Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter partner for ambitious new data project

Today, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter joined to announce a new standards initiative called the Data Transfer Project, designed as a new way to move data between platforms. In a blog post, Google described the project as letting users “transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it.”

The current version of the system supports data transfer for photos, mail, contacts, calendar and tasks, drawing from publicly available APIs from Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Remember the Milk and Smugmug. Many of those transfers could already be accomplished through other means, but participants hope the project will grow into a more robust and flexible alternative to conventional…

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