SOLVED

Is there a way to disable the GIF feature for Yammer for the whole enterprise?

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Occasional Contributor

For various reasons we need to turn off the GIF feature for Yammer. Is there a way to do so?

18 Replies
There is no way to disable or turn off the GIF feature at this time. GIFs were supported prior to the introduction of the prominent button in the publisher. Do you mind sharing how GIFs are impacting the conversations and connections in your Yammer experience?

Currently we have sites that have extremely limited bandwidth and do not want the GIFs impacting them. Also, there are a few GIFs that go against some of our business policies, or some could be considered NSFW in nature. Some of the offered GIFs may be interpreted differently depending on a person's background.

I have no issues with GIFs and have seen them used well.  We have a Go Green Yammer group and a super cute puppy GIF laying on an air condition vent with his ear flapping was used to suck people into reading an article about using less air conditioning.  I thought this was a perfect GIF use case.  However another GIF was used Welcome GIF and upper management asked that it be deleted.  Next week I will need to explain to upper management that I cannot really watch every group and all posts for GIF usage and that we will need to create some sort of usage policy recommendation that group admins will need to monitor.  I am hoping it does not come to this or that Microsoft allows the GIF button to not be displayed prominently.  My 2 cents.

i'm thinking we're talking the giphy feature that appeared the other day.  While i enjoy this feature in personal social media, i don't see the usefulness in a professional business environment such as wheat we're doing with Yammer and Office 365...

 

so can the ability to disable giphy be added - please!

best response confirmed by Sanjita Hassler (Occasional Contributor)
Solution

I haven't seen this feature in action but you reckon something similar to what we have with Microsoft Teams is in order?

 

Microsoft Teams Giphy Admin setting.png

Sounds like there will not be a toggle for the GIF feature. So you may wish to express the concern in Yammer UserVoice.

https://yammer.uservoice.com/

I had reached out to Yammer actually on Twitter. They stated that currently they do not have the feature to turn them off but would provide my feedback to see about that in the future.

This is a bit of a car crash for us. See images below.

We are a large educational tenancy with over 46,000 members, around 30,000 of which are children. Activating this sort of feature with no administrative control is incredibly wreckless on Microsoft's behalf.

Amusingly, when I tried to upload the images to this site, my first attempt was rejected - I presume on account of the original more descriptive filenames. Interesting sense of perspective on content!

I appreciate that it has always been possible to add GIFs to Yammer but it is another thing entirely for the organisation to present the option in every post with a search engine returning relatively unfettered results. If not removed, or controls added, I think this has the potential to bring an end to our current use of Yammer.

Yammer - Giphy 01.pngYammer - Giphy 02.png

I certainly recognize the greater likelihood of students posting NSF-School GIFs than of employees posting them at work, but in my experience with these kinds of features, the actual incidences are much less than we imagine them to be. They do have their name right next to the post, after all. Have you had many more?

 

Also, how are incidents handled? A few visible cases of community managers removing an inappropriate GIF, and replying in the thread that they've done so is often very effective at sending the message that they're being watched. Kids are kids, but they're pretty savvy about recognizing when grown ups are watching and will take rebellious behavior somewhere that it's not policed. Thus the migration from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat...

 

IMHO, teaching students (or employess, for that matter) that they can manage a professional persona as well as a personal persona online is a valuable life skill in itself. It'd be a shame to shut it down and miss that teaching opportunity.

Thank you for posting that. That is extraordinarily awful on the part of Microsoft.

 

Interestingly, Teams does not display results for your two keywords, or the fully spelled out F-word. (though "fu" does give you some less than polite results).

 

I'm going to escalate to some Yammer folks I'm in contact with and I'm also going to file a support case identifying this as something that needs improvement.

Yeah, if Yammer isn't using the same filtering that Teams is using, that's an issue for sure.

Vincent, I hear you on the need for controls. The examples shared in the thread are convincing, this is a problem, particularly in a network at scale and with limited resources for moderation.

 

That said, Yammer rarely builds controls. The team is incredibly allergic to "technical debt" that is viewed as slowing down development velocity, and ultimately fatal if it is allowed to accumulate.

 

Bottom line: I think you're quite in the right, and also likely to find the team unresponsive. Every solution is, in some way, a combination of these factors: technology, process, and people/behavior. Likely, we'll have to get by with process and people/behavior.

 

Even if they surprise us, I wouldn't expect it to happen fast, unless they were already building an off switch for GIFs. That means starting now with our workarounds, because doing nothing is a non-starter.

 

Generally, building up group owner and power user cohorts is a best practice that pays dividends all over the place. I recommend it again here as a way to get more eyes and more boots on the ground. Group admins should be educated about the fact that they can delete any post, not just their own, in the groups they admin. Power users could be given lowercase-a admin status enabling them to delete posts anywhere in the network.

 

Meanwhile, a process for "how we handle offensive GIFs" seems smart. Every Yammer post is, after all, tied to someone's name (terminating shared accounts is another best practice). So, this represents a teachable moment, and if repeated, a reason for blocking that individual and/or reporting the pattern to a manager.

 

I'll say further, for context, that Cargill is about to kick off a year-long strategic priorities campaign that will lean heavily on Yammer, including a GIF campaign featuring our senior leadership team, and encouraging people to make their own GIFs on theme.

I know that's not the same thing as linking Giphy, but just saying, GIFs are what you make of them including business purposes. I've shared one in my network that shows people how to add Yammer to a SharePoint site. GIFs for learning! Who'd a thought?! Grateful to @Chris Slemp for that wow moment.

 

TL/DR: You have my absolute empathy. Let's get moving on process and people, because a tech fix is unlikely to be either realistic or timely.

Any updates on this?

 

It took me years to bring Yammer's acceptance to a good level. Since the introducing of the animated gifs I see it deteriorate to the level of Facebook. A disappointment!

 

This feature needs to be disabled!

The last update was the response to the Uservoice suggestion:

 

"Thanks for your feedback. We are not currently considering the ability to disable this feature, but we are experimenting with ways we can improve filtering so there is less “work inappropriate” content available.

"not considering" is the equivalent of saying "we don't care what customers think"
My feathers are ruffled on this matter as I work with a number of customers who are yet to begin their Office 365 journeys and are trying to understand where Yammer fits. While that part is easily explainable, the fact that the customer can't turn off a feature that ultimately changes the tone of the network is unacceptable IMHO.
Some of the key issues I see with not being able to disable GIFs are:
1. GIFs take up a lot more space on the screen.
2. Meaningful communication can be easily lost between all the GIFs.
3. If Teams can do this, why can't Yammer? It's certainly not showing it in a positive light, and I must say customers don't fall over themselves to get to Yammer like they do with Teams.
4. It is not up to Yammer to decide how corporate communications take place within its product. Its job is to provide us with choice, options and guidance - not to turn on features and effectively force customers to use them.