How does the Yammer feed work?? What rules/equations sit behind it?

Occasional Contributor

We have been noticing discrepencies between users, devices, and possibly device types in regards to the Yammer feed.

 

3 of us stood together yesterday and refreshed 3 phones and a computer at the same time, and they were not all the same, but some were. We're all part of different groups, and some the same, and we can't make sense of this.

 

One person refreshes and sees their own post form 4 days ago as the top, 2 other people see a post from few minutes ago from a different user. Why did person 1 not see this atop their feed? Much of my mgmt team is very confused...

 

Can somebody explain the logic to?

Is there a way for an individual to change their settings? (I know the answer is currently "no", this is a request/rhetorical question).

7 Replies

You can set your feed to work in one of three modes. All - everything visible to you including public groups you may not be a member of. Following - everything you specifically follow (groups, people, topics, etc.). Discovery - which tries to show you stuff you haven't seen before. Just think of the last one as a magic black box that makes no sense.

 

Yammer defaults to Discovery unless you change it and click the little cog button at the top of the feed and select "Remember my feed selections." I have also noted that until you set this setting to save the mobile apps will default to Discovery as well but seem to use the preferred feed if you save the preference. Except for the iPad app which behaves different from every other app and should just be ellimnated and replaced by the same code that runs on a iPhone.

 

Generally I advise my users to be agressive in following people, topics, and groups and use the Following feed to see a unique set of content of interest to them.

In addition to Geoff's excellent summary, bear in mind that Yammer is a learning algorithm. What you see in Yammer should be somewhat unique to each user, based on the groups everyone has chosen, people they've followed, topics they've followed, and other choices and clicks they've made along the way.

 

Bear in mind that some of that variability is (and will remain) black box, deliberately unexplained. For example, if you follow Person X, Yammer might (might!) try showing you a post by a colleague of Person X or the manager of Person X, in order to find out if you react / if that is of interest or value to you.

 

Will you ever read about such factors? Nope.

 

But yes, the mechanical elves are at work, and I'd never expect three colleagues who had been active in Yammer for a few weeks to see the exact same posts... not even with the same settings.

Hi Geoffrey,

 

So are you saying that use a computer to change your setting from Discovery, you will always see this on mobile? As many of our staff only use Yammer on mobile, it's rather unfortunate that they aren't given a choice. I am aware of the 3 settings, but I don't think there is a consistency here that I see in other tools.

 

With other products the user has the ability to change their settings so that their feed shows (or doesn't show) some people, groups etc. 

 

My current confusion really stems from the timelining of the posts. As in my scenario above, sometimes the same post is at the top, sometimes it varies, but often some users see the same post(s) constantly displayed at the top, alluding that they have already seen all the fresh content, and they're confused. Yes, I understand that if a post is liked, shared or commeted on this would push it up, but sometimes they seem stuck even when this is not the case... 

What you are describing sounds like the behavior of the Discovery feed. All and Following should be more chronological but people do have to understand that new comments will move something back to the top. The only posts that should rise to the top out of order when Following are announcements.

 

And yes my experience has been that if I set my feed and save the selection the mobile clients (and embedded feeds in other sites for that matter) appear to obey that preference.

Would it be possible to share the results of your survey? I am interested in knowing which topics are most saught after since we are trying to push the adoption of Yammer.

Hi Mark,

 

Can you elaborate? 

 

Do you want to understand the tool functionalities that our employees most request? Please also note that we are in Hong Kong and China, so much of the discussion always comes to We Chat and What's App, and must relate to our employees here.

 

Cheers,

Lauren

Hi Lauren - I have to apologize; My question was intended for another topic. I just realized that my question doesn't make any sense in this context.

 

Thanks for reaching out in any case!

 

Cheers,

Mark