A year ago, Google’s incredibly thorough April Fools’ 2013 prank would have easily won the title of awesomest April Fools’ prank ever. But today? Maybe not.
This year’s prank is a video talking about how today, 8 years from the launch of YouTube, YouTube will no longer be accepting videos:
Short and long of it:
- It’s been 8 years with an average of 70 hours of video uploaded each minute (~560 years of footage in all, for those wondering)
- YouTube is/was one big contest to find the best video ever
- Tonight at midnight (April 1st, 2013) YouTube will accept videos no more
- Site will be back online in 2023 showing only the one, winning video
If this was Google’s 2012 April Fool’s prank, it would be hilarious. But today? In light of the very much real shut down of Google Reader?
Is this Google taking the recent outrage over the death of Google Reader and 38 other services (and many smaller ones) Google has killed over the years? It’s nice that they have a jolly enough spirit to make fun of themselves, but with Larry Page at the Helm, it really is not such a huge leap of imagination to see YouTube suddenly at risk of extinction. Perhaps that‘s what the empty grave in Slate’s Google Graveyard is actually reserved for.
Obviously Google isn’t going to shutter YouTube, but the point is, no one really knows what they will or won’t kill next. All in all, bad timing on Google’s behalf; this year’s April Fools’ prank is no joking matter. Is it any surprise the interwebs are full of YouTube addicts suddenly seriously fearing for the future of their cat videos, racist comments, and déjà vu video clips?