TC50: Yammer launches as a Twitter for businesses, unless you want the open-source version

Twitter is great. Send short (140-character messages) about what you’re doing right now and read the mercifully short yet informative messages from friends. So Yammer, launching today (and pictured above), wants to be the Twitter for businesses. It asks “what are you working on right now?” so you and your coworkers can more easily keep track of each other.

The problem is that the basic features are easy to build — as Rafe Needleman worries, over at CNET. Indeed, there’s already an open-source version of this type micro-messaging software, that’s been out since January. It’s called Prologue, and it was created by blog platform WordPress (pictured below). Our friends at GigaOm have been creating their own custom versions; here’s one that lets you see a stream of what the writers over at GigaOm are reading and writing.

So, I’ve just started out trying out Yammer — and I most certainly agree that it’s a great idea. But where to? I can think of at least a silver lining for the company. Businesses like to customize their software, and they often need technical support for development and hosting. Perhaps Yammer can take on that role?