Moving away from Google+

Post one in a series on migrating away from Google+.

So, here we are, at the crossroads.

Google+ is being sunsetted. Aww, bollocks! Let’s use the appropriate terms: terminated, decapitated, shat upon, no fucks given about, or to refer to it in classic Google style: ABANDONED. You can quote me on that. All of it. Why, Google, WHY!?

I don’t know about you, but I am really going to miss Google+, as it has been the only place that I’ve felt at home in social media. No ads, good moderation tools, and easy to find people and topics to follow.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

What to do?

The G+ shutdown is inevitable, so let’s get on with figuring out what to do next. I’ve spent some time looking around, and exploring my options. There are a number of considerations: Do you want to host it yourself? What level of functionality do you need? Do you need it to be readable on mobile? Do you need it to be able to import old content? How does it integrate with others? How is the visibility? Can it be searched?

A great place to start, is looking at the posts in
Google+ Mass Migration (G+MM), where John Lewis, Edward Morbius and many others have taken a long look at all the options out there, and where there has been an effort to catalog as fairly as possible.

Firstly, you have to decide on if you want to keep your G+ history. There. Done. Yes, please! I would like to keep it, warts and all. I’ve written a bit before, about those I’ve looked at, and there were two standouts: Blogger and WordPress, but I get ahead of myself here.

Priority #1 is to capture your content so that you can process it at your leisure later!

How to export your Google+ content.

There are two methods – Google Takeout and Google+ Exporter.

Google Takeout

I’ve dabbled a bit with Google Takeout, and it surely takes out a massive lot. Immensely massive. My export is ginormeous! Over 200Gb! What it doesn’t do – is to take it out in an easy to use package. The data are bewildering at first glance, and second glance, and probably third as well 😛

Still, if you are serious about keeping your content for posterity, and in case you find a better way to process it later, make sure you do so in JSON format, and your starting point is here: https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout/


If you wonder why JSON, have a look at the discussions in the G+MM community.

Click the Select None button, and switch on those that you want, and tweak your format settings to use JSON format.

After you have set the export formats, scroll to the bottom and hit Next

which brings you to the final export step.

File type – you can select between .zip and .tgz files. If you don’t recognize the latter, stick with .zip.

Archive size (Max) – 1, 2, 4, 10 or 50 Gb – yes that is Gigabyte. Personally I’ve tried both 2 and 10, and I would stick with 2 Gb, as that makes it less dependent on your storage file system capabilities. Smaller file size also makes the pain less if a download has not survived the transport.

Delivery method – If you select the first option (download link), the link is valid for one week for you to grab your files.

  • Send download link via email
  • Add to Drive (Google Drive, that is)
  • Add to Dropbox
  • Add to OneDrive
  • Add to Box

I have not tried the three last ones, but remember that you will need massive amount of storage if you have been as active on G+ as I have been.
(My export is > 400Gb)

Once you have selected your options, you click on Create Archive, and then you get this display and the wait begins. You can close the browser tab and eventually you get an email with the links to your download.

Google+ Exporter

Google+ Exporter (G+E) is an application that helps you to export your Google+ feeds (profile, pages, collections, communities, including all comments) to WordPress 4.x and 5.x Backup, Blogger Backup and JSON file.

Another available option is to export all posts published to profile, pages, collections, and communities to JSON file, including all comments!

Transform exported JSON data can into imports for other services, or you can use JSON export as a full generic backup of your posts.

The free version of the application enables you to download up to 800 posts per every single Google+ feed (profile, page, collection, community).

You can buy a license key to get unlimited experience.
The price is US $19.95.

Google+ Exporter is written and maintained by Loysoft Ltd. Please read https://plus.google.com/104092656004159577193/posts/L43FjSswJuY for background.

This is the main blog post of theirs, with more details: https://blog.friendsplus.me/export-google-plus-feeds-45926c925891 

Here is the current change list:
https://plus.google.com/+FriendsPlusMe/posts/jSFYkqFBMJZ .

Updates can be downloaded from here:
https://gplus-exporter.friendsplus.me/

G+E is still actively being improved, and reading the latest update, I see that I may have to redo my exports and hence my imports as well- oh, the joys of being at bleeding edge 😀

Installation

Download the latest version of the installer from the link above and run it. It is not a signed installer , so you may a warning from your antivirus tools.

The first time you run G+E – you will be prompted to log into your Google+ account. I was a tad wary at first, but since I use two-factor authentication, I went a head, and the guys behind the tool appear to be trustworthy, so you should have little to fear. Read the linked posts above if you are unsure.

Start Downloading

When G+E is logged in, it will search for your G+ accounts, and then present your with a list of your Google+ Feeds, Communities you own, Communities you moderate, and Communities you are a member of, as well as your pages and your sock puppets? 😉

What’s next?

Start downloading, and in my next post, I will talk about the exports and the process of importing the content.

10 thoughts on “Moving away from Google+

  1. Hei Lars. Har lekt litt med ideen av å starte blogging igjen etter nyheten om at G+ legges ned. En blog som dette gir deg styringen til selv å bestemme dens levetid og innhold. Og jeg ble enda mer giret når jeg nå fant din blog og kan følge den i WordPress-app på mobilen.
    Følger deg videre i arbeidet med bloggen og håper du deler flere tips og triks for å stable på plass en bra blog.
    God Jul til deg og familien

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Gøy med at dette fungerer som sosiale medie.. Vet du om jeg kan følge andre blogger i appen som ikke er laget i WordPress?

        Like

  2. Hyggelig om du sjekker ut min nyrenoverte blogg også 🙂
    johnholme.home.blog
    Har endel arbeid igjen, men har fått samlet nesten alt på en plass nå.. (PS! Mye gammelt å..)

    Liked by 1 person

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