Microsoft has acquired Yammer, an “enterprise social networking” startup, for $1.2 billion in cash. Yammer operates like a gated Facebook: A business can set up a private network where employees can post announcements, share files, create events, swap messages and more. It also offers more traditional corporate features like a content management system and an “extranet” that businesses can use to communicate with outside contacts like customers and vendors.
Microsoft’s acquisition continues a recent trend of M&A deals in social media. Last week, Salesforce bought social media marketing company Buddy Media for $689 million, just one month after they bought collaboration software company Stypi.
Do you think private social networks, built on platforms such as Yammer, are a sufficient substitute in corporate environments where access to Facebook and Twitter has been restricted?