In keeping with the tradition of planning elaborate pranks to bring in April Fool’s Day, social media giants like Twitter and YouTube and Internet search engine Google went all out to dupe the online user with jokes that managed to get a laugh out of even the toughened cynic.
YouTube: The video-sharing website announced that the site was merely an eight-year contest to find the best video. An email sent out to subscribers stated that “submissions are now closed... YouTube is ready to pick a winner”. It went on to thank users for uploading their videos, said YouTube would now be shut for a decade and that the winner would be declared in 2023. “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, ‘competition director’.
Twitter: The micro-blogging website announced a new consonant-only plan, titled, Twttr. The first tweet went something like this: Trd th nw Twttr yt? Mr tm fr mr twts! (Tried the new Twttr yet? More time for more tweets). “We’re doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we’ll encourage a more efficient and ‘dense’ form of communication,” the company said on its blog. Twitter also announced a single character extension, allowing the length of a tweet to extend to 141 characters.
Google: The Internet search engine asked users to hunt for buried treasure using a new pirate-style mode on its maps. The company went on to explain to users how its Street View’s underwater team had discovered a chest containing lost maps. It also revealed that the maps had once belonged to pirate William “Captain” Kidd and had gone missing during an expedition to the Indian Ocean. The video explained how hidden treasure symbols can be unearthed on the maps, which have been digitised by a special 3D scanner.