Wayback Machine to Archive Google+ Content Prior to Service’s Termination
In late 2018, Google announced the pending termination of Google+ services after an internal audit unearthed a myriad of data privacy concerns, security risks and more. Based on this study, Google discovered that the service was no longer meeting users’ needs and set an April 2019 retirement date.
Despite this pending termination, startups hoping to preserve their Google+ are in luck. Volunteers working around the clock are currently archiving publicly posted content. Although much of the data will be auto-saved by this initiative, there are steps users can take to help ensure content is archived for posterity.
Why Google+ Is Going Away
Google’s 2018 internal review, known as Project Strobe, took a hard look at the company’s data privacy and security policies as well as third-party developer access to users’ information. The results of the study were not encouraging. They showed that, based on fears of privacy breaches and a perceived lack of data security, users were not effectively engaging with Google’s Application User Interfaces. Beyond data privacy concerns, the study also found that over 90 percent of Google+ users spent an average of fewer than five seconds per session with the service.
Limitations to Archiving Google+ Content
Although Google is sunsetting the service in early April 2019, there is still hope for startups and small businesses hoping to preserve high-quality, actionable content previously posted to the site. Currently, an army of volunteers is frantically archiving Google+ data via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Thanks to these efforts, a majority of publicly posted content on Google+ should be automatically archived and available for future generations.
However, despite the team’s best efforts, not all content will be archived. Due to some limitations of the preservation project, the following information may not be saved:
- Private posts (only publicly posted content will be saved)
- High-resolution video content and images
- Lengthy discussion threads in excess of 500 comments per post
How You Can Assist the Project
Startups and SMBs wishing to lend a helping hand can assist, first and foremost, by not deleting any Google+ content you wish to have archived. Beyond this simple step, you can also volunteer technical abilities or funds to assist the initiative. Conversely, if you do not wish for your content to be granted eternal life, you can request removal of specific items from the project.