Google+ Takeout Tool Helps Transfer Data Between Accounts

Google is making it easy to move or merge Google+ account data with a new Google+Takeout tool. Takeout, introduced Thursday, will be particularly useful to anyone who signed up to Google+ in its early stages with their Gmail account and now want to migrate it to a Google Apps managed account or a different Google+ profile.

Google Takeout, for example, allows you to transfer your Circles of “friends” from one Google+ account to another. That means Google+ followers of your old account will be seamlessly redirected to your new account. Many users requested this feature since Goolge+ went out of beta and started allowing Google Apps managed accounts besides Gmail-only addresses, as it was the case in its initial stages.

Not a complete tool

The transition with Google Takeout won’t be quick though. There’s a 7-day waiting period before the transfer begins. Once the transfer begins, it can’t be cancelled or undone and you won’t be able to use the tool again for 6 months.

Meanwhile, during the transfer – which can take up to 48 hours -- you will have limited functionality on both accounts the migration tool is used on: you won’t be able to share content on Google+, add or remove people from your circles or block or ignore users.

Once the transfer is complete though, your circles, blocks, and ignores are copied from the source account to the destination account. If circles on one account have the same name as the other, they will merge, but profile information, posts and comments from your previous account won’t be transferred to the new profile. For bloggers who linked their posts to Google+ profiles, this data won’t be migrated either, which can be quite an inconvenience if you want to switch accounts.

Worth it for light users

The Google Takeout solution, although useful, does not seem complete. Since your original profile is kept and still associated with content, you will have to downgrade your old Google profile, which means you will also have to export any data you might want to save, like things you posted on Google+ -- otherwise, you get duplicated profile data.

Google advises to delete your old account to avoid confusion, as well as any posts you had, but for anyone who invested time sharing content on Google+, the migration tool does not seem the best solution yet. But if you used Google+ sparingly, like me, then this could be useful if you want to use a different email address for Google+.

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