Yammer is opening up its microbogging platform. In "Yammer Community" people may now create a community without the requirement that an email address be associated with a particular domain.
This is a big change for Yammer. Many companies do not have their own domains. Opening up the platform means that the service is open to a much larger audience - and has created a much wider place for itself in the enterprise.
Yammer has done what any smart service does these days: open the network. Communities can be created internally and are associated with the overall company network. They may also be set up with people outside the company, be they customers or partners.
Companies can use the new service, or not if they prefer to remain with the Yammer service as it is without communities. Admin controls allow a business to set permissions for employees. Admins may also control who can sets communities and what extent they can use them.
Yammer says the service is available on the iPhone and will have a desktop client. It will be available March 1.
We wonder where Yammer is heading. it has that quasi-business/consumer quality to it. It feels in some ways like an application that would be applicable to any number of groups, be they civic organizations or tech communities.
This is a good next step for Yammer. It extends its real-time capabilities. It's focused. It's similar in some ways to Chatter but with constraints. And we don't mean constraints in a bad way. Yammer has decided to go deep with its core capabilities instead of trying to add services that are not part of its DNA.