Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced plans to take on the likes of Facebook with the company’s own social media platform, Viva Engage.
The new offering, part of Microsoft Teams, looks to enhance the experience of the outgoing Yammer Communities, bringing “new capabilities to connect people, find and share knowledge, express [oneself], and find belonging at work,” according to Yammer and Viva CVP Murali Sitaram in a company blog post (opens in new tab).
Microsoft Viva Engage is primarily a business-oriented product, set to “help organizations build community, spark engagement with leadership, harness knowledge and answers, and build personal networks,” in a model similar to LinkedIn.
The move is set to facilitate new hybrid working routines where workers are finding themselves experiencing fewer interpersonal interactions.
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 already using the Community panel will not need to make any changes: the switchover will be automatic.
While Yammer is getting replaced in Microsoft Teams, it will continue to live on in browsers and mobile apps. Additionally, storyline posts, stories, and conversations that are posted to the Yammer platform will be visible in the new Viva Engage platform.
Because all Viva Engage accounts will need to be licensed to use Yammer, it’s easier to see this as a rebranding exercise with plenty of visual and functional upgrades.
Going forward, Microsoft says it has “much more to share soon,” so it’s possible that further Viva Engage branding will continue to expand as the tech giant invests in improving its communication tools and video conferencing platforms.