Micro-blogging has become such a great phenomenon that it has forced real blogging to the brink of extinction and back, several times since its birth. 140 characters or less is fast becoming the only way people will communicate with each other (even lesser if you have to send a link!). Looking at the micro-blogging scenario at present, we cannot ignore the two giants (is that an oxymoron?!) – Twitter and Yammer.
Twitter is a micro-blogging tool used to communicate with pretty much anyone on the social media forum. Through ‘tweets’ that are not more that 140 characters, you can comment on anything, send the link of any interesting bit of info on the web, or support someone else’s tweets by retweeting them. Yammer shares some similarities with Twitter but it is designed to fit in with internal company communications, as opposed to public communications like Twitter.
So, let’s do a little comparison on the two mega micro-blogging sites:
1. Slogan – Twitter asks you “What are you doing?”. Yammer asks “What are you working on?”
2. Content – Twitter updates can be about just anything: your personal interests, the latest hot topic of discussion, what’s happening in your life right now, meeting people who share your interests, or posting a link to an interesting web page. Yammer updates are narrowed down to things related to work alone: a project you are working on, a deadline you are rushing to meet, an idea you had, or a plea for help when the printer gets stuck!
3. Viewers/Network – In Twitter you can meet anyone who uses the application, and all of them can view your updates. On Yammer, your network only contains people who have the same company email as you, and only these folks can view your updates.
4. Character Restriction – Twitter updates have to 140 characters or less. It automatically shrinks lengthy URLs. Yammer has no character restriction (Yaay!!). And the best part is, you can send attachments!
5. Organizing Updates – All Twitter updates pretty much land up on the same page, and it is a little time-consuming trying to view tweets that don’t have a hashtag. In Yammer, you can create groups to organize relevant updates.
6. Threads – Conversation threads are not as easy to view on Twitter as they are on Yammer.
Which brings us to the following conclusion:
Though Twitter and Yammer share similarities, their purpose is entirely different. Twitter is created for the purpose of networking, whereas in Yammer, your network is ready made for you, and all you have to do is maximize the efficiency of communication in the work place.