Buh-bye, Buzz. Or, should we say, buh-bye Buzz data. While Google’s ambitious social service met its demise in Oct. 2011, less than two years into its existence, that didn’t mean that users – the few who actually enjoyed using Buzz – were left without a way to access any of the data they had accumulated.
However, Google is now officially pulling what little life support it left in place for Buzz. In an email announcement to Buzz users on Friday, the company announced that all data left on Buzz – including any public and private posts made on the service – will begin a slow migration over to users’ Google Drive accounts starting July 17.
Thankfully, any of the data moved over won’t count against a user’s existing storage quotas on Drive.
Here’s how the migration will work. Google will create two files as part of the move. The first, a file accessible and viewable only by the individual user of the account in question, will be a snapshot of the entirety of said user’s public and private posts on Google Buzz.
Easy enough, right?
The second file will be publicly available (and can appear in both Google search results as well as a person’s Google+ profile). Any incoming links that previously directed to a user’s Google Buzz account will now point to this file instead. In it, Google will dump all of a user’s previously public Buzz content – under the assumption that the data a user previously had no problems throwing out there for the world to see is still fine to remain public.
It gets a little trickier once Google Buzz comments are factored into the picture. With these, Google is basically transferring privacy controls from the user who left the comment to the poster of the content in which said comment appeared. Which is to say, if you said something on your friend’s private post and assumed it would stay that way – private – your friend will now have the option to make that content public if he or she wishes. That includes your comment, and there’s nothing you’ll be able to do (save for writing your friend an angry email) if he or she decides to edit the viewable settings for private posts.
Those looking to delete the entirety of their Google Buzz accounts prior to the data migration can use Google’s handy link for doing so. And those looking for less drastic measures can simply go in and delete their individual (public) Google Buzz posts so these don’t automatically transfer over to their Google Drives in a few weeks.
For a look back, check out PCMag’s hands on with Google Buzz and the slideshow above, as well as our review of Google+ for iPad, the search giant’s newest foray into social networking.