Yes, the Bronx Zoo Cobra has been found, and no, that wasn’t him popping out of the can on The Today Show this morning. Matt Lauer was just pulling the classic prank on his co-anchor Ann Curry. It was my first reminder that today was April Fool’s Day and therefore I needed to be skeptical about everything I heard or saw today… especially on the Internet.
Each year the pranks seem to be getting better, and sites like Google and Funny or Die have users eagerly awaiting to see what they’ll do for their April 1 initiatives. The Taylor office has been buzzing all day about the best online pranks. Here are some of the best we’ve seen:
1. Google Motion – According to this joke, you can now control Gmail with your body, and Paul McDonald - product manager of Gmail – demonstrates the movements via video. For example, if you want to reply all, use both hands and point backward with your thumb in front of your web cam. To send a message, recreate the movement of licking a stamp and placing it down on your knee. The dedicated landing page for Google Motion even includes a downloadable document with all the actions you need to know as well as testimonials from key experts.
2. Funny Or Die – It’s Friday, Friday, Friday, so it’s only appropriate for YouTube phenomenon Rebecca Black to take over FOD’s homepage for their annual April Fool’s takeover. The 13-year-old participates in a “Behind the Music”-type documentary, a clever PSA about riding in cars with underage teens, and an infomercial for Rebecca Black’s Greatest Hits (only $79.99!) Also, check out the area where you type in the URL in the browser for a special message from the FOD team.
3. Hulu – The online video service travels back in time to 1996 and features TV shows like The X-Files, Murder One and Kids in the Hall. The best part is that the site loads slow and features the old-school computer font that we all had to endure during our dial-up days.
4. LinkedIn – When you sign onto your homepage and look at the “People You May Know” section, you’ll notice something odd. For instance, the site suggested I connect with Albert Einstein, Groucho Marx and Robin Hood. It’s so naturally integrated into the system that you might not notice it if you were looking at it, but when you do catch it, you’re intrigued to click on the profiles that were created to make this April Fool’s joke work even better.
5. HootSuite – The social media dashboard introduced a new game called “Happy Owls” where you choose the flight plan for the HootSuite owl complete with a boss mode button to pretend you’re actually working and analytics tools to track total hours of play, average flight time and aggregated Owl scores. Of course, @charliesheen’s sidebar review of the game makes this joke a #winning homerun.
Were there any other online April Fool’s jokes that you loved (or maybe even got fooled on?) Which one was your favorite?