Sorry, YouTube fans — it turns out the world's largest video sharing site was just one big contest. At least, that’s what its creators would have everyone believe.
In a hilarious April Fools' Day prank, YouTube announced on Sunday that the site’s eight years of existence were just a contest to find the Internet’s best video submission.
"It's finally time to pick the winner," YouTube executives announced in an extravagant video posted to the site’s blog.
According to the video, YouTube would be closing its doors at midnight to review every video submission it has ever received, in an attempt to crown a victor — which would be announced in 2023.
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"We are so close to the end. Tonight at midnight, YouTube.com will no longer be accepting entries. After eight amazing years, it is finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner," said Tim Liston, a purported “competition director.”
A ficticious CEO named Salar Kamangar added to the fun, saying, "We started YouTube in 2005 as a contest with a simple goal: to find the best video in the world."
YouTube estimates that users upload more than 70 hours of video to the site each minute, AFP News reports.
Of course, no YouTube-related prank would be complete without an appearance from one of the site’s best-known Internet sensations.
"I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible before YouTube deletes everything tonight," said Antoine Dodson, who became famous after an auto-tuned version of his 2010 television interview went viral.
According to Liston, the “contest” will be judged by a panel of film critics, YouTube celebrities, and “prolific” commentators, AFP reports.
In truth, YouTube isn’t anywhere close to shutting down. In March, the Google-owned video-sharing site announced that more than a billion people use the site every month, thanks in part to the rise of smartphones, AFP reports.
YouTube executives add that nearly one out of every two Internet users visits the site. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion.