Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft have announced a new initiative called The Data Transfer Project that allows users to move content, contacts and more across apps. The project has the potential to create an industry standard for data portability and could force companies to compete on utility, instead of trapping users in data lock-ins that make it difficult to switch services.

From porting playlists in music streaming services, to health data from fitness trackers, to our massive libraries of photos and videos, the DTP could be a huge advantage for startups. Tech giants currently hold the upper hand in popularizing new features because of their ability to instantly connect a user’s profile to an app. However, if the DTP gains industry-wide momentum and its founding partners cooperate in good faith, it could lower the barrier for people to experiment with new apps. Meanwhile,the tech giants could argue against government regulation because DTP allows users to freely choose whichever app best competes for their data and attention.

Stay tuned for more features on this…

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