What you probably missed (as I did) with the launch of Google+ is the launch of Google Takeout, a quick and easy service to download your Google data (not all yet, but soon).
Just like Chinese takeout, you’re not taking it to another restaurant, you’re taking it home. That’s what Google is hoping, that you’ll be more willing to side with Google if they are freely letting you access your data, and that you won’t just go somewhere else simply because you have your data now.
This comes on the cusp of big Google+ vs Facebook news where a popular Facebook tool was shutdown by Facebook that lets you export your Facebook users and bring them over to Google+. That doesn’t sound as nice as Google, letting you take all your data with you, now does it? Interesting dynamics.
I tested out Google Takeout and it took under a minute to gather and download everything, and the data now is in one folder, separated by subfolders for each Google service. The data is also in common file formats, like my contacts are all in VCF, my profile is in JSON, Buzz and G+ Stream is in HTML, and of course Picasa is in the original file format.
The announcement was made with a fun video from Google’s own “Data Liberation Front” team.