Chatter vs. Yammer: Social Network Showdown

Chatter vs. Yammer: Social Network ShowdownThere was a time when social networks were viewed as idle diversions. They provided a place to chat with friends, reconnect with old classmates, and post pictures. Now, businesses have realized that there is a wealth of productivity to be leveraged using the social networking model.

Getting things done is often about bringing people together–and few things do that like social networks.

Public social networks allow users to create groups, schedule events, collaborate on projects, and share information in real time. These are all things that can be incredibly useful in an enterprise setting as well. Enterprise social networks allow business owners to create similar networks, with even more capabilities, for employees, suppliers, and customers.

Two of the most popular enterprise CRM social networks are Chatter, which is owned by Salesforce, and Yammer, which is owned by Microsoft. To see what makes these products so popular, and how they stack up against each other, we’ll use crowdsourced data available from G2Crowd.


Billed as the “Facebook for business,” Chatter was introduced by Salesforce in 2010. G2 Crowd users like the information sharing and collaboration features of Chatter, but seem to struggle with adoption and engagement.

Crowd Stats

  • Overall Satisfaction Rating: Chatter earns 3.6 out of 5 stars.
  • Number of User Reviews: Currently, there are 109 reviews.
  • Percentage of Positive Reviews: 70% of the reviews are a 4 or 5 (out of 5).

User Satisfaction Ratings

As we’ve discussed before, G2 Crowd provides individual categories for users to better rate their experience with a product or service. Here’s the breakdown of how Chatter fared in those categories:

  • Meets Requirements: 7.9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8.3/10
  • Ease of Setup: 8.9/10
  • Ease of Admin: 8.6/10
  • Quality of Support: 8.1/10
  • Ease of Doing Business With: 8.5/10

Chatter earns high marks in the individual categories, making its relatively low overall rating a curiosity. With adoption being one of the leading complaints, it seems reasonable that users aren’t really unhappy with the product, but with colleagues and coworkers who aren’t using the product.


Also billed as the “Facebook for business,” Yammer was purchased by Microsoft in 2012. G2 Crowd reviewers enjoy the intuitive interface and short learning curve but, yet again, user adoption is a concern.

Crowd Stats

  • Overall Satisfaction Rating: Yammer gets 3.2 out of 5 stars.
  • Number of User Reviews: G2 Crowd has 40 Yammer reviews.
  • Percentage of Positive Reviews: Only 59% of reviews for Yammer are a 4 or 5 out of 5.

User Satisfaction Ratings

In the individual rating categories, here’s how Yammer stacks up:

  • Meets Requirements: 7.3/10
  • Ease of Use: 8.9/10
  • Ease of Setup: 8.8/10
  • Ease of Admin: 7.7/10
  • Quality of Support: 7.0/10
  • Ease of Doing Business With: 7.4/10

Again, Yammer scores much higher marks than its overall rating would suggest. It seems that people are happy with Yammer on an individual level, but have issues in a larger business context.

Adoption is (Almost) Everything

Both Chatter and Yammer get rave reviews and high scores in the individual categories. Yet they both suffer from relatively low overall scores. This seems counter intuitive, and would usually be explained as a form of negative bias, since people are more likely to complain than compliment. However, it looks like something else is in play here.

Overwhelmingly, the complaints about both services center on user adoption problems. The users who are engaging with the products are finding them easy to use, convenient, and helpful in an individual setting. Unfortunately, you can’t have one-party collaboration. If every member of a team isn’t using the service, the information and collaboration features break down.

We cover this issue often, and it still bears repeating: user adoption is critical to the success of any product deployment. If your employees aren’t using the tools you’re giving them, then the tools can’t do what they’re designed to do.

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