In Depth

Google Plus shutdown: how to back up your data before it’s gone

The ill-fated social network will be permanently closed later today

Google Plus, the search engine giant’s ill-fated social network, will be permanently shut down today. 

The company announced in December that it would be closing the service “due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations.”

Google had planned to shut down the service in August, though a major security breach in November - which exposed the personal data of up to 52.5 million users to third-party developers - prompted the tech giant to push the closure forward to 2 April.

The service launched in 2011 as a rival to Facebook and was “lauded for its clean interface and useful photo features”, says CNet

Despite a number of innovative features, such as integrating video calls into its messaging platform and allowing users to easier edit photos online, which debuted on the network before being replicated by its rivals, Google Plus “simply never resonated with users the way Facebook did”, says Engadget.

For instance, 90% of Google Plus sessions “were ending within five seconds” in 2018, the tech site says. This pales in comparison to Facebook, which puts the average time per visit at around 20 minutes. 

With the service due to shut down by the end of today, Google says it will be “begin deleting content” from users who still have a Google Plus account. 

Users can download a copy of the data they stored on the social network, but there’s only a few more hours before the firm pulls the plug. 

How to back up your data

According to the Daily Express, users can follow these steps to save a copy of their personal information:

  • Click on the link to the “Download Your Data” page, which will select all of the information associated with your account. 
  • Press “Next Step” and select the type of file you would like your data to be stored as.
  • Then select how you would like your data to be sent to you. For instance, you can download your information via a special link that is sent to your email address.
  • Finally, select “Create Archive”

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