by 👩💻 Alice Monroe
April Fools’ Day, which takes place on April 1st each year, is often a great excuse for people to play pranks on one another. Big websites and online brands are no different, with the likes of news sources and popular platforms such as Google and Facebook joining in the fun. Some stories are planted as obvious jokes, while some websites choose to implement bizarre new features in an effort to catch their visitors off guard. April Fools’ Day 2019 has already been underway online – so let’s take a quick look at some of the biggest and best online pranks.
T-Mobile led with a traditional ‘new product’ prank by getting their joke in a little early this year – offering customers the chance to experience silent cellphone calls with their ‘Phone BoothE’ cabinets. As of April 1st, they also brought in a ‘mobile’ version of the booth to trick customers.
Google went with their traditional approach of turning their main search page into a fun game or series of Easter eggs. This year, they chose to turn their Google Maps app into an international version of the classic mobile game, Snake – where you can pick up passengers with snaking vehicles across the continents. According to CNet, the joke is expected to stay up for around a week.
Google Maps adds city-themed 'Snake' game to app [video: KGUN]
The Dutch extension of Google, Google Nederland, led with a new product that allows you to talk to your plants – and to hear it talk back. The prank device is called ‘Google Tulip’, and the brand persuaded some fans into believing that the flower communication tech was in fact compatible with Google Home and Assistant services.
Wikipedia led with coming up with increasingly bizarre ‘facts’ for its popular Did You Know section – which they had apparently been looking for submissions for over the past few weeks. Food delivery service HelloFresh, meanwhile, advertised its less-than-healthy ‘Unicorn Box’ via YouTube, which comprises of all sorts of colorful, sickly candy.
Finally, mobile language-teacher Duolingo decided to take one step further into the bizarre. The app’s mascot, Duo the owl, features heavily as part of its new ‘Push’ service – where the giant bird follows you around to make sure you’re keeping up to date with your lessons!
This is just a small cross-section of the best April Fools’ jokes that have been uncovered this year – have you found any others? Let us know some of your favorites in the comments below.
April Fools' Day: a selection of the best pranks from around Europe [video: Euronews]