Yammer, the “Twitter for Business” company that won the Techcrunch50 conference best-in-show award earlier this month, launched an application programming interface last week. The API lets other companies build additional features. Today, a startup called Yammermail has used the API to launch a new feature I’ve been wanting, well, since before I heard about Yammer.
It offers two ways to forward email to Yammer’s streaming feed of short messages to tell colleagues what you’re up to.
Both ways result in a Yammer message from you that includes the subject line of the email as well as a link to the full text of the email. Yammermail could seriously reduce the amount of work-related email that Venturebeat, for example, currently sends around.
The two ways to forward, from the company:
1. Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your To, CC or BCC field [Ed. from within your email program], this mail will be added with only its subject and link to the contents of the mail. The result at Yammer will be something like “Financial forecast 2009… http://yammermail.com/m/“
2. Send a mail for example to email@example.com and the mail will be tagged to @colleague. In this example ‘colleague’ can be the name of your colleagues on Yammer. The result at Yammer will be something like “@colleague Financial forecast 2009… http://yammermail.com/m/“
At least that’s my hope — I’ve been trying to get the other VentureBeatniks (as we jokingly call ourselves) to use Yammer. So far uptake has been moderate.
Aside from potential adoption issues. Yammer’s concept is not new, the company just seems to be executing well, via a variety of enterprise features like its Blackberry app. Yammer — and WordPress’ Prologue, and Present.ly, and a variety of other competitors — all offer variations on the idea of providing internal short-form messaging systems for companies.
Yammer came under criticism from some of our readers because it’s not original. But it was the judges’ pick at TechCrunch50, I believe, because it its features symbolize the potential of the concept — which so far is in its early stages of business adoption for all of these companies.