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Though many observers may have forgotten about Yammer, the business-oriented social network Microsoft acquired in 2012 for $1.2 billion, the company hasn’t.

Microsoft today unveiled what it called a “completely redesigned” version of Yammer. The company said it added “dozens” of new capabilities and integrations with Microsoft 365 tools such as Teams, SharePoint and Outlook.

Yammer focuses on company-wide communications, such as dialogs between leadership and employees and conversations among large groups. While it may seem to overlap with the Microsoft Teams collaboration tool, Yammer is more like a company-wide version of Facebook, with a focus on social conversations. Teams is built to help people complete tasks with their closest co-workers.

Yammer’s new design. (Microsoft Image)

Microsoft said the new Yammer features a number of top customer requests:

  • Personalized conversation feeds that use artificial intelligence to find the best topics for each user.
  • Communities can have unique identities with individualized branding and cover photos.
  • Posts within a conversation can be pinned and discussions closed to prevent excessive replies.
  • Enhanced video offerings make it easier to record and share visual messages through the Yammer mobile app. Microsoft is making it easier for company leaders to broadcast live and on-demand events with simplified production features.

Microsoft has been willing in recent years to abandon big ticket acquisitions from past eras that didn’t work out. With this redesign, Yammer has avoided the fate that befell past M&A whiffs such as Nokia and aQuantive.

More coverage of Microsoft’s Ignite 2019 enterprise tech conference.

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