If eavesdropping on the music-listening and video-watching behaviors of your Facebook friends on its real-time ticker satisfies the stalker within, you may experience equal delight (as much as possible in a work environment, that is) from Yammer’s newest tool.
Yammer, the social network for companies, has introduced a Facebook-inspired ticker, giving you the ability to spy on — ahem, track in real time — your coworkers’ every action, both inside and outside of Yammer. The company has also added other less-creepy collaboration features.
Just as Facebook’s ticker hooks into third-party social services for behavioral updates, Yammer’s “activity stream ticker” syncs with Salesforce, Box, Expensify, Tripit, Zendeck, Badgeville, Sharepoint, NetSuite and Spigit actions to provide you with work-related activity notifications you can follow like a hawk.
“We’re launching ticker for enterprise, which is inspired by what Facebook did … but I think it’s potentially more powerful in the enterprise,” Yammer founder and CEO David Sacks told VentureBeat. “It’s about what your coworkers are doing in their business apps … It’s pretty mind-blowing when you get that kind of ambient awareness of what all your coworkers are doing.”
Yammer users can see what content their coworkers are creating, have a quick glimpse at what files their contacts are modifying, find out when a friend completes an expense report and even get notified when a fellow staffer is going on a business trip.
As far as enterprise social networks go, Yammer is top dog. The startup is fast-approaching 4 million verified corporate users and has successfully penetrated 80 percent of the Fortune 500. But why stop at social networking? Why not create workplace collaboration and file-sharing tools and steal away another part of the enterprise market? That’s exactly what Yammer has in mind.
“We’re bringing content into the social graph,” Sacks said. The startup has just added two content-specific modules for enterprise users: Pages and Files. Pages is meant to be Yammer’s answer to the wiki, Sacks said, and allow for collaborative content creation à la Google Docs, but with the social fabric of Yammer.
Yammer users could already add files, but starting Wednesday each file uploaded to a company social network will get its own dedicated URL, which means a staffer can upload a new version of a file but the original URL will remain unchanged. Yammer users can also now follow files to keep track of changes.
“Yes, we’re definitely going to be in conflict with more players, especially in the wiki space,” Sacks said of the new direction. “I don’t think our ambition is to be your file cabinet, so much as your social layer, and to be the way that information gets discovered in the company.”
Okay, so it sounds like Yammer wants to stick to its social roots and isn’t (yet) interested in killing off the Basecamps or Box.nets of the world. We’re almost convinced. But, if social is Yammer’s beat, is it anything more than a social network plagiarist?
I put the question to Sacks. “Where the originality comes in is how we apply [social networking] inside the enterprise,” Sacks rebutted. “There’s substantial originality in creating an entirely new category of enterprise software that didn’t exist before.”
[Image via albyantoniazzi]
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