April Fool’s Day: Twitter, Google ‘launches’ new services

It’s April 1st, and pranksters are doing their best to dupe readers – or at least give them a laugh. Not to be left behind, were internet giants Twitter and Google, who introduced their new, revolutionary services.

Take a look.

Twitter

The company announced that it’s making Twitter a two-tiered service, introducing a new paid premium ‘Twitter’ service that lets users tweet if they pay $5 a month. The fun part was that users who don’t move to the paid service can continue to use the ‘Twttr’ version of the social networking service free of charge which will not allow them to use vowels in their tweets.

Twitter even justified the reason for allowing only consonants saying that eliminating vowels will ‘encourage a more efficient and “dense” form of communication’. It illustrated the basic service with a mockup of the most retweeted Tweet of all time without vowels.

The blog post goes on to (pseudo)pacify users saying that the vowels in URLs will remain free for everyone, forever and that users can also Tweet in non-Latin characters based languages, like Japanese, Chinese, Arabic or Korean, which will remain unaffected by the service change.

The prank was not just limited to the consonants – vowels bit. Twitter also announced that it would offer a single character extension, expanding the length of a Tweet to 141 characters for advertisers who use Promoted Products. It said that the price of the extra character would be based on a bidding system reflecting the popularity of the character the advertiser would like to add.

To induce more laughs, the blog showcases mock up of tweets from popular users and quotes Michael Sippey, VP Product at twitter who talks about the inspiration behind the new changes. The blog post also links to a page that automatically transforms Tweets into a Twttr friendly format (without vowels), which welcomes users with a ‘Happy April fool’s day’ message. However, the page does function as promised and removes vowels from tweets!

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Google

United States-based tech giant Google, known for its outlandish April Fools’ Day pranks in the past,  played not one but three pranks!

Google Nose.

The tagline for the new Google Nose was – Smelling is Believing, Google brings the sense of smell to a search engine. the product description went further to say, Google Nose is still in Beta stage and has compiled the smells from all across using Google Maps.

Google Nose also featured StreetSense which allowed users to smell addresses from the comfort of their armchair, and Android Ambient Odour Detection, which let smartphone users collect smells with their device.

 

YouTube is closing down

YouTube attempted the biggest hoax by using interviews with stars from its most famous videos to announce the site had actually been an eight-year contest to find the best video in the world, and 30,000 technicians would now review every single video posted on the site before announcing the winner in 10 years’ time.

“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,” the company said.

The winner would be announced in 2023, it said.

Treasure map

In another announcement via a YouTube clip, Google revealed a new mode for Google Maps.

The video announced the Google Maps street view team were diving off the coast of Madagascar last year when they discovered a treasure map belonging to the infamous pirate William “Captain” Kidd. The map contains a variety of encrypted symbols which readers were tasked with deciphering.

So what was your April fools prank this year?

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Written by Regina Timothy

Editor of TechNews Report. Loves all things technology

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