Mobility is a driving force in modern business, but with it comes the need to stay connected. Emails are the traditional approach, but they’re not quite as effective as virtual meeting apps. Two competing team collaboration software are Yammer and Slack. In this article, we’ll break down the similarities and differences between the two so you can decide which one is right for your team.

Collaboration Software: The Basics

Yammer is Microsoft’s enterprise social networking app. It provides an open platform for team members to hold discussions, share updates, give feedback, host meetings, collaborate on projects, and more. As a Microsoft product often bundled in Office 365 subscriptions, Yammer syncs well with other productivity and team collaboration apps like SharePoint and OneDrive.
Slack is another popular team collaboration app. With its user-friendly interface, customizable channels, and third-party integrations, Slack makes real-time collaboration quick and painless for your team. It’s one of the most popular collaboration software platforms in today’s market.

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Yammer vs Slack: Similarities

At the most basic level, Yammer and Slack are both popular enterprise networking tools for modern workplace communication. They are both suitable for small, mid-sized, and large businesses. Let’s take a look at some additional similarities between the two apps.

1. Supported platforms

Both apps are available on Windows, Mac, Android, Windows phone, and iPhone/iPad. They’re also available through browsers.

2. Channels and groups

Both Yammer and Slack allow members to self-organize into channels and groups for different projects/teams. You can start a direct conversation with people on both Yammer and Slack, and you can also use features like hash tags (#), mentions (@), stars, uploads, links, searches, and much more to help you stay organized and find relevant conversations quickly.

3. Notifications

Both Yammer and Slack have efficient notification systems. Yammer sends a notification only when you’ve gone idle for a specific time interval. And if the notifications build up before you get a chance to respond, Yammer won’t spam you with notifications from the same thread. Like Yammer, Slack has plenty of app and desktop notification settings you can enable for when you step away from the app.

4. App integrations

As part of the Office 365 suite of apps, Yammer integrates efficiently with other Office apps as well as with third-party apps like Zapier, Zendesk, GoodData, Smarsh, and more. Slack also integrates well with third-party apps like Twitter, Google Docs/Drive, Dropbox, Zendesk, GitHub, MailChimp, and others. App integrations help your team members organize information from other tools in one place.

Yammer vs Slack: Differences

Though Slack is similar to Yammer, the two apps have some distinct differences. We cover those below.

Features Yammer Slack
Content organization Yammer helps you to stay organized by categorizing your communication.

  • Groups: You can create different groups for different teams and projects.
  • Following: View all conversations that you started, replied to, or chose to follow in your Inbox.
  • Followers: Lists the team members who are following your conversations.
  • Following Topics: Shows you the list of hash tags that you’re following, helping you find all topics of interest in one place.
Slack lets you organize your conversations in three main categories.

  • Channels: Can be created to chat with different member groups and projects teams.
  • Direct messages: You can also chat with individual team members using direct messaging.
  • Private Groups: These are private groups that function as exclusive channels. The content here is only visible to those members who are included in the group by the admin.
Third-party app integrations Limited Plenty
Voice, video, and screen sharing Available through Microsoft Stream. Available through integration of third-party apps like apear.in, Blue Jeans, Daily.co, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, etc.
Inline link previews Link previews are currently not available in Yammer. Posting a link simply displays a long URL. There is no way to understand what the link contains. Similar to other social networking apps like Facebook and Discord, Slack converts links to images of the corresponding content.
Attaching a file Yammer allows you to attach and share a file in a message in different ways. You can select to upload it from your device or attach it from elsewhere in Yammer, SharePoint, or OneDrive. You can also attach a GIF that already exists in Yammer. Slack gives you a very easy way of uploading files from your device. You can simply drag and drop them into Slack from a folder. You can also copy and paste images directly into a message. Optionally, you can also click on the plus icon next to your messaging bar to select a file for upload.
Sharing a thread Sharing a thread in Yammer across groups creates new conversations in those groups. Hence, the comments or likes on those threads need to be manually monitored for analysis. Also, it’s a lot of work to post threads individually in all groups. To share a thread with individual team members or groups, you can simply @mention them in the threaded message. They will automatically start following that thread. This will also start showing the threaded message under the All Threads View in their Slack. This links everyone to the same thread and keeps the discussion relevant. It also keeps everyone’s replies and reactions organized in one place.
Using emojis As of now, it’s not possible to use emojis in Yammer messaging. Slack has a rich collection of emojis to match all your moods and personalize a message. It helps make workplace conversations more short, crisp, and fun.
Time zone management Yammer does not display the users’ local time on their profile pages. It only displays the Activity Stream Ticker. It displays the time when another user has viewed a message; uploaded, downloaded, or created content; and joined a group. This can sometimes come across as a breach of user privacy. Slack displays each user’s local time on their profile. This helps users manage coworker availability across time zones.
Support Yammer provides customer support, admin support, and blog and community support. It also has a rich knowledge base of articles for its users. Slack provides online support, numerous knowledge base articles, and video tutorials.
Pricing Yammer offers three payment plans. You can select them according to the features available in each and your business requirements:

Office 365 Business Essentials $5.00/month/user

  • Email with 50 GB mailbox
  • 1 TB File storage/sharing
  • HD Video Conferencing,
  • Office Online

Office 365 Business $8.25/month/user

  • Office for PC and mobile devices
  • 1 TB File storage/sharing
  • Mobile Apps

Office 365 Business Premium $12.50/month/user

  • All features of Business and Business Essentials
  • Fully installed Office and HD Video Conferencing
Slack offers three small and medium business and enterprise pricing packages. You can select a plan according to your requirements:

Free – No limits on time or users

  • Searchable message archives, up to 10k of your team’s most recent messages
  • 10 apps or service integrations
  • Native apps for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows Desktop
  • Two-person voice and video calls
  • 5 GB total file storage for your team
  • Two-factor authentication

Standard – $6.67/user/month billed annually ($8 billed monthly)

  • All features from the Free plan
  • Unlimited searchable message archives
  • Unlimited apps and service integrations
  • Custom retention policies for messages and files
  • Guest access
  • Priority support
  • OAuth via Google
  • Mandatory two-factor authentication
  • Custom User Groups to reach a team or department
  • Group voice and video calls
  • 10 GB file storage per team member

Plus – $12.50/user/month billed annually ($15 billed monthly)

  • All features from the Standard plan
  • SAML-based single sign-on (SSO)
  • Compliance exports of all messages
  • 99.99% Guaranteed Uptime SLA
  • 24/7 Support with four-hour response time
  • User provisioning and deprovisioning
  • Real-time Active Directory sync with OneLogin, Okta, Centrify, and Ping Identity
  • 20 GB file storage per team member

Enterprise – by quote

  • Fully searchable archive with unlimited messages
  • Unlimited external integrations
  • Free native apps for iOS, Android, and Mac Desktop
  • Detailed usage statistics, reporting, and analysis
  • Custom message retention policies
  • Guest access
  • Priority support

Written by Sophie Furnival Content Specialist @ SherWeb

Sophie is SherWeb's Marketing Communications Strategist.