Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced plans to take on Facebook with the company’s own social media platform, Viva Engage.
The new offering, part of Microsoft Teams, appears to improve the experience of the outgoing Yammer communities by providing new ways to connect, find and share knowledge, [oneself]and belonging at work,” said Yammer and Viva CVP Murali Sitaram in a company blog post (opens in new tab).
Microsoft Viva Engage is primarily a business-focused product designed to “help organizations build community, foster leadership engagement, leverage knowledge and responses, and build personal networks,” in a model that similar to LinkedIn.
The move is intended to enable new hybrid work routines where employees experience fewer interpersonal interactions.
The rollout of the new Engage tab, which will replace the existing Communities section, will begin “in late August” for all versions of Microsoft Teams, including web apps, desktop clients, and mobile apps.
Teams users who are already using the Community panel don’t need to make any changes – the switchover is automatic.
Although Yammer is being replaced in Microsoft Teams, it will continue to exist in browsers and mobile apps. In addition, storyline posts, stories, and conversations posted on the Yammer platform will be visible in the new Viva Engage platform.
Since all Viva Engage accounts must be licensed to use Yammer, it’s easier to think of this as a rebranding exercise with plenty of visual and functional upgrades.
Going forward, Microsoft says it will “have a lot more to share soon,” so it’s possible further Viva Engage branding will continue to expand as the tech giant invests in improving its communications tools and video conferencing platforms.