Goodbye comes sooner than expected for Google+
For Google+ users, the end is at hand. Google has decided on an earlier shutdown date than originally planned for their not-too-successful social media platform, following a second major data breach announced in December. As of today, the company plans to shut down the consumer site beginning April 2, 2019. (The platform – or some version of it – will remain active for G Suite users.)
Users with Google+ pages should quickly take steps to download and save site content that they wish to keep. Putting this task off for a few weeks could mean photos, videos and other content disappears forever, so it’s a good idea to act now or risk a temporary memory lapse that leads to regrets.
Google is providing users with instructions for downloading content, as well as an announcement that gives more details about the shutdown and a list of FAQs about the process. For users who don’t want anything from their Google+ account (or who have already downloaded and saved), the company also offers a way to delete their profile.
Users can even save the data from a previously deleted Google+ account, which has been stored in an Album Archive tied to the account. That archive will also be deleted on or after April 2, so users who rely on this archive to store content for possible use later should also make haste to gather up the goods and stash them somewhere with a longer projected lifespan.
Google+ Community owners and moderators can download and save some or all of the data shared through the community as well. Some data is available now, and Google promises to add additional public community content for download sometime in March.
Google+ sign-in buttons on other websites and apps “will stop working in the coming weeks but in some cases may be replaced by a Google Sign-in button,” according to the company. Even though the buttons don’t work as they once did, they’ll still function if users enter their Google Account credentials (not Google+).
Finally, website comments that utilized Google+ will disappear at the same time other Google+ content goes away. The comment feature will no longer be part of Blogger by February 4, and other sites will lose it by March 7.
Those who backed up their Google+ content to Google Photos don’t have to worry about downloading; their photos and videos are still securely stored and available to use. But for everybody else? Go ahead and take a trip back in time by visiting your sorely neglected Google+ profile. You might find something wonderful (or at least worth saving) that you’d forgotten about years ago.