FYI Corner: Making the Move to Google+

by Mike Smith, Station Products & Innovation

While Facebook "fans" across the planet will be crying foul at Google for it's newest social media venture, Google+, it's just too dang hard to ignore something that has gathered a whopping 20+ million users within a month. For those of you doing the math, that's roughly 670,000 new users every day.

With as substantial a growth rate as this, it's easy to see how valuable Google+ will be for personal and professional development in the very near future.

For many people, the idea of starting all over with a new social media seems somewhat equivalent to changing houses, in that the biggest obstacle is deciding what to do with all your stuff. Only instead of furniture, knick-knacks, and electronic equipment, you have to decide how to transfer pictures, videos, and contacts. (Some unfortunate souls may even find themselves in a digital "hoarders" situation.)

Have no fear! The switch to (or addition of) Google+ is not nearly as complicated as it seems. Taking just a few minutes and using a few simple tools, you can easily move all of your valuable Facebook information to Google+ for a headache-free transition.

Moving Your Contacts

The easiest way that I have found to transfer all of your Facebook friends to Google+ is to sync your Facebook contacts to a Yahoo account. (If you don't already have a Yahoo account, you will need to create one.)

Once you have an account, go to your Yahoo Mail page and click on the "Contacts" tab. Then, click on the "Import Contacts" button and select the Facebook option. You should now see all of your Facebook friends resting comfortably in your Yahoo contacts list.

After you have confirmed this, go to your Google+ account and click on the Circles tab. Then click "Find People," choose the "Yahoo" option, and presto! Your Facebook friends are now added to your Google+ contacts. Now you can go ahead and start organizing them into such circles as "friends," "family," or even "people who annoy me at work." Because your contacts can't see what circles they are in, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Moving Your Photos

The next step in making the switch is to migrate your photo albums from Facebook to Google+. Like the contact-moving process, this also relies on an intermediary through which to transfer data. This step, however, will take a bit longer to execute, depending largely on the quality and quantity of your photos.

For this step, you will need to download and use a Google Chrome extension.(Since you're planning on using Google+ anyway, why not run it on Google's browser..?)

Once you have downloaded Chrome, click on the Web Store icon and search for "Move Your Photos." This will bring up both a list of Apps and a list of Extensions. In the Extensions list, find the "Move Your Photos" tool with a bus for a logo. (Better yet, just click this link: Move Your Photos.) Once you've downloaded it, simply click on the extension logo in your browser's top-right corner and follow the on-screen instructions. Once all of your photos are visible on the page, you will need to scroll to the bottom and click "upload." Make sure to leave this page open for the duration of the upload so that it can completely transfer all of your images.

One downside to this extension is that it will only allow you to upload your personal photo albums and not all the photos you've been tagged in. This makes sense though, as it allows users to maintain a sense of ownership on their photos.

Moving Your Videos

Last but not least, you will want to transfer all of your videos. Though perhaps the simplest of all the moves, this may take the most time to complete, as it requires that you download all of your Facebook information and then re-upload your videos to your Google+ account.

To start, sign into Facebook, click on "Account" and choose "Account Settings." Then, under the Settings tab, find the "Download Your Information" section, click "Learn More" and then click "Download." This may take awhile to complete but, when it has, you should receive and e-mail from Facebook telling you so.

Next, simply go to your Google+ profile page, click on "Videos" and hit the "Upload New Videos" link. From here you will be able to re-upload all of your old videos and start sharing them with any circle you would like. Be careful though! The hilarious hula-dance video you and your buddies made in college may be alright for the "Friends" circle, but is probably not the best fit for the "Bosses" circle!

Have you tried any of these transfers yet? Have a better way to do it? Please share your comments below. And as always, if you
have anything you would like to see in a future FYI Corner, please let us know in the comment box below and check back soon!

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