Google is introducing a whole new meaning to the word Takeout. Yes, it's about portability, and it has something to do with the company's fledgling (by some standards) social network Google+. With the new Google+ circles transfer tool on Google Takeout, Google+ users can now transfer data across multiple accounts.
One Account to Rule Them All
This comes in useful for folks who manage multiple accounts for their professional and personal networks. Google Takeout lets users access all of their Google+ accounts and manage these from a single account. The new tools basically helps "transfer your circles from one Google+ account to another and ensure that your followers are automatically directed to your new, preferred profile," says Ronald Ho in an official Google+ posting.
Once an account has been transferred, the destination account will now inherit the friends, circles and block/ignore settings. It's like assuming the source account's social identity on Google+, which includes adding the destination account to your source account's connections in Circles.
While the transfer tool makes it easy to control circles from just one account, the process is not that instantaneous. Google says there is a seven-day waiting period for the transfer to commence. The transfer tool can only be used once in six months for affected accounts. Apart from these restrictions, accounts that are being merged or fused together will have limited functionality while the transfer is being done. During the transfer, affected accounts cannot share content, add or remove people, or block contacts. This might severely impede social networking functionality, which might be a big disadvantage for individuals or organizations using Google+ as a marketing and communications tool.
Still, it would be worth the 48-hour wait, since the destination account will now be connected with people who have the source account in their circles.
Do you have Google+ accounts that need merging? Head on to Google Takeout and Google will take care of the identity transfer for you.