Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Ten years ago today, Microsoft completed its purchase of Yammer. Microsoft's focus has been on Teams and the new Viva platform as the hub of communication in the workplace.

Viva Engage is a new app that encourages social networking at work.

VivaEngage builds on the strengths of Yammer to promote digital communities, conversations, and self-expression in the workplace. Viva Engage looks a lot like a Facebook clone. A storylines section on your Facebook news feed is what it includes. Employees will use it to share news or even personal interests because it looks and feels similar to Facebook.

Microsoft’s Facebook-like storylines inside Viva Engage.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has been trying to build something similar for a decade with its initial investment into enterprise focused social networking paving the way for communities within organizations that rely on Office. It was more difficult to integrate Yammer into Office365 than it was to integrate it into other businesses.

Microsoft Teams has been positioned as the hub for work and communications at Microsoft, and the Pandemic has sped up the transition to hybrid work and the need for apps like Microsoft Teams. Teams is the natural point where employees communicate and share for many businesses and has become its own form of a social network for many employees.

Viva Engage has Instagram-like Stories.
Image: Microsoft

The feature that Microsoft-owned LinkedIn gave up on last year, Stories, will be included in VivaEngage. If you want to share your vacation photos with your co-workers, you won't have to follow each other on social media.

VivaEngage offers another way to create a community within an organization, and Microsoft Teams integration and focus on consumer-like social networking could make it more successful than what it has attempted in the past. It is hard not to think that Viva Engage was created with Facebook in mind. Microsoft is becoming more cautious of Meta's push into the enterprise and the pair are on a collision course for metaverse competition.