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On April 1st, 2013, numerous websites and online services unveiled gag products and features in honor of April Fool’s Day.
The Internet and software corporation Google unveiled “Google Nose,” a fake product designed to fool people into thinking they could use the Google search engine to search for smells (shown below, left). Google’s Gmail team announced the parody product Gmail Blue, in which all parts of the Gmail UI are shown in different shades of the color blue (shown below, right).
The Google Maps team launched a fake “Treasure Mode” feature, which invited users to join together in order to decipher a treasure map discovered by the Google Street View crew (shown below, left). Google’s video sharing site YouTube announced they would be shutting down the site after reviewing every single video uploaded to decide which video is the best in the entire world (shown below, right). The announcement video included cameo appearances by notable YouTubers, including Antoine Dodson, KassemG, iJustine, David Devore and Matt Harding.
The social news site Reddit announced in a blog post that it had purchased the online multiplayer first-person shooter game Team Fortress 2 and altered the site for logged users placing them on teams Orangered and Periwinkle. Users on each team were given a new inventory window containing weapons and hats which could be used on themselves and other Redditors.
The social networking and microblogging site Twitter announced the site would be changing to a two-tiered service named “Twttr,” which would allow users to tweet consonants for free but would charge $5 per month to use vowels.
The image-hosting platform Imgur announced that it will start accepting image submissions via postal service with an “upload via snail mail” feature, encouraging users to print their images and mail it to the provided address of Imgur’s San Francisco office to be featured on the site within two to three weeks. The post was also accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek prologue explaining their reason.
At Imgur, our users’ input is the driving force behind all of our decisions. With the rise of the hipster, we were forced to ask ourselves, “How can we attract the film camera user?” It became evident to us that a more non-traditional type of uploading is necessary to appeal to a broad user base which includes film users, the computer illiterate, and those afraid of radiation from scanners. Snail mail is a proven method of data transfer that has been around long before the Internet. To stay on the forefront of technology, we’re going back to the roots of communication.
The image board site 4chan celebrated April Fools’s Day with a new addition of its very own meta-discussion board /s4s (Shit 4chan Says) as a parody of Reddit’s popular /r/shitredditsays (SRS) subreddit community.
The GIF-sharing community YTMND changed the site layout to mimic the familiar web domain advertisements often seen on vacant websites. The website also celebrated its 12th year anniversary.
The video-sharing community Vimeo revealed a spin-off website dubbed “Vimeow” that exclusively focuses on curation of cat videos on the Internet.
The music-sharing community Soundcloud enabled a new feature in the playback progress bar that indicates where the bass drops in each song.
The on-demand streaming movie and DVD rental website NetFlix displayed movie suggestions in extremely specific categories, such as “movies featuring an epic Nicolas Cage meltdown” and “movies that are in English but still require subtitles” (shown below).
The official White House YouTube channel uploaded a video titled “A Special Message From the President” featuring a young child pretending to be President Barack Obama (shown below).
United States Army
The United States Army website published a post announcing that the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment was launching a program using cats in a similar fashion to German Shepherds alongside the military police. The post featured a photograph of a soldier with Grumpy Cat’s head superimposed on top (shown below).
Eidos Interactive’s 8-Bit Deus Ex
The video game company Eidos Interactive uploaded a video to YouTube featuring a parody presentation for an 8-bit game in the Deus Ex series (shown below). In the video, two Eidos employees demo the game and ask for donations to create it.
Virgin’s Glass-Bottomed Airplanes
Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson published a blog post announcing that the company’s airline would be producing the world’s first glass-bottomed planes (shown below).
American Eagle’s Spray-on Skinny Jeans
The U.S. clothing retailer American Eagle uploaded a video featuring a new line of “skinny skinny” jeans that appeared to be painted on (shown below).
Other Notable Events
- ThinkGeek featured the gag products “Eye of Sauron Desk Lamp” and “Play-Doh 3D Printer.”
- Toshiba announced a video game console.
- BMW unveiled a new stroller.
fn6,. Virgin – Virgin launches glass-bottomed plane