I imagine working at Google would be something like an episode of Game of Thrones, intense but full of witty one liners. One of these one liners would be their infamous April Fools Day Pranks which ran from 2000-2010. Google’s various regional teams would come up with various pranks that they would put live on the internet for all to be fooled. Whilst some of them are literally unbelievable, most of them are outright genius, have a little scroll to discover more:
The first one recorded was called Mentalplex in 2000 where it asked searchers to create a mental image by staring at an animated gif of a swirl and then when you click it takes you to an error page. It was in fact accompanied by a convincing FAQs page! Of course nothing was going to happen but I’m sure Google had a good laugh at the proposition of millions of users trying to create an image appear through will power!
You can still have a go here if fancy giving it a go!
Most of Google’s pranks, highlight the narcissism and naivety of human kind. In 2005, Google introduced ‘Google Gulp’ a ‘smart-drink’ that came in several flavours from a beta carroty to a sero tonic water. Google stated that a DNA scanner was embedded into the lip of the bottle which would rapidly read 3GB (what we wouldn’t do for that kind of phone storage) of genetic data in a fraction of a second. This DNA would lead to a ‘smart’ customised drink that would rush straight to your brain.
Plus it’s low in carbs, so you can get smart and watch the pounds. What else would you want? A unicorn? Because thats what Google Gulp is, a mythical product.
Read all about the infamous Google Gulp of 2005 here.
In 2012, Google played an amazing prank with a trailer to back them up.
The way technology is going I am not surprised that people yet again fell for one of Google’s April Fools Day jokes.
They stated that there was no reason for a keyboard on phones anymore as it just gets in the way, especially when it came to emailing.
They pretended to have created a software on a phone and even dragged up the morse code alphabet so really how was anyone meant to catch on?
Ever wanted a piece of technology that can act as both a garden ornament and a weatherman/weatherwoman? No me neither, but earlier this year Google uploaded a new product trailer than did just that.
The Google Gnome could tell their owner the weather, the wind direction, play music and even tell you what kind of materials could be used as compost. Again it was all a lie and once again Google had fooled millions, whilst promoting their Google Home device. Product placement at its finest.
(A round of applause for that one).
On the 31st March 2004, Google introduced webmail services to beat all other mail services, yes you have it, Gmail. After a few April Fools Day pranks, many thought they were able to see through Google’s pranks. Fourteen years on it is pretty hard to believe that a webmail could hold a gigabyte of free storage, in a time where Hotmail and Yahoo were nowhere near being able to offer that to their users. The best thing about this hoax, was that it wasn’t a hoax at all!
I’m sure we have always thought, how does Google return results back to users with such speed and accuracy?
Well in 2002, Google decided to let users in on a secret, only it wasn’t a secret it was another prank.
Google stated that they used Pigeon Rank, which included a cluster of trained domestic pigeons (I have no idea what a domestic pigeon is either). They explained their extraordinary process by suggesting that whenever a search term was entered into Google a coop of pigeons would assign a value to a page with the peck of its beak.
So rather than a results pages where sorted out in pecking order.
Now you are thinking, who would think that right? Well, Google put together a pretty convincing argument. You can see it here.