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Microsoft

Yammer powers communities, knowledge, and employee engagement in Microsoft 365. At Microsoft Ignite, we shared how Yammer is investing in three areas for knowledge: capturing knowledge with questions and answers, organizing it using topics, and spreading it across the organization with Project Cortex.

 

Today, we are sharing the first updates to our new topics experience—which lays the foundation for future improvements and greater distinction between topics and hashtags.

 

Topics and Hashtags today

Currently, Yammer has two related features available for categorizing knowledge: topics and hashtags.

 

Topics are a useful tool to organize, curate, and reference knowledge within and across communities. Anyone can affix a topic to a conversation by using the “Add Topics” option during or after posting. If a topic exists already, it is presented as a suggestion. Topics are metadata that apply to the thread, not individual messages, whereas hashtags are part of the message itself. Clicking a topic takes you to that specific topic’s page.

 

Hashtags are a great way to encourage and promote participation in campaigns and conversations across communities. They also provide a creative way to express yourself. You can include a hashtag in a message by simply adding the ‘#’ symbol before the text. Posting a message with a hashtag automatically adds a topic of the same name to the thread. Clicking a hashtag takes you to the topic page of the same name.

 

What’s changing

While topics and hashtags each have many uses, organizations have been eager for a clearer distinction between the two. The current behavior of automatically adding a topic when posting a hashtag can lead to confusion.

 

Moving forward, we are drawing a sharper distinction between these features so that topics power knowledge curation, management, and referencing while hashtags continue to be used to support campaigns and user expression.

 

This means the following changes in the coming weeks:

  • Topics will no longer include the ‘#’ symbol before the topic making them visually distinct from hashtags. This should make topics in Yammer easier to scan for in a feed, and match how topics look across Microsoft 365. Hashtags will continue to look the same.
  • Posting a hashtag will no longer automatically add a topic to the thread. One can continue to manually add a topic to a thread.
  • Clicking a topic will open the topic page. Clicking a hashtag will initiate a search for all messages that include that hashtag.

But don’t worry -- all threads that have been marked with topics will continue to be marked with topics. And all messages that include a hashtag will continue to have that hashtag.

 

YammerHashtags.png

 

Future of topics

We intend for topics to be an excellent tool for organizing, curating, and connecting knowledge across communities in Yammer, and even beyond in Microsoft 365. In the future, you will see these updates to topics in Yammer:

  • Create descriptions for topics that show on the topic page and topic picker
  • Add a filter to topic pages to see all questions marked with the topic
  • See the most used topics within a community
  • Ability to delete topics

 

To make the community knowledge from Yammer broadly accessible and support a cohesive experience across Microsoft 365, Yammer and Project Cortex will be tightly integrated. This means:

  • Topics will mean and refer to the same thing whether in Yammer, Project Cortex and elsewhere across Microsoft 365
  • Project Cortex topic cards will surface when hovering over topics within Yammer
  • Project Cortex topic cards will include content from Yammer such as question and answers, and conversations
  • Project Cortex topic pages will gather content from across Microsoft 365 including Yammer questions and answers, and conversations marked with that topic

Future of hashtags

We will continue to evolve hashtags to support organic expression and internal campaigns as part of larger conversations at the organization.

For more details on topics and hashtags, please see this support article.

 

12 Comments

What's the expected future behavior when you click on a hashtag?  Does it go to a "Topics" page? Or does it initiate a search for that hashtag?

Contributor

Hi @Kevin Crossman

 

Did you see this sentence in the post? I think that has the answer.

 

"Clicking a topic will open the topic page. Clicking a hashtag will initiate a search for all messages that include that hashtag."

Thanks Cai, I see that now.

Occasional Contributor

Will the yammer api be updated in the same timeframe? The current endpoint for topics https://developer.yammer.com/docs/topicsidjson
"Topics can be added to a thread either by a user posting a message with a hashtag or by adding the topic after the fact (see parameters for manipulating messages above). Topics, along with their ids, can be retrieved using search or autocomplete"

Microsoft

@Daniel Karlsson Hi Daniel, yes, once the change is fully rolled out over the coming weeks, we'll update that API documentation. You'll be able to add topics to the thread manually while composing the thread, or after posting it. Posting a hashtag in a message will not add a topic to the thread.

Super Contributor

The post is inconsistent. Under the Hashtag bullet it says

 

Posting a message with a hashtag automatically adds a topic of the same name to the thread. Clicking a hashtag takes you to the topic page of the same name.

 

Later it says

  • Clicking a topic will open the topic page. Clicking a hashtag will initiate a search for all messages that include that hashtag.

 

@Rob O'Keefe 
"Hashtags today": Posting a message with a hashtag automatically adds a topic of the same name to the thread
"Hashtags in the future": Posting a hashtag will no longer automatically add a topic to the thread. Clicking a hashtag will initiate a search for all messages that include that hashtag.

 

Super Contributor

I swear I read that post 3 times... it seems very clear now! :suprised:

@Rob O'Keefe You and me both, brother.

Contributor

Can I just check that there will not be any changes to the Power Automate 'Post to Yammer' Action.

You can currently add in up to 20 Topics in a post. I assume this will still stay mapped to Topic in Yammer post

Occasional Visitor

@Kaleem Rahman While Clicking on a topic will open the topic page within the Yammer app in MS Teams it lacks the option to limit search within a specific channel. Also if you have a long list of conversations, I'm missing a easy way to search on keywords in the Yammer app in MS Teams

Occasional Visitor

Hi @Kaleem Rahman ,
Thanks for the information.

 

Two questions:

1. Do you have specific release dates for changes in the coming weeks?

2. With this update, what would be the endpoint to get all posts with a particular hashtag?