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When Microsoft bought Yammer for $1.2 billion, concerns arose that the enterprise social network might lose some of its innovative spirit. But today Yammer has pushed back on that idea with the announcement of several big updates, including a new “inbox” that prioritizes conversations, a real-time messaging interface, and integrations with Hootsuite and seven other services.

“People were wondering if we would keep up our pace of innovation after the Microsoft acquisition,” Yammer cofounder and CTO Adam Pisoni told VentureBeat. “The answer is yes.”

The first parts of today’s announcement are updates to the main Yammer interface. The biggest interface change is the new Inbox. The Inbox replaces Private Messages on the right side but offers more functionality. In the Inbox, you can prioritize your messages, follow and unfollow conversations, send and reply to private messages, and search across your Inbox.

“The Inbox makes it possible to track conversations you need and should take action on,” Pisoni said. “You can now see what’s most important.”

Next is the new “Online Now” section in the bottom right corner that shows you coworkers that are also online and allows for real-time chat. It looks and functions similarly to instant messaging interfaces in Gmail or Facebook. You can also send messages to folks even if that user is offline. One problem with this feature is that you can’t go “invisible,” so the only way to keep coworkers from pinging you all day is to close your Yammer tab or app.

Yammer has implemented several minor interface updates here, too. On the homepage, elements from the left panel pushed to the top right corner to give more room to different groups in the right side. The homepage also feature trending files that have been recently updated, and companies can now pin important announcements to the top of employee feeds until they are read.

The other part of Yammer’s announcement today is a set of new app intergrations. The biggest of these is social media management app Hootsuite. Now in Hootsuite, you’ll be able to add and monitor Yammer feeds from the dashboard. Other integrations include Get Satisfaction, FuzeBox, Bevalley, If This Then That (IFTTT), Mindflash, Mindjet, and Zapier. These integrations make it possible to cross-post info from these apps on your Yammer feed or login with Yammer Connect to personalize a service.

Pisoni estimates that Yammer will have these updates rolled out to all customers in the next two weeks. He also said the Yammer iOS app will add updates including “Inbox” in the next few weeks. He didn’t give a timeline for an Android app revamp with the Inbox, but we’d expect it to be updated a few weeks after iOS.

You can a look at the new “Online Now” real-time chat function below:


And here’s the new Inbox:


Homepage photo credit: KnowYourMeme


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