It would appear that Yammer is not thrilled with Salesforce's latest foray into social media-based productivity. Yesterday, Salesforce announced the launch of chatter.com, a free way for any business with its own email address to create a private social network for their company.
David Sacks, CEO of Yammer (and former COO of PayPal) had some things to say about chatter.com, as it is a direct competitor to Yammer. "Chatter is Yammer circa 2009," he tells WebProNews. "There are no features we didn't have two years ago. Obviously we're on to Yammer 2011, so they're pretty far behind. From an innovation standpoint, the launch of Chatter.com is a total non-event."
Yammer launched back in 2008 at the TechCrunch50 event, where Sacks says Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was a judge. "Benioff having been a judge at TC50 is the reason there is a Chatter," Sacks tells us. "He raved about Yammer at the time and now he's trying to copy it."
He also tells us that Yammer has approximately 2 million users, and is in 80% of the Fortune 500 and more than 100,000 companies.
Salesforce has an ad campaign for Chatter.com set to launch on Super Bowl Sunday, with ad spots directed by will.i.am.
A representative for Yammer told us in a previous email, "If there was any kind of innovation or newness, the product would be able to stand on its own and Salesforce wouldn't have to invest in SuperBowl ads with will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas."
So, yeah, there seems to be a little animosity there. Yammer is claiming better functionality to back up its position, however. For example, the rep said, "Chatter.com gives the first person to sign up on the network the power to moderate it, including deleting both posts and users. With Yammer, this function is fully decentralized -- all users can police the network, which is also valuable in the event that the moderator suddenly leaves the company."
It's still going to be hard to compete with a Super Bowl spot as far as getting people to take notice, but Yammer certainly seems up for the challenge.