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New Yammer Preview Released

A "new" Yammer collaboration service application has been released at the public preview stage, Microsoft announced on Monday, and IT pros will have to contact Microsoft if they want to block users from accessing it.

Yammer is a chat application, typically used for company-wide communications, that's included with various Office 365 and Microsoft 365 subscriptions. Microsoft bought Yammer about eight years ago, but it's considered to be "new" now because Microsoft is finishing up with additions announced back at its Ignite conference last year. Microsoft also changed the nomenclature somewhat, using "communities" instead of "groups" for Yammer chat arrangements.

With the new Yammer communities, users can pin their favorites, add photos and moderate content. Company logo branding can be added. Users also have the option to announce "questions, polls and praise" with the new Yammer. Conversations can be closed, and files can be shared more easily through a "recently used files" feature. It's also possible to watch videos and produce Live Events via a Webcam.

Microsoft also improved conversation filtering in the new Yammer. User profiles now tap information that comes from Azure Active Directory profiles.

The new Yammer preview is actually standard stuff already for the mobile app versions running on Android and iOS devices, as Microsoft released production-environment-ready versions back in late March. Microsoft also added the new Yammer to Microsoft Teams last month.

Presumably, this preview release of the new Yammer is referring to the desktop version of the application, although the announcement didn't include such clarifying information.

IT pros that are Microsoft 365 Global Admins can permit end users access to the new Yammer client using a toggle switch in the Yammer Admin Portal. However, users can still access the preview, even if the toggle is off. The only way to prevent user access to the new Yammer preview is for organizations to contact Microsoft.

Here's how Microsoft expressed that point:

Your Microsoft 365 admin controls whether users see the toggle to switch to the new Yammer experience. But users will always be able to access web.yammer.com while the new Yammer is in the public preview phase. If your organization wants to remove all access to the new Yammer during the preview phase, you will need to contact Microsoft support. More details on this can be found here.

Microsoft expects that the new Yammer will reach the "general availability" commercial-release stage worldwide sometime in July. It'll "soon" be added to SharePoint, as well as the Outlook desktop and mobile apps, although Microsoft didn't indicate a timeline.

This preview release is a worldwide launch, and it's available in all languages. Data geolocation preferences will work with the preview, Microsoft contends. If end users don't like the new Yammer, they can switch back to the classic version using a toggle control. There's no service-level agreement in force when the preview is used, the announcement noted.

There are just a couple of exceptions on getting access to the new Yammer. Guest users or users outside the "home" network will continue to get the so-called "classic" Yammer application, Microsoft indicated.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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