Like everything else in the tech world, April Fool’s Day is highly competitive. For years, the supple minds at Google led with the cleverist, “stickiest” stunts.
It’s barely dawn on the West Coast, and this year’s edition has already confused and alienated enough users to prompt a rare and serious backlash and retraction. Verdict: Too hip for the room.
“Google Disables April Fool’s Joke Amid User Fury After Prank Backfires”
By Alex Hern
April 1, 2016
Google’s April Fools’ Day prank has backfired, leaving the company looking the fool and a number of concerned users fearing for their jobs – or worse.
As 1 April began in Australia, the company announced its latest stunt: “Gmail Mic Drop”, a special version of the send button which appends a gif of a minion (one of the sexless, ageless merchandising icons from the Despicable Me series) dressed as the queen dropping a microphone to the end of your email.
“Everyone will get your message, but that’s the last you’ll ever hear about it,” Google added in a blogpost announcing the feature. “Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won’t see it.”
For most companies, that would be the end of it, but Google has a longstanding tradition of actually building the products they “announce” on April Fools’ Day, even if they only survive for 24 hours. Read more.