Earlier this month, the NS Design blog covered the launch of Microsoft’s new tablet device, Surface, a supposed competitor for Apple’s renowned iPad technology. It seems that the software giant is attempting to improve their presence online as well as offline, as news emerged this week that they have purchased social networking site Yammer – for a staggering $1.2billion.
Yammer began as a messaging service for companies, but soon expanded into a social networking platform with a wide range of functions, including Facebook style tools to aid communication and collaboration in the workplace. It operates on a ‘freemium’ basis, which includes a standard free service, and then a premium offering at $5 per user, per month.
Microsoft intend to incorporate Yammer into their existing products, like Office and Sharepoint, and this integration shows how far social media has progressed in terms of becoming integral for both personal and business purposes.
Yammer is already a successful platform, counting large companies like Ford and Ebay amongst its users, and Microsoft’s acquisition is likely to enhance the social platform’s popularity. As Rob Koplowitz, an analyst at Forrester Research, commented, “They’ve been behind in terms of social, and this puts them in a really strong positions, perhaps even in the lead”.