Yammer and the future of networking

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TechCrunch recently completed this year’s TechCrunch 50 – a competition of sorts to pick out the best startups. The winner: Yammer.

YammerYammer is like Twitter for corporate networks. I remember Microsoft Messenger having an option of this nature on its Mac version. Apart from Hotmail, one could connect to the corporate LAN (if there were other Mac Messenger users on the office network). I used to wonder if that’s the next big idea in social networking. Yammer has the potential to network corporations and connect them. It is simply what corporations would like to do but have not done thus far. It builds a feeling of ‘belonging’ within a company – imagine hundreds of thousands of GE employees connected through this simple tool.

Anyone with a corporate email can sign up and follow other people in their company. But if a company wants to claim its users, and gain administrative control over them, they will have to pay. Given that it has implications in increasing productivity, it has huge potential.

No wonder that it has competition already in the form of allows employees the ability to instantly communicate their current status, ask questions, post media, and more.

Increasingly, the future is about online apps. People will be less tied down to desktop based apps like Outlook for email, IM and so on. As this article explains, Facebook is the new Outlook. Interesting times ahead for business side of social networking.

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