It’s that day again. If you’re seeing things that seem too good -- or too ridiculous -- to be true, they probably aren’t.
Since Google’s MentalPlex hoax in 2000, tech companies have used April Fools' Day to show off their sense of humor and creativity while poking fun at themselves, their rivals and the more gullible customers. This year, companies have been more aggressive than ever, so here is a guide to the top pranks of the day.
1. Gmail Blue – Arguably the best prank comes from Google -- perhaps unsurprisingly, given how many entries they had this year. The video touts the latest "update" to its email service, which essentially turns everything blue, and nothing more. The gag may be a shot at Microsoft’s Windows Blue update, and the straight-faced delivery is definitely able to score some laughs.
2. China Allows Citizens to Access Facebook and Twitter – The former chief of Google China, Lee Kai-fu, announced via Weibo that both Facebook and Twitter are now allowed through China’s firewall. The prank was a bit too real for some, and not everyone thought it was funny.
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2. Bing Basic – To jab their top rival, a search for “Google” today on Bing took users to a site that clearly resembled Google’s trademark look. “I’m Feeling Confused” redirected to Bing’s blog, while other buttons ribbed the Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine giant.
3. YouTube Closing – The video sharing site released a video announcing that it actually had an endgame all long: An elaborate contest to decide the best video of all-time. A mix of online celebrities and YouTube executives explain that the site will close at midnight for judging to begin, and will reopen in 2023 to announce the winner.
4. Pirate Bay Becomes Freedom Bay – The notorious torrent site unveiled a new branding on April Fools' Day, changing their Jolly Roger logo to red, white and blue, and the name to “The Freedom Bay.” The blog stated that the website decided to move its servers from Korea to the United States.
6. Virgin’s Glass-Bottom Plane – English business magnate Richard Branson took to his blog on Monday to announce new technology that will allow passengers to get a look at the world as they pass over it on the world’s first glass-bottomed plane.
7. Microsoft’s Do Not Tracksuit – Microsoft poked fun at itself and the controversy around the "Do Not Track" browser. The Do Not Track Suit, a “wearable computing appliance,” blocks users from the digital world.
8. Hulu Advertises Fake TV Shows – Hulu promoted several fictional TV shows, including “The Itchy and Scratch Show” from “The Simpsons,” “Inspector Spacetime” from “Community,” and both “MILF Island” and “The Rural Juror” from “30 Rock.”
9. Sony’s “Animalia” Line – Sony used its blog on April Fools' Day to announce a new line of products aimed at the growing industry of pet electronics, including hamster speakers, cat headphones, and a K9 TV.
10. Anncng Twttr – Twitter announced it was eliminating vowels to encourage more efficient communication. However, users can still access vowels for a fee of $5 a month.
And now, the best of the rest:
19. Kayak Dates
20. Google SCHMICK
21. Guardian Goggle
22. Google Levity
30. Nokia Microwave