Even today, if you want to switch from one online service to another, there’s no easy way to do it. In the case of contacts and few other content types, you have some common format which is supported by many online services. So, you have to download your content from one service and upload it to another service. To make this process simpler and easier for users, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter are working on a open project called Data Transfer Project (DTP).
The aim of this new project is to build a framework with open-source code that can connect any two online service providers, enabling a seamless, direct, user initiated portability of data between the two platforms. It will use services’ existing APIs and authorization mechanisms to access data. But it uses service specific adapters to transfer that data into a common format, and then back into the new service’s API.
This is a great news for consumers. For example, you might use Instagram app where you share photos publicly, Facebook app where you share updates with friends, and Fitbit fitness app for tracking your workouts. When you switch to competing online services, you would like to have your existing data there as well. This project will enable you to do the same.
You can read more about this project here.