The April Fool’s Day jokes that popped, tanked and made us sad

pac-man google april fool's prank 2017

The day that celebrates fake news has come and gone. It’s now 3 April, and there’s no need to cower beneath your bed waiting for April Fool’s Day to end.

We resisted posting our own April Fool’s story because, well, it’s not exactly a responsible thing to do in the current news climate. But that doesn’t mean others shirked their responsibility.

We take a look at some of the April Fool’s Day pranks and jokes that popped, tanked and completely caught us off guard.

What popped: Pornhub shares your naughty clips to Facebook

Oh Pornhub.

Never afraid of ruffling a few feathers, the adult video hosting site gave users the fright of their lives on 1 April.

pornhub april fools day 2017 joke

Yeah. That’s absolutely barbaric.

The joke, which turned into a rather nifty marketing campaign, saw over 56 000 upvotes on Reddit’s /r/funny board, and a good few comments to boot.

“Finally! Nothing grinds my gears more than having to manually share the porn I’m watching on Facebook,” one user quipped.

There’s never a dull moment on the internet.

What made us sad: George Takei won’t run for US congress in 2018

Damn it, George. We were totally with you!

In a hilariously serious article published by The Daily Buzz, the legendary George Takei announced that he would run for US Congress.

“With what is going on now in the country, I couldn’t stand by any longer merely as a citizen,” he tells the site.

“I knew I had to take a bigger stand. So that’s why I’m running for Congress. My hope is to challenge Davin Nunes for his seat in 2018.”

But, nope. April Fool’s!

Takei took to Twitter to announce that the article was in fact an elaborate joke, and instead was a campaign for Democrat Jon Ossoff.

What popped: Snapchat’s makes Instagram its April Fool

Someone please get Instagram some burn cream stat.

Snapchat took a literal side swipe at its Facebook-owned rival this weekend, with an Instagram filter. And you probably know why…

Facebook is well known for borrowing the company’s Stories feature and placing it on every Facebook app, including WhatsApp, Messenger, and even the Facebook app itself. And Snapchat just couldn’t resist “copying” one of Facebook’s features.

The filter is effectively a mock-up of a typical Instagram page, including likes from @my_mom.

Gloriously unsubtle.

What tanked: Travelstart’s trip to Rome

Oh dear.

Travelstart’s April Fool’s Day prank, although theoretically genius, didn’t quite work.

The travel booking site sent its users a confirmation mail of a round trip to Rome valued at over R6000. But when users clicked on a link within the email, they were instead taken to a page advertising flights to Rome.

According to TimesLIVE, there wasn’t any other indication that the mail was a Fool’s joke. Not on the site, not on its Twitter account.

The company also failed to apologize to users post-prank, users who were likely halfway through ironing those cotton slacks and mapping out their itinerary.

What made us sad: Netflix mockingly ventures into live content

This was actually pretty damn smart, Netflix.

The company decided to rip off the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube’s obsession with live content with a live content package of its own. The result? Netflix LIVE!, a 40-odd minute long internal monologue of Will Arnette narrating some of the Netflix campus’s most pressing issues. Like operating microwaves. Or parallel parking.

We’re sad this isn’t an actual thing, because it really ought to be.

Catch it on the service here.

What popped: Google’s gaggle of stupidly fun pranks

Oh boy, Google Maps has never been this entertaining.

Taking a leaf out of Pokemon Go’s playbook, Google transformed its Maps service into the world’s biggest playable game of Pac-Man.

We should note that the company’s cheating a bit here, recycling a joke it used in 2015. But we’ll give it some leeway here — it is rather fun!

Notably, this wasn’t Google’s only April Fool’s Day prank either. Google Gnome, Google’s ridiculous Chromebook accessories, and the company’s Mars-based data centre all featured this year.

And then there’s Google Wind…

What made us sad: Emirates, we really wanted a park on a plane

Twitter was an oft-used vehicle for the propagation of pranks this year. Emirates was one of the companies that used it well.

Perhaps mocking the size of airplanes in today’s world, or simply mocking the list of features available on its own flights, Emirates announced that its latest plane will feature three levels, and a park. Oh, and a “swimming pool, games room” and “gym”.

Look, it’s ridiculous, but we thought the gargantuan A380 was ridiculous just a few years ago. Granted, there might be a few issues with that swimming pool though…

Andy Walker, former editor


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