Creating a Social Intranet - how? What is Microsoft´s strategy here?

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Dear community,


since many months I´m struggling with the social capabilities in SharePoint/O365. I´m sure, I´m not the only one here ;)

What´s the situation: there is Yammer (good features, poorly integrated in O365, only cloud-available). There are SharePoint Newsfeeds (only solution on-prem; still working in SP2016, but is not further developed, seems to be discontinued sometimes in the future?). And since some days, there is ;) Ahh, don´t forget the discussions in Office Groups (working on Outlook). And the Community Template in SharePoint. And Discussion Lists in SharePoint.

All of these tools and features have different levels of functionality, are integrated in different ways. Sorry (I love my SharePoint and I´m aware of the complexity), what a mess!!!


So my thoughts are not going in the direction of what to do now and what is possible. The question is about the conceptual strategy of Microsoft. Perhaps we can collect some facts and rumours here from different sources??


Let me start with some interesting facts from different clients that I´m currently dealing with:


1) SharePoint Online Plan 1, perhaps next year upgrade zu E1/E3
Customer wants to start now with SharePoint Newsfeed in several collaboration scenarios. It´s unclear what to do with Yammer when it´s available next year.


2) O365 E3 Plan

Customer heard a rumour that SP Newsfeed will be shutdown in O365 soon and may/may not be migrated (???) to Yammer. What´s on this rumour?


3) SP2016 on-prem

SP Newsfeed is still available. Is it save to start with it?


4) this new Is this just the community or is this the start of something new in O365?


5) generally talking about integration, aggregation and adoption , follow sites, documents, etc. - everything is somewhere. User Adoption is a critical path at the moment.


etc. etc. etc.


I´m happy to start discussions with all of you.


Best regards



3 Replies
The SharePoint Newsfeed isn't the future, it' likely they will preserve it for existing customers for some time. Ultimately from how you seem to be defining 'The Social Intranet' then the answer is fom the Microsoft Graph being surfaced through Delve and SharePoint.
Yammer is part of the story, conversations for larger communities, Groups is the conversations for smaller communities, but they will all ultimately feed into the Graph.

Thanks for your thoughts Steven. To me, a Social Intranet should be a company level fabric that surfaces people, knowledge, and assets and enables communication and collaboration through both real-time (skype) and asynchronous persistent communications (like Slack or Yammer). It would have very strong profile capabilities to find people with like skills and experience.


I think you are right that Graph is the backend engine. For large organizations, they hire people or consultants to develop a rich front end that has calendar, news, featured resources, and other bits and pieces. For small organizations, it is hard to see how it fits together.


Modern intranets need to be people forward, both local and global, free flowing yet structured. An intranet needs to support Content, Communication, Collaboration, Activity, and most of all Culture.


One possibility (that is my hope but no evidence) is the new Sharepoint Home page becomes a configurable base case for an Intranet Home page.


But to the OP, I don't think Microsoft has a current Intranet-vision, i would love to see it!


I hope there is more discussion here about Intranet possibilities with O365, or as some call it "Working Out Loud"!



I get same questions from my customers.

my thought at the moment for 365 E1/E3 

  • set a SP publication site, organize sites and sub-sites regarding business needs
  • organize your company domain Yammer using Groups and Networks, then embed in SharePoint sites
  • if company wants tight control on Projects sites use SharePoint teamsites with templates ( problem with Yammer in project management is lack of features such as agenda)
  • if company agrees on a more on demand model for collaboration, promote Office Groups which has a cool mobile app 
  • and promote Delve....