Google+ Accounts Closing in April 2019

Sometimes, even the big companies can create a flop, which is why all Google+ Accounts are closing in April 2019.

In December 2018 Google announced the decision to shut down the Google+ platform due to low usage from members. This means that from the April 2, 2019 all content and accounts will be deleted.

But what does this mean for you?

Most people won’t be too affected by this shut down, however if you or your business have used G+ you could lose:

  • Photos, videos and other content
  • Comments on your website
  • Your current login methods on some sites

What do I need to do about my Google+ Account Closing in April 2019?

Any content you want to save, such as photos and videos, you will need to download and save (click here for instructions).

If you’ve used Google+ for comments on your website, this feature will be removed. However, if you are a community owner or moderator you will be able to download additional data, for all posts, including the author, body and photos posted.

Signing in to accounts might be different – if you’ve using the Google+ sign in button you will no longer be able to use this. It will instead be replaced by a google account sign in button.

Google+ for G Suite accounts will remain active. Google are also planning updates for this feature for all G Suite Customers.

Key Dates – Google+ Accounts Closing in April 2019

If you have been using Google+, here’s the timeline of key dates ahead of the closure:

  • 4 February: No Longer able to create Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events
  • 4 February: Google+ Commenting feature will be removed from Blogger
  • 7 March: Google + commenting feature will be removed from other sites
  • Early March: additional date will be available for download by community owners or moderators
  • 2 April: Comments on all sites will start being deleted
  • 2 April: Accounts will be shut down and google will begin deleting content

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Facebook can recognize you without looking at your face

Think you can stop Facebook from automatically tagging photos of you by covering your face? Think again.

The New Scientist reports that Facebook is developing a new facial recognition algorithm so powerful that it can identify individuals even when their faces are hidden or blocked off. Instead the experimental algorithm gathers information based on other unique characteristics like hair style, body shape, and body language. It can even identify individuals based on what types of clothing they typically wear.

“There are a lot of cues we use. People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back,” Yann LeCun, head of artificial intelligence at Facebook, told the New Scientist. “For example, you can recognize Mark Zuckerberg very easily because he always wears a gray T-shirt.”

Facebook’s A.I. research team tested its new facial recognition algorithm using 40,000 public photos from Flickr. Some of the photos had people’s faces clearly visible and some had people’s faces turned away from the camera. The algorithm was able to identify people with 83 percent accuracy.

Facebook is hoping to incorporate this algorithm into its recently launched Moments feature. Moments automatically creates collections of photos using certain data like where and when each photo was taken, tagging all recognizable Facebook friends along the way. If this algorithm ends up giving Moments another data set, pretty soon Facebook could also be able to surface all the photos of you taken with a certain friend, even photos where that friend was wearing a Halloween mask.

The impact on you: Social networks relying on facial recognition to create better products is nothing new. The new Google Photos app can even recognize your pets. But even though facial recognition is getting impressively accurate, it doesn’t mean that most people have gotten comfortable with the idea of being scanned, identified, and recognized by every tech company.

LeCun argues that the Facebook algorithm can be used to alert people whenever a photo of them surfaces on the web. But the flipside has raised serious privacy concerns. Even Tim Cook has expressed his concern. “You might like these so-called free services [from Facebook and Google], but we don’t think they’re worth having your email or your search history or now even your family photos data-mined and sold off for God knows what advertising purpose,” the Apple CEO said at a recent event.

By Oscar Raymundo
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