Ever post something on Google+? Download it before the platform shuts

  • TECH
  • Sunday, 14 Oct 2018

Delete your Google+ account? Don't bother, Google will do that for you. Now's the time to save any photos or other data you might have posted on the discontinued social media platform. — dpa

Google's social media experiment never really took off. And yet in the few years that Google pushed its users to switch over from Facebook, the search giant managed to get tens of millions of people to join and post content – content that is now set to go offline.

Following the announcement that Google is shutting the failed platform after it kept a major data privacy flaw secret, users (active or not) now have until August 2019 to download their data before the site is turned off for good.

Until then, Google plans to inform users about how they can save data or migrate it to other social media platforms.

You can already download separate information from the so-called Circles, Communities and Stream in your Google+ account using Google's data export function, which also works for other Google products.

Business that rely on the service for internal communication will still be able to make use of it after August 2019, however.

The plans to close down the platform come after the tech giant admitted it had decided not to reveal a major flaw in the platform that exposed private information of up to 500,000 users over a long period.

Google said that the bug was discovered and fixed in March and that an internal review found no evidence that any personal data was misused or that any outside software developer was aware of the bug.

Google says the bug was found in one of the tools that makes Google+ user data available to third-party developers through hundreds of applications. It meant that those developers had access to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018.

The data included names, email addresses, occupation, gender and age, but not messages, Google account data and phone numbers, the company said.

Google said it could not confirm which users were impacted by the bug, but said that an analysis showed that the profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ users were affected.

Google+ will join the so-called "Google graveyard" of more than 20 failed and discontinued experiments, which include its e-mail alternate Inbox and previous social media efforts like Google Buzz and Orkut. – dpa
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