Yammer is widely known around the enterprise for building Facebook-like features into its social business layer, and today that trend continues with the release of the Activity Stream Ticker. The stream of information shows users what their colleagues are doing on Yammer, as well as a variety of new third-party services: Box.net, Zendesk, Spigit, TripIt, Badgeville and Expensify. 

Much like Facebook's Live Stream, Yammer's addition publishes real-time activity in a scrolling side module that surfaces relevant stories around people, content and third-party business applications:

Yammer Activity Stream Ticker

Launching with the aforementioned partners means that whenever a file is uploaded to Box.net, or a customer support request is filled out on Zendesk, employees will be updated through the ticker.

While Facebook's version can certainly be distracting/annoying, Yammer's CEO David Sacks says being privy to real-time happenings around the enterprise is exactly what employees need: “It’s certainly the case that employees do need quiet time to get work done, but an equally big chunk of time you want ambient awareness of what’s happening. The bigger problem is not an attention deficit, it’s lack of access to information inside of a company.”

If anything, it'll certainly make it easier for employees to immediately jump in and start collaborating where collaboration is needed. 

Yammer Pages

And speaking of collaboration, another new service called Yammer Pages features real-time document collaboration. This time Yammer looks to have borrowed from Wikipedia, as users can create custom pages for longer-standing content, editable by teams of people. 

Yammer Pages

The perks go like this:

  • Watch character-by-character changes in real-time, color-coded by user.
  • Save content as a draft and publish to a group when ready.
  • Follow, comment on and link to Pages in messages
  • Share pages with individuals or groups of people, inviting them to view, edit and discuss the content.
  • Full text, type-ahead search allows employees to search page names as well as page content.
  • Related Pages and Files are displayed alongside each Page, giving knowledge workers quick access to other relevant documents.

"Many of the customers we're presenting this to never had Google Docs, so they're seeing real-time collaboration for the first time," said Adam Pisoni, Yammer CTO and co-founder. "Up to this point, Yammer has been about ephemeral communications, where you could talk about work but not necessarily get work done." 

Yammer Files

The third and final Yammer release of the day is Files, which enables users to share, follow and comment on new or previously uploaded files within the platform's existing social framework.

Each File lives in a single Page, where new versions can be directly uploaded. A feature called File Feed records conversations that reference the File, offering a channel for real-time discussion around edits and versioning. 

Comin' Up

Three must be the magic number, as Yammer's last major release featured three business integration tools. The addition of today's features -- referred to by Pisoni as "the most significant Yammer update to date" -- accomplishes the same goal: pushing Yammer even further away from its microblogging roots by featuring and extending functionality directly modeled after the biggest social networking giant of them all. 

Further, these updates bring the platform into a pool of file sharing sharks, such as Dropbox and Box.net.

If you haven't yet looked into Yammer, now might be a good time to do so. The company offers a free version with limited features, as well as a variety of fee-based plans for more premium features and a larger user base. 

Check them out in action: