The first of April is a gullible person’s least favorite day of the year. Tricked into thinking their shoes are untied is just the tip of the iceberg for these individuals. Now, these same people are subject to another source of April Fools’ Day pranks: social media. In the spirit of good humor and generating buzz, companies from Starbucks to YouTube prank followers around the world using social media platforms to ensure maximum exposure. So, take a retrospective look back at some of the famous pranks on social media while you prepare yourself for this year’s first of April. And, for those of you who are gullible, consider this your training!
In 2011, Starbucks Tweeted that it was beginning a new service called “Starbucks Mobile Pour.” For those with “a huge craving for Starbucks coffee with no time to find a location,” all you had to do was enter your order and location in a mobile app and your drink would be delivered to you – by a barista on a scooter. Certainly, there were those who wished this service was more than just an April Fools’ Day joke.
Also in 2011, YouTube pranked users and followers by celebrating its 100th Birthday with a new feature: a “1911” button. Overlaying videos with a grainy filter and rag-time piano music, videos were transformed back to YouTube’s “roots” a century ago. Hopefully nobody actually got YouTube a gift, though.
Honda joined the April Fools’ Day fray in 2012 with their new feature: the Anti-Theft Negotiator. The announcement came with a YouTube video demonstrating how the car would negotiate with thieves. The idea of a carjacker reasoning with a car was comical, although some may have been left wondering if it would come standard or not.
And finally, we will leave you with Google’s 2012 announcement of “Google Street Roo.” By attaching cameras on the heads of 1000-plus kangaroos, Google hoped map the entire Australian outback “one bounce at a time.” Google said that it aimed to capture 98% of the outback within 3 years, but we just hope that nobody is holding their breath.