map to include further SharePoint integration, and greater email compatibility.
Microsoft, Yammer 1st Anniversary
It's been a year since Microsoft swooped in to grab its social network, and the company is parading its usage numbers around to help keep up momentum as Yammer marches toward deeper SharePoint and Office 365 integration. Aside from the jump in user numbers, user activity has nearly doubled in a year, and paid networks have grown over 200% year over year, David Sacks corporate VP of Yammer announced in a blog post this week.
Furthermore, this kind of trend is actually the opposite of what one might expect, Jared Spataro, senior director of Microsoft Office division, wrote in a blog post. Big acquisitions usually slow a company down, Spataro noted, but with Yammer, activity has been brisk as the above numbers seem to show.
Yammer has already been upgraded since the Microsoft deal to include things like the much used Inbox, embeddable feeds, file collaboration and even translation based on Microsoft Translator.
SharePoint Integration Road Map
The real key to Yammer's success will be in how it's integrated with SharePoint, and over the next 6 to 8 months, there are several projects under development on this front, Spataro wrote. SharePoint Search will eventually be able to look through Yammer conversations, and that will ultimately allow for more powerful apps to be built for combining social and search.
Microsoft is also working on making Yammer feeds the default for all SharePoint sites. This had previously been announced, but the integration has moved along sufficiently so that at least now we know what it will look like.
Image of a Yammer group feed as a preconfigured element of a SharePoint team site.
Other Yammer updates planned include the ability to message multiple groups at once, the aforementioned email compatibility, and an improved way to include external parties in Yammer conversations. As we noted above, these updates will trickle out over the rest of 2013, but Microsoft did announce a Klout, social influence app integration this week as well.
Klout scores can be added to Yammer profiles so colleagues can quickly see what skills a person is an expert in, and it's also possible to show a Yammer specific Klout score based on expertise within the company. Additionally, SharePoint partners will begin to be able to produce Yammer apps, and in November, Yammer is launching a Developer's Certification program.
All of this news is coming out ahead of the 2013 Microsoft BUILD developers conference, so there should be a few more notable items to come out this week. However, as we noted in our BUILD run up story, we don't expect any huge unveilings.