Rather than showering Yammer with praise, bloggers have thrown rotten tomatoes at it and TechCrunch. Why? Because Yammer is pretty muchTwitter but reconstituted as a tool for corporate employees to communicate using 140-characters or less.
In that sense, Yammer isn’t innovative or unique (although, unlike a lot of Web 2.0 startups, it has a business model). And, let’s be frank, it strikes few people other than the TC50 gang as award-winning unless the rest of the field was pretty lame. (Personally, Fitbit looks pretty cool.)
I suspect many people assailing Yammer haven’t used it. What they may discover is Yammer is a pretty good service. It has a nice interface, it’s easy to use and could be an effective communications tool if employees need and want a Twitter-like instant messaging tool.
At PlanetEye, we started to use Yammer just to see what it was all about. While we’re not a large company, we do a lot of digital communicating using e-mail and Wikis. So in that sense Yammer could become a pretty useful tool for firing about small info bursts such as “Hey, check out new this start-up, taxime.ca” or “We’re ordering pizza. What kind do you want?”. It’s the kind of stuff that may be better suited than using e-mail.
And I suspect a lot of companies, particularly high-tech firms, would probably find Yammer to be useful.
If Yammer has potential as an enterprise tool, the big question is why hasn’t Twitter already moved into the corporate market. For a company scrambling for a business model, you figure that selling a corporate version of Twitter would be a no-brainer.
Sure, Twitter has major infrastructure issues but trying to get large business to cough up some bucks for a service that has become popular in no time at all seems like a straightforward proposition.
While Twitter fiddles, start-ups such as Yammer and Present.ly are moving into the corporate neighborhood. While they may be piggybacking on Twitter’s popularity and concept, you must give them credit for realizing there’s an untapped opportunity waiting for someone to seize. And if Twitter’s not going to do it, then someone else should take a shot.
While you can hammer Yammer for being unworthy or TC50 for unimaginative, the more interesting story is Twitter (or, at least, Twitter wannabes) are making a move into the corporate world.
For all we know, Yammer could become the Twitter of Enterprise 2.0…and perhaps make a lot of money in the process.