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Facebook says I’m a 29 year old female living in San Francisco. Twitter says I like puns and bad jokes (@The_PUNisher_SF). Reddit upvotes and says I LOVE puns and bad jokes. And this blog tells you about my experiences using social media sites and learning to fit them all together into my life. www.facebook.com/TheBigSocialPicture

Sunday, March 31, 2013

2013 April Fools' jokes on the Internet

Growing up, April Fools' Day was an exciting day of school pranks and sibling torture.  It was fun but ultimately was a juvenile holiday that wasn't acknowledged much in the outside world.  At least, not until the Internet.  The Internet has taken hold of April Fools' Day and turned it into a hilarious day of sites playing web pranks on their own fan base.

Every year you can usually count on Google, YouTube, ThinkGeek, and various other sites to launch advertisements for fake devices and products that are so close to real that sometimes you can't tell the difference.

Without these pranks, we never would have been introduced to the term rickrolling, which became a hit when YouTube set all their homepage videos to link to the now-famous Rick Astley song.  And ThinkGeek never would have created this fake Star Wars tauntaun sleeping bag that was asked for in such high demand that it ended up becoming a real product!
This sleeping bag can be yours now, just click here.

Here are some of the best pranks released so far for 2013:
  • Google has launched a new search feature called Google Nose.  By using photons and infrasound waves, they've claimed to have created a web-searchable version of "Smellavision". 

  • YouTube has released a video confessing that their company's mission for the last 8 years was to find the best video in the world.  At midnight tonight, they will close down YouTube, delete all of its content, and start jurying which video is the winner.  The results will be announced in 2023.  The best part of this video are the interviews with YouTube "celebrities" from videos like Evolution of Dance and Charlie Bit Me, saying why they need to win this competition.

  • Google Maps has released an interactive "Treasure Maps" mode of map viewing.  Besides changing the standard view, they also changed the street view to appear as if looking through a telescope.

  • On his Facebook page, George Takei got fans in an uproar when he faked an announcement that he will be appearing in the upcoming Star Wars film.

  • Twitter announced that their site is now becoming a vowel-free zone, and anyone wanting to use vowels has to pay for their new premium service for $5 a month.  They even made a handy site to remove the vowels for you: https://discover.twitter.com/twttr/

  • Hulu is featuring shows on their homepage like "Itchy & Scratchy" and "The Rural Juror", all of which are fake shows that exist within real shows.

  • Reddit posted an announcement that they will be down for maintenance starting at midnight tonight.   Sadly for Reddit users, this is more of a heart-stopping worst-fear-realized than a lighthearted prank.  Stay strong, Redditors!
    (UPDATE: The site actually did go offline for less than 5 minutes, with a note to "Go outside, Redditors".  And the admin posted an update that he really did have to do maintenance because a database master died today.  Meeps, maybe not an AF joke after all...)
  • Imgur (an image sharing site) announced today that users can now upload photos by sending them in the mail.  A reply will be sent within 2-3 weeks with their URL, which they can call their friends and family to inform them of.

  • Google Analytics (a reporting tool for Internet traffic) claims to be rolling out new legacy tools to help share content using older technology, like CD-ROMs and telegraphs.

  • ThinkGeek has continued its tradition of posting bogus items for sale.  Sorry Batman :(

To see more jokes as the day goes on, check out the site April Fools' Day on the Web, or their Facebook group April Fools Day.  Also check out this Simpsons clip which explains the origin of the holiday.

Happy April Fools' Day, y'all!


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