Is Yammer a defensible technology Thursday, September 11, 2008
The winner of Techcrunch50, Yammer, positions itself as Twitter for business, with communities built around user email domains. i.e. @corporation.com. Indeed, any Twitter user will be instantly familiar with the service and it's features.
Unlike Twitter, users can only connect to other users from the same company but thereafter tap into the "news" stream from the company community/network i.e. every message from anyone in the same company, which is the default setting. You do have the choice to filter this by people or "tags" that you follow, the latter being a embedded keyword/code attached to a message by it's author e.g. a project name.
Similar to Twitter, you can also send message to specific users.
Importantly, as the Help section points out
- Anyone in your organization interested in you or any tag in the message can view the message – you don’t have to decide ahead of time who may be interested in your message, unless you want to.
- The content of the message is searchable by anyone in the organization – no more silos of important information hidden in email clients spread across your organization. Search operates based on Members, Tags and even words in messages
You can interact with Yammer via a desktop application, an iPhone or Blackberry application, IM Client [AIM, Gtalk, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ and Jabber], SMS and email. Of course, if you are in a big company you will probably be restricted to using SMS or email unless your IT department approves the use of Yammer and thus permits the installation of Yammer applications.
Unlike Twitter, Yammer have launched with with a business model that revolves around companies paying to claim and administer their network. Whilst there is no necessity to do this, you can imagine that companies will be keen to have some control over their network if it becomes an important communication tool.
The oddity is that Twitter didn't think of this [not a huge mind leap] and hence create a revenue stream for themselves. Yet, whilst Twitter could easily implement a few changes that would enable them to offer a very similar service, I suspect carving out a corporate offering within their existing offering could well run contrary to the service ethos. Moreover, users may well prefer two distinct worlds, rather like LinkedIn and Facebook, with a personal/social and a corporate divide.