Join top executives in San Francisco on July 11-12, to hear how leaders are integrating and optimizing AI investments for success. Learn More

google buzz logoLike a blast from the past, the Google email about the imminent final step in the closure of one of its first failed social networks hit my email on the eve of the Memorial Day long weekend.

Not coincidental, I assume.

Three years after it launched and two years after it was killed, Google Buzz’s long sad long swan song is finally ending. Did I mention it was long?

Shockingly, most people didn’t want a social network in their email inbox, so the experiment that consisted of Google taking your inbox and insta-poofing a social network into sudden awkward existence never had a prayer of upsetting Facebook, Twitter, or even MySpace.

In addition to that, the biggest problem with Buzz was Google’s utter ham-handedness with privacy, which led to publishing members’ profile data without permission — including their contact lists — and ultimately to an $8.5 million civil suit and an FTC-imposed independent privacy review board.


The good part of those difficult experiences? Google learned an awful lot about what not to do, and how not to release a social network … which is has built into Google+ and which, by most measures, is Google’s most impressive achievement in social to date, with over half a billion members, almost half of whom are active.

Oh, and if you cared enough about Buzz to actually want any of your content from that very public social experiment, it’ll show up in your Google Drive on or shortly after July 17.

I, for one, will be waiting with baited breath. Whatever that means.

Here’s the full announcement:

Buzz user,

In October 2011 we announced Google Buzz was shutting down. On or after July 17th, 2013, Google will take the last step in the shutdown and will save a copy of your Buzz posts to your Google Drive, a service for storing files online. Google will store two (2) types of files to your Google Drive, and the newly-created files will not count against your storage limits.

  1. The first type of file will be private, only accessible to you, containing a snapshot of the Google Buzz public and private posts you authored.
  2. The second type of file will contain a copy of only your Google Buzz public posts. By default it will be viewable by anyone with the link, and may appear in search results and on your Google Profile (if you’ve linked to your Buzz posts). Note, any existing links to your Google Buzz content will redirect users to this file.
  3. Any comments you made on other users’ posts will only be saved to those users’ files and not to yours. Once the change described in this email is final, only that user will be able to change the sharing settings of those files. This means that if you have commented on another author’s private post, that author could choose to make that post and its comments public. If you would like to avoid that possibility, delete all your Buzz content now.
  4. The new Google Drive files will only contain comments from users that previously enabled Google Buzz, and the files will not contain comments that were deleted prior to moving the data to your Google Drive.

Once the files are created, they will be treated the same as any other Drive file. They are yours to do with as you please. This includes downloading them, updating who can access them, or deleting them.

Before these files are created, you can view the Google Buzz posts you have authored here. If you do not want any of your Buzz posts or comments saved to Google Drive files, you can immediately delete your Google Buzz account and data.

Thank you for using Google Buzz.

© 2013 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043

You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Buzz account.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.