Explained: How Microsoft is planning to take on Facebook with this new app

Microsoft has introduced a new app called the Viva Engage at its annual Inspire event. The app is a part of the tech giant’s plans to widen the footprint of its Viva employee-experience platform. The company is promoting the Viva Engage app as a social-community app based out of the Communities service for Teams. However, Microsoft has also confirmed that the new app won’t be replacing Yammer. The company has recently updated its blog post to mention that the “Yammer web experience and the native Yammer mobile apps will continue to be a part of Microsoft 365 SKUs, and the same communities, storylines, and stories are made available through both Yammer and the new Viva Engage app.” Microsoft also added that it will continue to invest in Yammer and “bring the powers of Yammer to Microsoft 365 and Viva.”
Microsoft’s new Viva Engage app availability
The company wants to make Engage available to all-existing Microsoft 365 commercial customers without any extra charge. However, users need to have a Yammer license to access the app. According to a report by ZDNet, Microsoft’s officials have also shared the company’s plans for rebranding the Communities app for Teams as “Viva Engage” within the next month. Just like the Communities app, the Viva Engage app will also be available within the Teams mobile apps for both iOS and Android.
What is the Viva employee experience suite
The Viva employee experience suite can be found within the Teams video-calling app which currently includes tools like — Viva Learn, Viva Topics, Viva Connections and Viva Goals. As per the report, Microsoft officials have stated that the company is planning to incorporate the Glint HR tools into the Viva suite by 2023. Apart from this, Microsoft has also renamed a new CRM companion app as Viva Sales, however, it is not a part of the Viva Suite.
Difference between Viva Connections and Viva Engage
Viva Connections is also based on Yammer and is designed to offer — news, conversations and resources, which might be a little confusing for users as the new Engage app seem to do the same job. The report clarifies (as said by Microsoft officials) that “Viva Connections is about connecting employees to company resources while Viva Engage is more about connecting employees to each other,” along with offering leaders “new ways to engage in dialogue with employees.”
How Viva Engage will take on Facebook
Apart from the news and conversations from both colleagues and the organisation, Microsoft is adding a few personal expression tools to the Engage app which are also meant to be part of the Viva community experience. These tools include — Storyline, Stories and Video Clip.
The Storyline and Stories tool is based on OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Stream video service. As per the report, Microsoft officials have mentioned that Stories in the app will be the same as the ones that are found on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram where users can quickly share and upload short videos or photos.
On the other hand, Storylines will allow users to create posts with — links, files, photos and videos that will be available to them in — Viva Connections, Outlook, Teams and Yammer. Moreover, the feed of these posts will be available in a new Storylines tab.
Lastly, the Video Clip tool will use the Stream technology but it will be separate from Microsoft’s Clipchamp video production technology. This tool will help users easily record and send short video messages in Teams Chat. The report also mentions that the Video Clip tool will be in preview in August and is expected to be made widely available within September.
Also Read: Microsoft Teams is down for thousands of users. Click here to read what the company has to say about it.

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