Microsoft Releases Yammer Now Mobile Messaging App for iOS

Microsoft cooks up a streamlined, purpose-built app to help Yammer users stay in touch using their iPhones.

Microsoft has published a new app on the Apple App Store that simplifies sending quick messages back and forth on Yammer.

Yammer, Microsoft's cloud-based enterprise social networking platform, is no stranger to mobile apps. The Yammer app, currently available for Apple iOS, Android and Windows, offers users on-the-go access to the software's features. But with the new Yammer Now app, the company is betting that some users, at least, want a simple mobile messaging experience.

"Both apps (Yammer Now and Yammer) are designed to deliver different product experiences," said Microsoft in a statement. Describing Yammer Now as fast and lightweight, the new app is "recommended if you want to reach your colleagues quickly."

"To access other functionalities such as Inbox and Home Feed, we recommend using the Yammer app," suggested Microsoft.

Containing few non-messaging functions, Yammer Now is meant to pass along urgent and impromptu messages without bogging users down with added capabilities. "As the workplace becomes more mobile, we understand that it's important for employees to easily reach their coworkers, fast," said the company. The Yammer Now app runs on iOS 6.0 or later. While "optimized for iPhone 5," the app works with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

"With Yammer Now, you can easily initiate and respond to Yammer conversations anytime, anywhere. And there’s no need to exchange phone numbers or email addresses, all you need is login with your work email," boasted Microsoft.

To support those goals, the Yammer Now provides an uncluttered, mobile-friendly interface. It takes cues from other popular mobile messaging platforms, down to profile pictures and MMS-inspired word balloons. Optimized for touch, the interface allows users to start and organize conversations.

In addition to instant messaging, Yammer Now betters the chances of getting an immediate response from coworkers with online presence reporting. Push notification support alerts users to new messages in real time. Yammer Now also supports group messaging, with the ability to add participants at any time. Further, users can snap and share photos using the app's MMS-like feature or "Like" chat messages that meet with their approval.

Microsoft acquired Yammer in 2012 for $1.2 billion. In the year since, the software giant has been growing the Yammer ecosystem by integrating the business-oriented social networking technology into its increasingly cloud-enabled Office product slate and making a big push into mobile apps.

Previewing new features that make it easier for non-Yammer users to collaborate via email, Pavan Tapadia, Yammer's chief product officer, told eWEEK in October that his team was embarking on more of a mobile-first approach. Yammer is "leading a little more with mobile," he said. As evidence, he offered the company's completely redesigned iPad app, Live Tile support for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, and work being done to make Yammer on devices powered by Google's popular mobile OS "feel like a native Android app."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...