Yammer explained: How the feed works

Published Sep 22 2021 09:00 AM 6,758 Views

The Yammer home feed drives discovery and engagement across communities in a network. The feed relies on algorithms to determine which posts are the most relevant to you. Every person’s home feed is different, because we all care about different things. The Yammer home feed algorithm scans all Yammer messages that are available to you every time you visit the feed, personalizes the experience and helps you find the conversations that are relevant to you.  

 

And depending on how active and the size of your network, the number of conversations may be overwhelming, especially to new members. So, how does Yammer help you find the posts that are particularly relevant to you? What impacts the feed and how can you help influence what is delivered? Let’s take a closer look...  

 

What impacts the feed? 

Yammer looks at who you follow and what Yammer communities you’ve joined. Yammer also looks at the conversations happening across your entire network. The more signals you provide to Yammer, the better job we can do at recommending content you care about.

 

People and communities. Whenever you visit the Yammer home feed, we get a list of all the of people you engage with most frequently. These are the people that you interact with in Yammer, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, or other Microsoft 365 tools.   

We also pull the list of communities you participate in. For example, if you visit a community, or reply to a post from that community, then we increase the "affinity score" between you and that community.  

 

Collectively, we use a list of the closest people and the top communities and pull all the conversations from those two groups. We examine each conversation and pass them through our machine learning model. For example, communities with more participation receive a different weight for the algorithm. We also look at information regarding the user who posted the conversation. For example, how many followers does this user have, how much interaction you have with that person, or how active they are in the network. 

 

Conversation attributes. Attributes such as who the author is, how long ago the message was posted, who replied, who reacted and how many people have reacted to the message are all examples of the ways we evaluate every conversation to determine its relevancy to you.  Other contributing factors include whether your post includes pictures and videos or whether it is a poll or a question.  

 

Impacts of  the feed.PNG

 

All of the posts are ranked based on relevancy and the likelihood that you’ll like or reply to them. Sometimes, these recommendations will make absolute sense to you because it’s a message from your boss, or your closest coworker.  

 

We add all these attributes into the machine learning ‘blender’, and return a prioritized list of conversations for your feed. Additionally, we will help you discover unseen content that is relevant. We think of it as expanding your peripheral vision. Eventually, you’ll begin to see posts from other communities and coworkers that derive from this prioritized list of relevant conversations. 

 

 

What makes up the Yammer home feed? 

Once we rank all threads from the communities you belong to and the people you follow, we remove any threads from communities that you have muted. If your network admin has chosen to feature a conversation, wwill show you that “Featured Conversation” near the top of your feed. This is how we assemble the final feed that you see on your Yammer Home page. 

 

How we personalize your home feed

This is a visual representation of how the Yammer feed is constructed.This is a visual representation of how the Yammer feed is constructed.

 

 

 

 

How do featured conversations rank in the feed? A featured conversation is a post that the community admin has boosted for a specific time window. If there is more than one featured conversation available to you, we will show the soonest-to-expire one.

 

What about SharePoint News articles? We also include SharePoint News articles if there is one available to you. You can expect less than 1% of the feed with SharePoint news article.

 

What else could show up in my feed? Recommendations for you to discover more people to follow or communities to join. We only show this module if we predict there is a high likelihood of you accepting our recommendations.

 

Yammer will also show you ranked trending content. This may be content you are not subscribed to, but Yammer thinks it could be interesting based on the high number of reactions a conversation is getting from many people across the org.

 

4 ways to improve your Yammer feed

The Yammer home feed relies on signals (previous actions you have taken) to understand what you find interesting.  These are the actions you can take to influence the content in your feed.

 

  1. Join communities. Joining the right communities and leaving the ones you are not interested in helps improve recommendations.
  2. Like or reply to posts that are interesting to you. Interacting with conversations you find engaging will help our algorithms learn about the content you care about.
  3. Follow people. One of the strongest signals we use to rank content is whether you are following the author of the post or replies. In the coming months, we’ll be providing better ways for you to follow people in your network.
  4. Mute communities. Muting a community will guarantee that you don’t see more posts from that community in your feed, unless the post is featured by the community admin.

 

We are constantly learning from you about how you use the feed. You can expect our feed relevancy to continue to improve over time.

Stay tuned for more details as we continue fine tuning the Yammer feed for you.

 

The Yammer feed FAQ

  1. Why if I scroll through the home feed, do I still see the unread messages in my communities?

    The Yammer feed only includes messages that were posted in the last 30 days, so it can be the case that you have unseen messages that are 31 days or older in your communities. It could also be the case that you muted a community. Messages from that community won’t show in your feed, but you will still see these messages as unseen next to the community in your list of communities.

 

  1. Why can’t we just see a chronologically sorted feed?
    There is far more content available than we can ever consume. Therefore, the home feed uses an algorithm to help you rank all the content and sort it based on how relevant each post is to you. Even though we don’t sort the feed chronologically, the time since the message was posted is an important input when we rank content. We know that the timing of the content plays a big role in whether users engage with the post.

 

  1. Why do I see more than one Featured Conversation in my feed?
    Featured Conversations are posts that community admins can boost for a time window. If you belong to a community where an admin “Features” a conversation, then next time you go to your Home Feed you will see it in the second slot in your feed. However, there may be more than one featured conversation available. Near the top of your feed, we show the soonest-to-expire conversation. The next-to-expire featured conversation will also show near the top of your feed if you refresh your browser and so on until you run out of featured conversations that are available to you.

 

  1. I muted a community, why am I seeing posts from that community in my feed?
    The only reason you may see a post from a community you’ve muted is if the community admin featured a conversation. Given that the community admin has taken this very intentional action of boosting that conversation, we believe that it’s important for you to see it.

 

  1. I don’t know why I’m seeing a post in my feed if I’m not a part of that community nor do I follow this author?
    Yammer prioritizes content from communities you’ve joined or people you follow. We believe there is value in helping you discover conversations that might be relevant to you, but that you wouldn’t find otherwise. We’ve heard from our users that Yammer helps them expand their peripheral vision and discover discussions from people they don’t know or communities they don’t belong to. Based on previous interactions between you and other coworkers, Yammer can determine the affinity level between you and them. We try to help you discover these other Yammer members and content so that you are aware of what’s happening around you.
  1. I see threads in my feed that are labeled “Recommended”. What does “Recommended” mean? Why was the conversation recommended to me?
    Today, recommended content includes posts from people you are close to but don’t necessarily follow. It could also include posts to which your closest coworkers commented. Finally, it also includes posts from communities you interact a lot with but you’re not a member of. We’re currently working on the recommended labels to make more specific explanations.

 

Learn more in the support documentation. 

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