Google is shutting down the Google+ platform in April this year, due to low usage numbers and “challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations”.
If you still use the site, here’s what you need to do to hang on to your profile data.
How can I back up my data?
On 2 April, your Google+ accounts and any Google+ pages you have created will be shut down, and Google will begin the process of deleting content.
This means that photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will be deleted.
Thankfully, you can download and save your content – as long as you get it done before April – although if you’ve previously backed up your photos and videos using Google Photos, that data will not be deleted.
Other data, such as Circles, Communities, Streams, and +1s, can also be downloaded and saved.
Google note that the process of actually deleting all that data might take a few months, and content “may remain” through this time.
“Users may still see parts of their Google+ account via activity log and some consumer Google+ content may remain visible to G Suite users until consumer Google+ is deleted,” the company said in an email to users.
Can I make a new page?
You are now no longer able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events.
Those who were the owners or moderators of a Google+ Community can also download and save the data for those Communities.
As of early March 2019, additional data will be available for download, including author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community.
What about blog comments?
Those who use Google’s blogging tool Blogger will have already seen comments left by Google+ users disappear from February, and comments left on other sites through Google+ vanished from March.
Comments on all sites will be permanently deleted starting 2 April.
Other users, such as G Suite customers and developers using Google+ APIs, can find more information on what the shut down means for them by heading to Google’s developer site.
Why is Google+ closing down?
Despite promising user engagement in its early days (Google+ snapped up 25 million users within its first month of existence), interest in the social media platform – Google’s fourth attempt at such a network – has been waning for years.
This low user count, coupled with a number software design flaws that potentially allowed outside developers access to personal information of millions of users, has led to the web giant “sunsetting” the site.
“We’re committed to focusing on our enterprise efforts, and will be launching new features purpose-built for businesses,” says Google.
Despite the figure of 111 million active users given in 2015, only 6.7 million users had 50 or more posts ever, and only 3.5 million had posted 50 or more times in the past 30 days.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews