Did you hear the big news? While it was not shocking, the official demise of Google’s social media platform, Google+ was confirmed in October 2018. To be completely honest, everyone had a hunch it was bound to happen. Google themselves mentioned the challenges they faced in creating and maintaining Google+ to meet the expectations of users. Severe competition from other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter might have been the catalyst. Since the official announcement in 2018, there have been speculations regarding how the Google+ shutdown process would be carried out.
If you have an active Google+ account, you may be wondering what is happening. Some are saying all your photos and videos will be deleted, while others are rambling about the entire enterprise being shut down. In the wake of recent events, here are 8 things you must know about the Google+ shutdown.
1. Date of the shutdown
Google has announced that the personal version of Google+ and every service associated with it will be shut down entirely from April 2, 2019. You can still sign in to your account in the meantime, so you can still save any important content. We’ll get to that later. Google informs you about the shutdown when you log in to your Google+ account through a notification tab. You also have the option to delete your account manually before April 2.
2. You can’t create a Google+ personal account anymore
From February 4, users were no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, events, and communities. If you are an existing user, you won’t be able to leave comments on Google+ or on other websites via your Google+ account.
3. Connect with your followers outside Google+
If you have a lot of followers on Google+, you are likely to lose ties with them as far as this platform is considered. You can always request them to follow you on other social media platforms. You can also collect their email addresses or contact information and keep in touch with them through methods outside of social media.
4. Don’t worry, your content is safe, for now
One of the biggest concerns regarding the shutdown of Google+ is the protection of the users’ data. All the photos and videos uploaded through your Google+ are still intact. However, Google advises its users to download all their important data on Google+ before March 31, because all content including photos, videos, album archives, and pages will be deleted along with your account on April 2.
5. You should move your Google+ data before March 31st
Google has options available to export your Google+ data, including your circles, communities and +1’s. Google has provided a specific page to download your Google+ data, where you can selectively download information associated with your account. You can choose to export the data in .zip or .tgz format. After the export, you can get the download link in your mail, or you can add it to other cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive or Box.
6. Other Google services are not being shut down
You don’t have to worry about the rumours about services other than Google+ being shut down. Google Drive, Photos, YouTube and other services are still intact. All the data and account details of those other than Google+ will remain as it is. In fact, you can use other Google accounts to archive your Google+ data.
7. Effect of the shutdown on Google Communities and Events
All the events created in Google+ are now removed from Google Calendar. You can no longer view birthdays of the people in your Google+ circles. However, events created from Google Calendar will not be removed. To ensure your calendar isn’t affected by the shutdown, make sure you save your friends’ birthdays on Google Calendar. Google Community owners can download their data with details of community posts and members.
8. Effect of the shutdown on YouTube
Since you log into your YouTube account with your main Google Account, nothing is going to happen to it or the videos you’ve uploaded. There are some YouTube functionalities built with Google+, such as sharing to Google+ circles and linking to Google+ profiles won’t be available any longer.
If you loved using Google+, it’s going to be a little tough bidding farewell. Other than that, you don’t have to worry so much about this shutdown. There is still time to back up your important data to other Google services, cloud services, or download directly to your computer. Don’t forget to inform your Google+ followers to keep in touch via other means. You just have to make sure you do this before March 31, 2019.