A Comparison of Yammer Clients for Mac OS X

Are you looking for a secure platform to enhance social interaction in your company? Yammer could be it. Yammer provides a secured Facebook-like social networking site for your company. It also has a number of clients applications available so you can communicate with your colleagues faster and more pleasant without a cumbersome and slow web-based application standing in your way. Here are some brief reviews and comparison of those Yammer clients that runs on the Mac.

The Official Client

Yammer Official Client for MacBefore you look anywhere else, you should know that Yammer provides an officially-supported desktop client for the Mac. It’s a decent app and pretty much full-featured as what you should expect from what an official app can do. However it’s made using Adobe AIR and with it comes all AIR’s intricacies and the general “un-mac” feeling of any cross-platform application. If you’re willing to put up with all of that, the official client should serve you well.

Unlike Yammer’s official iOS client, the desktop client does not support having more than one Yammer account. It used to support multiple accounts in its previous version but the current version removed that feature and it doesn’t look like they’re going to bring it back.

Navigating between networks also doesn’t feel “seamless” in the official app. When you choose an external network, it takes about five seconds for the app to “change network” and making you wait before you can use it again. Likewise when you activate your home network it takes another five seconds before it’s ready.

Gabble

Gabble (free) is probably the first Yammer client native on the Mac. It’s probably almost as old as Yammer itself and have been pretty good at providing Mac users with a Yammer client.  However Gabble has aged quite a bit and haven’t been updated since 2010. That said, the latest version (1.5.2), still works well with Mountain Lion (10.8.3), so you definitely should try this app out and see if it fits your needs.

Gabble  Yammer Mac Client

Keep in mind that Gabble does not provide any support for external networks (previously called “communities”) and looking at Gabble’s last revision date, you’ll be out of luck if you need that Yammer feature. It also doesn’t provide any menu bar item for quick access to Yammer nor provide integrations to other Mac apps via the Services menu.

Lament

Lament (free) sets itself apart from the rest by being the onlyLament  Yammer Client for Mac and Linux open-source Yammer client available. It’s also the only client available for Linux. However as of this writing it looks like it’s still in a very nascent stage as far as OS X is concerned, since I couldn’t get the Mac version to display anything but an empty window and an About box. Then again, since Lament is open source, you should help out the project and contribute code so that it can become the Yammer client that you want to use.

Lament’s primary author is Hans Oesterholt and the project is licensed under GNU GPL version 2.0. Being GPL means that you can’t fork it into a closed-source project. Furthermore the app won’t be available at the Mac App Store because of the GPL license – which is probably what the author intends it to be.

Scuttlebutt

Scuttlebutt (free during beta, commercial afterwards) is a Yammer client written for the power user in mind. You can use Scuttlebutt to connect using more than one Yammer accounts simultaneously, use the Services menu to quickly “yam” out pieces of text to your networks, and get one-click access to all your Yammer networks from a menu bar icon.

Scuttlebutt  Yammer client for Mac OS X

Scuttlebutt is currently the most feature-rich Yammer client available on the market, touting itself to be the app “for independent consultants, entrepreneurs, and investors who need to work with multiple companies”. Since it’s a commercial 3rd party app, it’s unlikely directed to the average corporate employee who aren’t likely to spend a dime for an app to gossip around with their colleagues.

Feature Summary

Here is a feature comparison summary for the various “full-service” Yammer clients that runs on Mac OS X. You can use this to quickly compare what feature sets that you need and then head on to their respective websites to download your copy.

Official Client Gabble Lament Scuttlebutt
Experience AIR Cocoa GTK+ Cocoa
External Networks Yes No ? Yes
Multiple Accounts No No No Yes
Multiple Windows No No No Yes
Notifications None Growl ? Notification Center
Services Menu None None None New Update & Send Files
Menu Bar Item No No Yes Yes
Minimum OS X Version 10.7 10.5.8 10.7 10.8
Additional Download Required Adobe Flash (contains AIR libraries) None None None
Price Free Free Free $$
Download yammer.com gabbleapp.com launchpad.net scuttlebuttapp.com

That’s all for now – take care!

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  • Hans Oesterholt

    Lament can be connected to a yammer network when one clicks the lament status icon displayed at the right top of your screen. When clicking on it, it will display a menu.

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