How The Technology World Went April Fools Crazy In 2013
We recently experienced the one day of the year that has gullible people everywhere running for cover in the hope that this would be the year that they finally didn’t fall for anything stupid. And to celebrate the 1st of April and the day of the fool, tech companies all over the world displayed some elaborate stunts and pranks that leave us to wonder whether they do much else in the year other than plan these jokes.
An April fool’s day prank can be a great form of tech PR though as it shows the company has a sense of humour and reinforces the fact that they are not just a face-less corporate machine. Ok they are advertising something that doesn’t actually exist but it’s still positive tech PR and will create a great bond with their audience. So what did the technology world lay down for us wide-eyed consumers this year? Here’s a rundown of some of my favourites.
Every year Google have a new trick up their sleeve and time and time again they have shown that they have a great sense of humour – something we have already established is a great way of conducting some tech PR. Amongst the many ranks that Google played this year was their new feature launch called Google Nose.
This feature claimed to be able to provide anyone searching for terms such as ‘campfire’ and ‘freshly cut grass’ with the scent direct from their computer to their nose. There was also an app that meant if you point your phone or tablet at something that smells it could identify the scent. It seems that when it comes to April fools jokes Google Nose best.
For anyone who believes that all the people who regularly upload videos of themselves doing ‘wacky’ things to YouTube are just begging for attention; this would have been music to your ears. YouTube released a video statement saying that the site had just been an elaborate reality TV – style competition and now it was over.
YouTube celebrities would spend the next ten years trawling through all the videos on the site and then in 2023 the platform would remerge but would only play the winning video on a loop. Fingers crossed for ‘baby monkey on a pig’; I love that one.
Bing Join The Fun
Determined to not be outdone by their search engine rivals; Bing staged an April Fools prank of their own. This stunt had anybody that practises the web marketing technique search engine optimisation (SEO) jumping for joy as apparently; they would now be able to tell Bing exactly where they wanted to rank in the search results.
The Microsoft owned company stated that everybody would be allowed to include one ‘set to position’ tag which would allow you to specify where you wanted your site to rank for a certain query and one ‘must be before’ tag that would state which of their competitors they should always appear above. Frankly this is the only way Bing are ever likely to become more popular than Google.
Social media platforms were at it too and while Twitter released a statement saying that you now had to pay to use vowels and that the writer of the Peanut cartoons had won the right to own a controlling stake in the company; social newcomer Omaze went one further.
This new platform offers you the chance to take part in once in a lifetime experiences such as visiting amazing places or meeting your celebrity heroes, but for April the 1st they were offering some new additions. The joke was that users could get the chance to have Morgan Freeman narrate their life and Oprah Winfrey name their child. Social media at its best.
Chris Mayhew loves to keep up to date with the latest technology and can’t wait for the things on this list to become available…oh, wait. He is working for Eclat who are a technology PR agency based in Surrey.
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