April Fools From The Web

Ian HancockIndustry News, Online PR, Social Media

Yesterday was April Fools Day and there was no shortage of pranks & gags going on. The web was no exception and some of the biggest companies got involved in the age old tradition. Some were good, others not so great. The internet is a great place to place an April Fools prank as news travels fast on the net and there are lots of gullible people out there.

Google chose April 1st to unveil its new product; Google Nose. Nose, described as “the new scentsation in search” allows users to search for smells as well as images, videos, news etc. Google claim to have compiled a database of millions of smells, or ‘scentibytes’ that are just a click away. Lots of internet users fell for this, especially with Google behind it. The search giant is always rolling out new products and ideas, many of which are slightly bonkers/unbelievable.

Google struck three times in total, also informing YouTube lovers that the video sharing site is to close after 8 years, with an award being presented for ‘The Best Video Ever’, chosen by a panel of experts. A new Google Maps product called ‘Treasure Maps’ was rolled out. A StreetView team mapping the bottom of the sea found a treasure chest containing maps. The lost pirate gold can be found using ‘Treasure Maps’ but first you must unlock secret information.

Twitter also got in on the April Fools action with my personal favourite prank. They announced that Twitter would be switching to a two tier service; Twttr – a free service and Twitter – a paid for service. Twttr is free but the catch is that you cannot use vowels, you can only tweet using consonants. If you want to use vowels you will have to pay $5 a month to upgrade to the full Twitter service. They also announced a character extension service that allows you to pay for 141 characters instead of the usual 140 “for those moments when you need just one more character to finish your thought.”

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Skype got in on the action by announcing their new ‘Skype into Space’ product aimed at those interested in the, soon to launch private space travel market. The product includes space-proof features such as Automatic Video Rotation if you are floating around and Additional Language Support to allow conversations between humans and new life forms.

Richard Branson took to his blog to unveil a new Virgin plane with a glass bottom. The new carrier will supposedly début for a domestic flight to Scotland, allowing passengers to enjoy the beauty of the British countryside. As with the Google stories, its not unlike Branson to reveal ambitious new projects that seem impossible so many fell for it.

The Guardian announced their new augmented reality product Guardian Goggles, a similar offering to Google Glass.

Think you’ve seen a better one than these? Let us know.