Microsoft has recently confirmed that it has acquired the social network Yammer in a $1.2 billion cash transaction. The company says this will add social networking features and support for the Microsoft Office platform. Executives have hailed this recent decision as an important addition to the company's collaboration and productivity offerings.
Yammer is an existing social networking site that currently operates out of San Francisco and London, and is focused on providing a private social network for businesses. Currently used by more than 200,000 companies worldwide, Yammer allows employees to collaborate securely across departments, geographies, and business applications, to ask questions, share knowledge, and get work done without ever sending an email.
Microsoft's current plans are to continue to offer Yammer as a standalone social networking site, but to also integrate the platform with Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Skype.
Over the years, Microsoft has tried to popularize social networking within SharePoint, a collaboration server that comes bundled with its Office productivity suite, with little success. It remains to be seen whether the Yammer deal will follow suit or continue to grow in its success.
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