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April Fools’ Day is, depending on your individual point of view, either a pathetic waste of everyone’s time and energy that you try to avoid as much as possible or 24 hours of fun that marks a welcome break from the doom and gloom which dominates the rest of the year. The Web was once virtually free of April Fools’ Day pranks, but now it’s awash with them each time the calendar clicks over to the fourth month.

This year was no exception, with Google leading the way with Google Nose, Gmail Blue, and the end of YouTube. There were other high-profile entries too, from the likes of Twitter, Sony, and Nokia. However, for all of these well-known and oft-reported April Fools’ Day pranks there were ones that didn’t quite get the attention that they (perhaps) deserved.

What follows is a list of April Fools’ Day pranks with a tech twist that you may have missed.

Crowdfund The National Debt

The Pitch: Countries around the world are struggling to get their national debts under control, the United States included. Forget raising taxes, let’s all just pledge what we can to get it under control once and for all.

The Reality: This is a viral April Fools’ Day commercial for Crowdtilt, a crowd-funding service focused on making it easier for groups to band together to pay for something.

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Revision3 Rebrand

The Pitch: With G4 being rebranded as the Esquire Network, Revision3 decided it would be a good idea to follow suit. So all of its shows are being rebranded as magazines from the days when old media ruled.

The Reality: This is nothing more than a dig at G4 for what some considered a backwards step. Print magazines are, after all, dying, with Web television surely one of the media replacing them.

Sprint Specs

The Pitch: Google Glass has many people excited about the future of mobile headsets 5 Reasons Why Google's Project Glass Is The Future & Why That's Awesome [Opinion] 5 Reasons Why Google's Project Glass Is The Future & Why That's Awesome [Opinion] Google’s Project Glass has everyone talking. It’s a glimpse of the future of augmented reality, wearable computing, and better integration of the Internet and technology in our day-to-day lives. Imagine replacing your smartphone with a... Read More , but until that becomes a reality you could instead use Sprint Specs to use your phone without appearing rude.

The Reality: This is actually a clever promotional effort from Sprint, a U.S,-based wireless provider. The company benefits from people using their mobiles as much as possible, hence the thinking here.

Twitter Vs. Tweeter

The Pitch: How dare Twitter assume control of the word tweet and talk about people tweeting when a bird named Woodstock is the original tweeter. Peanuts wants Twitter off the Internet, and fast.

The Reality: A nice way to draw attention to Peanuts, the comic strip produced by Charles M. Schulz for 50 years from 1950 to 2000.

Blue Jeans Sniff RTC

The Pitch: It’s all well and good being able to see and hear the people in a video meeting with you, but what you really want to do is smell them. No? Blue Jeans thinks so, and its Sniff RTC is the possible solution.

The Reality: Blue Jeans is, as already patently obvious from the video, a company dedicated to video conferencing. This April Fools’ Day prank was designed to promote the company, and clearly worked.

Vimeow

The Pitch: Vimeo is one of the many alternatives to YouTube 5 Video Sites That Are Alternatives to YouTube 5 Video Sites That Are Alternatives to YouTube Believe it or not there was a time when YouTube wasn't the daddy of all online video sites. It was instead merely just one of a number that was offering ordinary people the chance to... Read More , one which is home to some of the best short films from around the world Watch The Best Short Films From Around The World On Vimeo Watch The Best Short Films From Around The World On Vimeo Vimeo is one of these YouTube alternatives. It's a different beast from the Google-owned property, extolling the virtues of quality over quantity. Vimeo is the place where the cool cats -- the innovative musicians, interesting... Read More . There’s just one thing missing… cats, and lots of them. Meet Vimeow.

The Reality: Don’t worry, Vimeo isn’t morphing into a video platform just for cats and the humans that love their feline friends. It did, but only for the 24 hours that together formed April 1, 2013.

Google Nigeria

The Pitch: Google is the undisputed master at creating April Fools’ Day pranks online, producing several each year, many of which are epic. This is one by Google Nigeria, poking fun at the country’s reputation.

The Reality: This hasn’t got anything to do with Google, instead being the brainchild of Shed Simove. All of the Google-esque links on the fake Google Nigeria page lead to his personal website.

The Cutest Viral Video Of All Time

The Pitch: A panda and a baby together? Now that is cute, so this is a must-see future viral video classic What Is Your Favorite Viral Video of All Time? [You Told Us] What Is Your Favorite Viral Video of All Time? [You Told Us] Another day, another viral video phenomenon takes the world by storm. Just as people were recovering from Gangnam Style, Harlem Shake took its place, with people posting videos of themselves performing the insanely stupid dance... Read More . Oh, stop with the commercials, I want to see the cuteness overload. Screw you, Google!

The Reality: There actually is no epic viral video featuring a panda and a baby. You can keep clicking to skip the ads all you want, but it won’t do you any good whatsoever. Suckers.

Conclusions

Hopefully these pranks are all still live as you read this, but the nature of April Fools’ Day pranks on the Web means some may have already disappeared from the sites responsible for them. In which case all that remains is the screenshot or video proving that someone, somewhere was once creative enough to concoct a clever concept for April Fools’ Day.

What do you think of the April Fools’ Day pranks 4 Free April Fools Prank Ideas Your Friends Will Love 4 Free April Fools Prank Ideas Your Friends Will Love Read More listed above? Or the other ones that were played on the Web as a whole in 2013? What about those played in previous years? Do you love that Google spends so much time creating April Fools’ Day pranks or do you wish the company’s employees spent their time a little more sensibly? As always we’re keen to hear your thoughts on the matter, so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Image Credit: Eric Heunthep

  1. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    April 5, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Kudos to Google Nigeria. My, that's hilarious, since I have a pile of 'inheritance letter from Nigeria' in my inbox.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:36 am

      And you haven't responded to any of them yet? What are you waiting for, you future millionaire, you?!

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        April 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

        Don't you know I'm posting this from my new villa? I think I can spare you a dime or two.

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        April 12, 2013 at 11:26 am

        I just found this via link-hopping today. If you have enough time, maybe this will give you some laugh.http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=19542

        No,it's not an April Fool's joke

  2. Sangram Anand
    April 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    All april fools day pranks are good, the Sprint specs prank was awesome...:)

  3. Cheri
    April 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Google Nose got me! LOL I had a GOOD LAUGH at myself for that one..SMH

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:35 am

      How could you?! ;)

  4. Pooky Joralyn
    April 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I like Vimeow :D

  5. Kcalpesh Ajugia
    April 4, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Think what google nigeria did was the best :-D.... all in all, all of the pranks are good break from a daily hectic grind....

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:35 am

      It wasn't actually Google Nigeria, but I kinda wish it had been lol.

  6. Nevzat A
    April 4, 2013 at 6:57 am

    oh those cat videos, I love 'em.

  7. Rajaa Chowdhury
    April 4, 2013 at 1:48 am

    This time I really fell in for both the Google April Fool pranks -> Google Nose BETA and GMail Blue. :(

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      April 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      Google Nose. Wait. what?

      • Dave Parrack
        April 6, 2013 at 3:35 am

        Did you not hear? You can now smell search results through your computer screen. Like the smell of gullible fools realizing they've fallen for another April Fools' Day prank.

        • Lisa Santika Onggrid
          April 7, 2013 at 6:46 am

          Sigh. I was offline for the best week of internet.

        • Rajaa Chowdhury
          April 9, 2013 at 9:01 am

          I read, there is actually something similar which have come out on TV technology therefore I fell for Google Nose. I was literally trying to smell my monitor. How gullible. :(

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:33 am

      You fell for both? I may have fallen for Gmail Blue on another day, but I was waiting for it. Google Nose is never going to happen though, surely!

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        April 7, 2013 at 6:46 am

        Well you never know. I've read at least two articles which describe some scientists' tireless endeavour to replicate digital scents.
        Not that I want to smell blood when I watch horror movies.

  8. Jeff
    April 4, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Android Play's involved an update to their Push Technology app. I didn't click on the update button, but reading the hundreds of funny and bizarre reviews, it had to be a prank. Provide me an email address and I'll send a screenshot of the app update.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      April 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      upload to imgur and let us see.

  9. dragonmouth
    April 3, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Actually Tweety Bird predates Woodstock by about 25 years, so he has a better claim to being the original Tweeter. Tweety Bird first appeared in 1942 while Woodstock first appeared in 1967.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:32 am

      Or you could completely miss the point ;)

  10. Henk van Setten
    April 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Here is mine - pharmaceutical firm Mizer introducing (on April 1st, of course) its new medicine Contrazac, that will work as a ***depressant*** to counteract the effects of existing antidepressant medication.
    You can find it at:
    http://stayontop.org/2013/03/31/why-live-like-a-dork/

    (PS - afaik it was not on Twitter, Dave!)

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:32 am

      Not on Twitter? Pfft, that'll be why I didn't spot this one then ;)

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