Google announced on Thursday that Google+ users with a profile attached to a regular Gmail account and a work-related Google apps account can now blend the two together.
When Google Apps gained Google+ support last October, Google promised a migration tool was on the way. Nine months later, it’s finally here.
The new tool, which is a part of the company’s Google Takeout data-liberation service, allows users to elect a master Google+ account and transfer circles and other information to one main profile, instead of having two separate accounts. For those that make the transfer, you will only be able to log in with the email address associated with the primary Google+ profile.
After requesting a transfer, there is a seven-day waiting period before the merger begins and once the process begins, it takes about 48 hours to complete. Once a transfer is started, it cannot be cancelled or reversed.
How to Merge Google+ AccountsFirst, click Google+ circles transfer tool at Google Takeout. This tool transfers your Google+ circles and connections from a “source” account to a “destination” account.
Request a transfer. This process will slow down Google+ functionality in both accounts, so you won’t be able to share content or update circles until the transfer is complete. Again, this could take up to 48 hours.
When the transfer is complete, circles, blocks and ignores are copied from the source account to the destination account, but content from the source account such as profile information, posts or comments won’t be transferred to the destination account, the company said.
“If you no longer need your source account Google+ profile, downgrade the profile associated with your source account and select Delete your entire Google+ profile,” Google said “Before downgrading, we recommend downloading your Google+ data from your source account at Google Takeout.”
Google offers additional information on how the process and transfers works on its help page.
If you decide to keep your source account profile, Google suggests deleting content that was posted by that account to avoid confusion and select the uncheck option that makes the profile visible to others via search.
Proceed With CautionGoogle has done a great job of explaining the migration process, but we still suggest users proceed with caution before using the tool. Be sure to back-up all of your Google+ data and make sure you understand the limitations of the tool. Google+ addicts also need to be prepared to give up using the service for up to a week while the transfer takes place.
Profile migrations don’t always go as planned. Last year, Mashable’s Christina Warren inadvertently committed Facebook suicide when a Facebook Profile to Fan Page migration went terribly, terribly, wrong.
We doubt anything that catastrophic will happen with Google+, but again, be prepared and backup your important data first.