YouTube and Google launch April Fool’s Day prank

On Sunday night, those naughty engineers at YouTube and Google hit millions of Internet users with an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank.

On March 31, YouTube’s official channel launched a video entitled “YouTube’s ready to select a winner” and suggested that the popular video site – which recently announced that it has surpassed one billion monthly users – would be shut down after an eight-year experiment. The April Fool’s Day joke generated nearly one million views in less than 24 hours.

In a simple entry, the description box read:

Thanks for all your great entries. YouTube finally has enough videos to begin selecting a winner. What do you think is the #bestvideo on YouTube?

We’ve been thrilled with all of the diverse, creative entries we’ve seen so far, and we can’t wait to begin the process of selecting the best video. We’ll be announcing the winner in 10 years.

Similarly, the site’s official blog addressed the YouTube community: “When we started out in 2005, we focused on rapidly increasing user engagement. We wanted an inventive way to draw people in and catalyze their creativity. The result? A contest for the best video on our site. Nearly eight years later, with 72 hours of video being uploaded every minute, we finally have enough content to close the competition. We’ve started the process to select a winner and as of tomorrow at midnight, we will be closing the site to submissions.”

If this were a real contest, however, users would likely select Korean rapper PSY’s “Gangnam Style” as the best video ever. With nearly 1.49 billion YouTube views since being uploaded on July 2012, is there even an argument?

On Monday, parent company Google launched its own elaborate April Fool’s Day prank by supposedly launching a beta version of Google Nose. The Silicon Valley-based search engine giant claimed that the technology is able to deliver aroma via the Internet.

Google Nose (BETA) leverages new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available:

Street Sense vehicles have inhaled and indexed millions of atmospheric miles.

Android Ambient Odor Detection collects smells via the world’s most sensible mobile operating system.

SMELLCD™ 1.8+ high-resolution compatible for precise and controlled odors.

On Sunday, Google pulled off another prank through its Analytics website. The real-time dashboard shows web administrators that there are 41 current visitors to their website from the International Space Station (orbiting around earth).

Sadly, I fell for that one and even posted it on my Facebook.

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