A question about licensing for the topics function in Viva Engage/Yammer

Copper Contributor

Approximately at the beginning of April of 2023 Microsoft announced in the message center that the topics in Yammer will be moved to Viva Topics. Microsoft also mentioned that there would be no change in the behaviour in Yammer unless there would be licenses for Viva Topics in the tenant.
Silly us, we had these licenses for some users, they were bought more than a year before the announcement of Microsoft. Nobody could have known then that there will be dependencies between Viva Topics and Yammer.
Now our users don't see topics in Yammer anymore, those who could create topics before, can't do this anymore because they have no Viva Topics license.
We asked Microsoft support, if we really have to have licenses for all of our users so that they can at least see the topics in Yammer again. There was no clear answer, we only got links to the Viva Topics documentation which was of no help
We could live with the nuisance, that those who create or manage topics, need a Viva Topics license. But what about those user who only need to see the topics.
In the Viva Topics settings is an option that the "Topic visibility" could be allowed for everyone:


Does someone know if we could activate this without needing licenses for Viva Topics for all of our users?

5 Replies
Unfortunately, you do need to have a license even to be able to see the Topics. I can see the frustration though with the impact to hashtags and definitely think it needs addressing for these scenarios.

@Kevin McDonnell : thx for the reply and Your support.
this is just not right from the Microsoft side. Now we would be forced to cough up thousands of dollars a month just to have the same functionality as before and as those still have who don't use Viva Topics.

Well, only thing left for us seems to not use topics in Yammer any more until Microsoft has corrected this error.

Some good news for you @Roman_Handl - a fellow Viva Explorer noticed that there is a change coming to have a lightweight Topics license for use in Viva Engage. According to the roadmap, this should be rolling out shortly so worth you or your admins keeping an eye on the updates.



@Kevin McDonnell : thx for the update. Good news for those without Viva Topics licenses, for those with them nothing changes. Viva Engage admins will need Viva Topics licenses to curate the topics.
Quote from here
"After purchasing Viva Topics licenses or getting a free trial, the lightweight management no longer works. When visiting the lightweight management page, we will prompt you to complete Viva Topics setup in your M365 Admin Center to enable premium features.
Once Viva Topics setup  is completed, we will automatically redirect users to the premium management page in Topics Center from the lightweight management page."

From the message center post today. I'm still confused about where to get to this (in part due to the blurry low-res screenshots in the MC post).

Lightweight management of manually created topics outside the Viva Topics license

Viva Topics provides a central knowledge base for manually created topics and definitions inside apps like Viva Engage. These topics don't use Viva Topics' AI, topic cards, or pages, but can be selected to classify conversations and posts in Viva Engage.

With this release, we are providing a way for Viva Engage admins to edit, create, and delete these "simple" topics without Viva licensing as a way to make knowledge management more accessible to more users. Please visit the 'Manage topics' page via the URL below:

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 118672.

When this will happen:

Targeted Release: We will begin rolling out early July and expect to complete by mid-July 2023.

Standard Release: We will begin rolling out mid-July and expect to complete by late July 2023.

How this will affect your organization:

We introduce the lightweight management experience of manually created topics to Viva Engage networks that have been migrated from the legacy data store in Viva Engage to Viva Topics. There is no change to the management permission for Viva Topics in Yammer, and we automatically grant it to Viva Engage admins so that they can manage topics as knowledge admins in the Manage topics page.

Management experiences without a Viva Topics license

We allow those with management permission to access the Manage topics page to manage all “simple” topics, including​:

View the list of all manually created topics inside apps like Viva Engage.
Search for a specific topic in the list.​
Create a simple topic (with only name & description) on the management page.​
Edit the name & description of an existing topic.​
Remove a topic.
Note: Removed topics can’t be restored in the lightweight management page.

Viva engage admins can edit

With an active Viva Topics license

You can also purchase Viva Topics licenses or get a free trial for your tenant to enable advanced management experiences and AI technology to enhance the central knowledge base in your organization.

After purchasing Viva Topics licenses or getting a free trial, the lightweight management no longer works. We will notify you to complete Viva Topics setup when visiting the lightweight management page.
Once Viva Topics setup is completed, we will automatically redirect users to the premium management page in Topics Center from the lightweight management page.
viva engage

What you need to do to prepare:

There is nothing you need to do to prepare, but you can let your admins and knowledge managers know about this new management of manually created topics outside the Viva Topics license.

Learn more about Viva Topics: Learn about topics in Microsoft Viva Topics | Microsoft Learn.