Let's pour one out for Google+ -- the Facebook competitor that never was, the great Google experiment that went on longer than it deserved, the social media network where nobody liked (they 1+'ed) -- Finally, Google is laying Google+ to rest on April 2.
It's not that no one used Google+ at all. It still has a decent business page presence, it provides a sanctuary for niche groups and it's still a photo blogger's favorite.
Its end was nigh, it seemed, when it was supposed to twilight in August of 2019, but due to the December data leak, its end is now even nigher -- Google abruptly moved Google+'s shutdown to April, a full five months earlier than previously planned.
So before it completely shuts down on April 2, you better download all the Google+ content you wish to keep. Once the service departs for the big tech graveyard, joining its brothers Google Buzz and Google Wave in obscurity, your Google+ photos, videos and pages will also be deleted.
You still have more than a month to save all your precious Google+ memories, so get on it.
How to download your Google+ archives
1. Visit Google Takeout
First, go to Google Takeout at takeout.google.com. Google Takeout is where you can get all the downloadable archives from your Google account. This includes your Chrome data, Google Photos, Drive documents and of course, your Google+ data.
Log in to your Google account (if you haven't already) and you'll see a list of all your downloadable Google content. Since we're just downloading Google+ data, tap or click "Select None" to deselect all the items.
2. Select your Google+ Data
Scroll down and toggle all your Google+ related data (+1s, Circles, Communities, Stream) to on (blue color). Note: If you never signed up for Google+, you won't see these options.
Tap or click Next.
3. Choose your format
On the next page, you can now select your archive download format. For wider compatibility, leave the file type as .zip and the archive size on 2GB.
You have multiple options for your archive's delivery method. You can either have the direct download link sent to you via email or have Google add the files to your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box cloud storage account.
Got all your options squared up? Tap or click "Create Archive."
4. Wait and voila, your archive is served
After hitting "Create Archive," the Google data elves will now collect and prepare all your selected files for download.
Of course, your wait time will depend on how prolific you are as a Google+ user. If you're like most people and you barely used the service, your archive should be ready in a few minutes.
Once your data is gathered, you will finally get an email saying that your archive is ready and, depending on your delivery method, a link for downloading it.
You can also visit Google Takeout again at a later time to view, manage and download your archives. Hurry up with your download, though, these archives will only be available for a week.
Marriott has a new tool for checking if you're affected by its data breach - should you use it?
You might remember that the large hotel chain Marriott recently had a little issue when it comes to their customers' privacy. Back in November, the company leaked the personal information of over half a billion (yes with a "b") customers. Now, that same company is saying they will help find out if you were one of those affected - all you have to do is give them your personal information. Don't worry, I'm sure they will keep in in good hands.