Information about the Online Now feature in Yammer


This article contains information about the Online Now feature in Yammer. It includes tips about how to use Online Now and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). 



Online Now gives Yammer users a new, faster way to start discussions with their coworkers. Regardless of where you are in Yammer, you can connect to Online Now in the lower-right corner of the screen. 

Because Online Now messages resemble the Private Messages function, all conversations are automatically saved to your Inbox. This means that you can search, manage messages, view past conversations, and send new messages from your Inbox. 

Primary features

The following list summarizes the primary features of Online Now. 



Contact List

View a list of your coworkers on Yammer: 

  • Presence Indicators: See who is online (green dot), offline (gray dot), or on their mobile device (telephone icon).

  • Search Bar: Quickly search for coworkers in your contact list.

  • Relevant Contacts: Contact list displays your eight most relevant coworkers in order of relevancy.

  • Constant Availability: Contact list and message windows persist on every Yammer page. You can easily minimize windows by clicking the top of the contact list.


  • Sounds: Enable or disable sound alerts for new messages and new participants.

  • Hide Messages: Online Now messages won't open new messaging windows. Instead, messages will be sent directly to your Inbox. Any existing messaging windows will be closed.

Inbox Access

  • Message History: All Online Now conversations are saved to your Inbox for future reference.

  • Send Messages: Participants can reply to conversations through their Inbox.

  • Search: Quickly find and reference Online Now conversations.

Multiuser Conversations

Add coworkers to the conversation at any time. New participants can see all previous messages in the conversation for instant context.

Conversation Tracker

Manage conversations while you save screen space. Receive alerts about new messages.

How to use Online Now

Contact List

You can find your Online Now contact list in the lower-right corner of Yammer. Your contact list displays the eight coworkers with whom you interact the most on Yammer, in order of relevancy. If you want to find a coworker who isn't displayed, type his or her name in the search bar at the top of the contact list. 

Presence Indicators

Next to each coworker's name, there's an icon that displays his or her presence on Yammer. A green dot indicates that a coworker is online, a gray dot indicates that he or she is offline, and a telephone icon indicates that he or she is using a mobile device.

How to start a conversation

To start a conversation, click a coworker's name to start a messaging window and start a conversation. You can message offline coworkers. However, your message will go directly to their Inbox.

How to add a participant to a conversation

To add a participant to a conversation, click the plus (+) sign in the upper-right corner of the message window. Type a coworker's name to add him or her to the conversation.  

NOTE: The coworker who's added can see all the messages that were sent in the conversation.

Online Now settings

When you click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the Online Now window, the following settings are shown:

  • Sounds: Enable or disable sounds for new messages and new participants.

  • Hide Messages: Select this option if you don't want to see new Online Now messages. All new Online Now messages that are sent to you will go directly to your Inbox, and Online Now won't open new Online Now windows. All existing Online Now windows will be closed.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q: How does Online Now interact with my Inbox?
A: Online Now conversations are stored in your Inbox. This lets you search and reference conversations at any time. Conversations can be replied to in the Inbox, and they will be delivered to other participants in the conversation regardless of whether the messages are in the participants' Inbox or in a messaging window.

Q: Which coworkers are displayed in Online Now?  
A: Your contact list displays the eight most relevant coworkers to you and is based on Yammer activity. You can use the search bar at the top of the contact list to find coworkers who aren't displayed.

Q: Why does it show only eight people online? How do I see whether other users are online?
A: Online Now features the eight most relevant people for you. If you want to see whether someone else is online, type his or her name in the search bar. A green dot, or presence indicator, appears next to the name if he or she is online. 

Q: How are the people in the contact list ordered? Can I change the order?
A: Your contact list is ordered by the most relevant coworkers to you. Therefore, coworkers with whom you interact the most on Yammer will be listed at the top, and coworkers with whom you interact less frequently will be lower on the list. This makes it easy to message those coworkers who are most relevant to you.

Q: When I send a message I sometimes see "..." before my message is displayed. Why does this occur?
A: This is an indicator that your message is being transmitted to the recipient.

Q: How is presence determined?
A: Presence is determined in the following ways:

  • Yammer website open: Online

  • iPhone or Android app is installed: Mobile

  • iPad app is currently running: Online

  • iPad app is installed but isn't running: Mobile

  • Yammer Desktop Application is active: Online

  • Conditions that weren't previously mentioned: Offline

Q: Can I set "Busy" or "Away" statuses? Can I customize a status message?
A: As of now, this feature isn't available. 

Q: Can I refer back to past conversations I've had?
A: Yes. Your Online Now conversations are saved to your Inbox for reference at any time.  

Q: Can I view Online Now on any page in Yammer?
A: Yes. Regardless of the page that you are on, the contact list and message windows are available within Yammer. This makes sure that you can always start a conversation. 

Q: If I add a participant to an Online Now conversation, will he or she see previous messages in the conversation?
A: Yes. A participant can see all the previous messages in the conversation. This functions exactly as if you had added a new participant in a Private Message. This enables new participants to catch up and gain immediate context when they join the conversation.

Q: Why can I open multiple messaging windows with the same person?
A: Each window represents a separate conversation with the person. This is intended and enables you to distinguish conversations about different topics, even if those conversations are with the same person. Each window will be saved as a separate conversation within your Inbox.

Q: Why can I see offline people in my Online Now contact list?
A: Your Online Now contact list displays the top eight most relevant coworkers for you and tells you whether they are online. Some of these coworkers may not be immediately available on Yammer and will show an offline status (gray icon) or mobile status (telephone icon).

Q: How many messaging windows can I have open at the same time?
A: You can have as many windows open as will fit into the width of your browser. With most typical browsers and resolutions, this is usually approximately three windows. You can continue to have additional Online Now conversations. Any additional windows will be sent to the conversation tracker. This is an icon in the lower-left corner of the screen. The conversation tracker will display any new messages that occur in hidden windows, and clicking the icon will let you switch between conversations.

Q: What does Hide Messages in the Contact List settings do?
A: Online Now messages won't appear in a pop-up window on your screen. Instead, all messages will be sent directly to your Inbox. 

NOTE: Starting new Online Now conversations will turn off the Hide Messages setting.

Q: Can I disable the Online Now new message/new participant sound?
A: Yes. You can disable sounds by clicking the gear icon on the contact list and then clearing the Sounds check box.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.

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