In this article, we’ll explore how to deploy the Yammer Communities app and to configure App Setup Policies so you can automatically install and customize Teams apps’ positioning on the desktop client’s app bar and mobile client’s app tray. This is useful because Teams can be quite daunting for first-time users, and customizing their experience helps to make it less overwhelming.
In this article, we will use these capabilities to deploy the Communities app in Teams to our users and make it easily accessible.
Over the past few weeks, the Communities app has become available on mobile and desktop and web clients, allowing us to make Yammer available as a core part of Teams.
This is an excellent development for organizations that don’t necessarily see Yammer as yet another application that people need to keep checking, as they will have access to Yammer messages from within Teams. Because Microsoft has called it the Communities app, it’s also much clearer to people its purpose.
Create an app setup policy for your Yammer Communities app
Begin by opening the Teams Admin Center and navigating to Teams Apps>Setup Policies. We can either update an existing policy (including the Global policy) or create a new policy. In this example, we’ll choose to Add to create a new policy to pilot these changes:
Next, under Installed Apps, we’ll choose Add apps to find the Communities app, and then under Pinned Apps, choose Add apps again to determine where the Communities app will display:
After deciding to install the Communities app and pinning it, we’ll select the Communities app in the Pinned apps list and choose to Move up to ensure that the app is within the first five.
If it isn’t one of the top five applications pinned, it won’t be shown at the bottom of the app tray on a Teams mobile client, and will only be accessible if the user selects more:
Finally, as this is a new policy, we need to assign it to our pilot group users. You can perform this via PowerShell, within Users, or choose Manage Users in the Setup policies page to assign it directly from the policies list:
What to expect on desktop and mobile devices
It may take up to 24 hours for your new policy to reach clients. When this does occur, they’ll see the Communities app shown in the app bar within the desktop client. This will present the new Yammer experience with a list of communities and conversations displayed in the left rail and main area areas, respectively:
On the first launch, people may also see a notification explaining that an IT admin has pinned the new application, highlighting the newly available app to users.
The newest capabilities of the Communities app is the ability for it to be used within Teams Mobile, potentially avoiding the need to use the dedicated Yammer app.
On Teams mobile using the configuration defined in our App Setup policy, we’ll see the Communities app shown alongside Activity, Chat, Teams and Calendar in the app tray:
The community app in Teams represents the new web experience. Therefore it doesn’t support offline access. However, it is stateful on mobile, meaning if you switch to a Teams chat while browsing a thread in the Communities app and switch back, it won’t forget where you are.
Steve is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He enjoys getting hands-on, solving some of the more complex problems associated with migrating to the cloud or to newer versions of Exchange Server.