Yammer vs. Stream


A comparison of two social collaboration tools…

Disclaimer: we are the developers of Stream.

Stream Workspace is an innovative social collaboration platform that presents all of your communication & project resources as an interactive visual dashboard.

Stream competes within a very crowded and competitive market. Yammer is an established competitor and our clients often ask us ‘what are the main differences between Stream and Yammer?’

So we’ve provided a side by side comparison of the two tools, along with our thoughts on the experience of using both solutions.

Design

Due to Yammer’s simplistic design, figuring out its core functionality was straightforward. Stream’s user experience does require a bit more upfront knowledge of the different features, although its still very intuitive.

Yammer’s UI follows what we’d call “developer-centric design” and it is here that Stream takes the user experience to a completely different level. The UI of Stream is a carefully designed interface that makes the focus and context of the content the hero.

The UI of Yammer presents everything the same. There’s no content hierarchy or differentiation, and it does require the user to investigate the content to gain anything from it. Stream visually highlights content, including aspects such as large file format icons and user avatars which provide the benefit of instantly identifying the content with a user, aiding tremendously in communication and usability.

There’s also significantly more emphasis on rich media presentation within Stream, which lends the tool more for use within creative and visual based product and services industries.

Comparison of the home screen dashboards between Yammer and Stream. Left: Yammer | Right: Stream.

Yammer

  • Text driven user experience
  • Traditional design
  • Lack of visual cues
  • Single stream of information (ability to filter based on all / top / following)
  • Focus on status updates

Stream

  • Visual dashboard
  • Heavy use of icons / imagery / profile pictures
  • Users can quickly consume information
  • Multiple streams of chronological information presented around content type, audience, relevancy

Profile Pages

Profile pages in Stream feel a lot more personal than those in Yammer. Everyone who joins Stream has his or her own profile page, similar to a LinkedIn profile. You can see who has connected with whom, the content an individual has posted to Stream, and what Connection Groups a user has created.

Left: Yammer profile page | Right: Stream profile page.

Yammer

  • Bio, contact details
  • Followers, following
  • All posts published by user
  • All posts bookmarked by user
  • All groups the user is a member of

Stream

  • Bio, contact details
  • Connections, staff directory
  • All posts published by user
  • All posts liked by user
  • All groups the user is a member of
  • Company Buzz feed

Group pages

Stream provides a lot more functionality options when it comes to group pages. The design of group pages in Yammer isn’t any different to content displayed on the homepage.

Left: Yammer group page | Right: Stream connection group page.

Yammer

There is only one page type available for group pages. The layout of which is the same as the homepage (single stream of information). No ability to customize the group page by changing the group logo.

Stream

There are three options for group pages

  1. Workspaces — features include discussions, file sharing, content collaboration. Workspaces allow team members to document information, communicate and access relevant resources around projects that they are working on together. The WYSIWYG editor makes it easy for users to edit the main page content.
  2. Pages — features include Buzz feed, file sharing and content collaboration. Pages are wiki style spaces that are useful for communicating processes and policies, as an example. The key difference from Workspaces is that Pages have the Buzz feed instead of a Discussion feed.
  3. Connection groups — features include file sharing, status updates, Buzz feed. Connection Groups enable any user to create a group, choose which users to invite into the group, and then post to and manage content and discussions securely within the group. Users who are not part of the group are unable to view content or discover this content via search.
Right: Stream Project Workspace page.

Cross Device Accessibility

Stream provides a significantly enhanced visual interface experience compared to Yammer. Yammer’s interface represents a typical text based app interface, whereas Stream’s interface has been carefully designed to allow content presentation to be the hero, making it far more intuitive to use and pleasant to experience.

Stream’s use of feature icons to represent file resource uploads and user avatar imagery for comment based posts allow the user to instantly connect with the post and identify it’s purpose, which we feel provides both efficiency gains and a significantly better user experience.

Left: Comparison screens between Image based posts in Yammer vs Stream | Right: Comparison screens between standard Text posts in Yammer vs Stream.

Yammer

  • Bio, contact details
  • Not responsive, hard to navigate on mobile
  • Android, iPhone-iPad, Web-based, Windows Phone

Stream

  • Fully responsive site and easily accessible from any device
  • iPhone app coming soon

Pricing

Yammer

Yammer offers a standard per user, per month model.

  • $3/user/month on a 2 year contract
  • Cloud based

Stream

Stream provides a wider range of cost effective plans, plus the flexibility of running the application in the cloud or on-premise.

Option 1: Stream Cloud

  • $1.8 — $3/user/month (500+ users)
  • 1 year contract

Option 2: Stream On-premise

  • $30-$90/user/per annum
  • 500+ users: custom quotation

Search Results

Both tools have strong search functionality, in that they both index the entire content of documents. When a large amount of search results are returned, Stream does a much better job of filtering to find the right document.

Left: Yammer search results | Right: Stream search results.

Yammer

Returns results based on:

  • title
  • document content

Returns results for:

  • files
  • posts
  • groups

Can filter results on:

  • date range
  • groups

Stream

Returns results based on:

  • title
  • description
  • tag
  • document content

Returns results for:

  • files
  • posts
  • groups

Can filter results on:

  • date range
  • rank
  • title
  • folder
  • groups

#Tags

In Yammer, tags are called topics which was initially confusing.

Stream has a far more powerful, intuitive and useful tag content display, showcasing all related tagged posts within the different content streams. In the screen shot below on the right, the user has clicked on the ‘#design’ tag, for which Stream has returned everything tagged with #design.

Left: Yammer Tag display interface | Right: Stream Tag display interface.

Yammer

Upon clicking on a tag, a single stream of results are displayed. With no option to filter the tag results. A user is required to scroll down the page until they find the piece of content they are looking for.

Stream

Stream enables users to tag their documents using new or pre-defined tags. Once tagged, you can click on tags to view all associated documents in Stream from one view. Tag results are visually displayed, and are grouped by content type.


File Management

In Yammer the ‘Files’ menu was difficult to find (hidden within a breadcrumb menu icon), whereas in Stream it is prominently located in the main navigation.

Left: Yammer file management interface | Right: Stream file management interface.

Yammer

  • No check-in, check-out functionality
  • No drag and drop upload (darg and drop documents from the desktop into the browser)
  • Files are organized around group pages

Stream

  • Check-in, check-out functionality — ensuring only one user is making edits to a document at a time
  • Drag and drop file upload
  • File configuration customizable (add, edit, delete folders)
  • Configure file folder security
  • Apply ‘view’ and ‘author’ roles to folders

Integrations

Yammer

  • Office 365
  • SharePoint
  • Salesforce
  • Directory sync
  • Box
  • NetSuite
  • Zendesk
  • TripIt
  • Badgeville
  • Expensify

Stream

  • Office 365
  • SharePoint
  • Directory sync
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive

Summary

Stream is born from a heritage of UX design & technology, while Yammer is born from a heritage of technology alone.

Humans are highly visual beings, and we are instantly drawn to images before text. Our way of working has completely changed in the last five years alone. We’ve adopted a style of communication and collaboration that resembles a more social and highly visual workplace. We can better connect, process and recall information if this information is presented to us visually, and research proves this. MIT’s research (http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/in-the-blink-of-an-eye-0116) has identified our brains can process an image in just 13 milliseconds. Referred to as Rapid Processing Speed, our memory can store and retrieve images for later recall.

Science is not the only reason we think Stream has advantages over products like Yammer. It’s also a case of collaborating using graphic based content as the enabler. Visually interpreting the information you need to know instantly enables better understanding of what’s happening within your team, group or organisation, and greatly influences your ability to discover and interpret what others are doing.