Yammer, which is pretty much Facebook for enterprises, has been acquired by Microsoft for $1.2 billion in cash. Yammer was launched towards the end of 2008, and currently has more than 5 million users including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500. “When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big,” David Sacks, Yammer founder and CEO, said. “We had a vision for how social networking could change the way we work. Joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”
Microsoft will be folding Yammer into the Office division, where it will bolster Microsoft’s current enterprise offerings. The Redmond giant expects Yammer to complement existing products like SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics and Skype. “The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft. “Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”
Yammer will continue to be developed as an independent service, but Microsoft will leverage its existing products to boost Yammer’s adaption. Going forward, Microsoft’s biggest challenge will be monetizing Yammer. The enterprise social network operates on a freemium model, with four fifth of the current users accessing its services for free.