Christophe Fiessinger is a group product manager on the enterprise social team.
At SharePoint Conference 2014 we announced new enterprise social experiences across Office 365 helping businesses work more like networks by leveraging the power of the cloud to bring people together, gain quicker access to relevant insights and help make smarter decisions, faster.
Today we’re announcing the release of one of those features–document conversations–which essentially embeds the social collaboration capabilities of Yammer into the Office apps you use to get work done every day. Get ready for a new, simple way to collaborate on the content you produce with Office Online and store in the cloud in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business. Document conversations enable people to share their ideas and expertise around Office documents, images and videos right from within the content they are editing or reviewing. Imagine being able to ask questions, find expertise and offer feedback about content without having to leave the application you’re working in! Because it’s Yammer you can also view and participate in conversations outside your document, on your mobile device, in Microsoft Dynamics CRM or any app where a Yammer feed is embedded! Get ready for a totally new way to produce incredible content!
Here’s how document conversations work. When you open a file in your browser from your cloud store, you see the file on the left with a contextual Yammer conversation in a pane on the right. You can collapse and expand the Yammer pane as needed.
You can do more than join in a conversation from the Yammer pane. You can also post a message, @mention your coworkers, and publish to a Yammer group—either public or private.
Document conversations are easy to join in Yammer as well. If you’re working in Yammer, you’ll see a threaded conversation in the group the post was published in with an icon that enables you to open the file from the cloud location where it lives. The Yammer conversations about files are visible to users in the group but only users who have permission to view or edit the file can open it.
Document conversations are progressively being rolled out to our customers during the course of this summer where it will then be available across all sites within a tenant. To leverage document conversations, you will need to enable Yammer as your default social network. For additional information, see this post: Make Yammer your default social network in Office 365.Get started today by storing your files in the cloud on OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online, and harness social collaboration across your company with Yammer. In the coming weeks Document conversations will then be activated in your organization and ready to use! Because we continue to innovate and integrate, subscribe to this blog to get the latest updates across Office 365. And don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook with your questions or suggestions.
—Christophe Fiessinger @cfiessinger
Frequently asked questions
Q: What file types can be used for document conversations?
A: Document Conversations supports over 30 common file types, including .doc, .xls, .ppt, .pdf, .png, .gif, .mp4, .avi, and more.
Q: Can I see conversations in Office desktop or when I send a document as a mail attachment?
A: No. Currently Yammer threads are visible only in files stored in a SharePoint Online document library or OneDrive for Business in Office 365.
Q: What happens if a file is renamed?
A: Document Conversations uses Yammer’s Open Graph protocol, so when a post is published it also contains a link to the file. This link serves as the glue between the file and its associated conversations. Because the link changes according to the file name, when a file is renamed, the link changes, causing the Yammer conversations to become disassociated from the new file name.
Q: Can I start conversations in a Yammer external network?
A: No. We set our initial goal to build Document Conversations to help teams work better internally. While the new document conversations cannot be started in Yammer external networks today, we are exploring ways to extend collaboration around content to beyond your firewall.