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Vonage Shares API Use Case, Yammer Receives Update

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Image: Muhammad Ribkhan - Alamy Stock Photo
Welcome to the latest edition of the No Jitter Roll. In this edition: Cloud communications provider Vonage shared a use case for its Vonage Messages API, while Microsoft made an update to its social networking platform Yammer.
Vonage APIs Brings Vaccine Chatbot to WhatsApp Users
The International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health built a chatbot, the Vaccine Information Resource Assistant (VIRA), that provides COVID-19 vaccine information. Now with the help of Vonage Messages API, it can bring the chatbot to WhatsApp users, as Vonage shared in its latest press release.
Using IBM Research technology, the VIRA chatbot can understand and respond to COVID vaccine questions, including those related to vaccine effectiveness, safety, and eligibility. John Hopkins was able to embed VIRA into WhatsApp using Vonage’s API, enabling the chatbot to send notifications, messages, and information to app users in real-time. VIRA is also available as a web-based app.
Recently, Vonage made headlines when it was reported that telecoms provider Ericsson announced plans to acquire the company. At the time, industry analyst Dave Michels saw the move as a communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) and 5G play, highlighting how APIs have become an area of its business that has seen growth since Vonage acquired Nexmo.
Microsoft Updates Yammer, Plans Still More New Features
While most of Microsoft’s focus has been on its Teams platform, the company shared several updates to its Yammer service in a blog post late last week. These updates include:
  • Suggested community and people to follow: Yammer will now suggest communities and followers based on previous interactions.
  • New tools for community managers: Community managers can now be alerted of new posts to encourage likes, replies, and views.
  • Default sort option: The default sort option is now defaulted to “recent posts,” but users can switch the sort order.
  • New user profile page: The profile page has had the profile page cover photo, followers, and joined communities redesigned. Users can also access their profile page from the left navigation pane, and they’ll be able to customize their profile cover photo soon.
  • Edit topics: Topic creators can now edit a topic name and description, which previously was only available to network admins. Additionally, users can add a description to a topic when adding a new topic or later via the Yammer topic page.
  • Activity-based renewal for Yammer communities: Rolling out by the end of January, the auto-renewal feature will allow users to auto-renewal a Yammer community by posting to the community, reacting, or viewing a post.
  • Cross-geo external collaboration support: Yammer users in the E.U. will soon be invited into the Yammer External Networks, hosted in the U.S. This feature will roll out in mid-February, with full implementation planned for late March.

In addition to these updates, Microsoft highlighted the Yammer public roadmap, which shows 10 updates in development as of publication.