Google’s April Fools 2008

Virgle

Happy April Fools’ Day!

Google has a tradition of releasing April fool hoaxes since 2000. With dominance in many web platforms, the scope of hoax has broaden in 2008. Some of the hoaxes for 2008 are listed below:

Google releases Adsense for conversations

Google’s Orkut displays its name as Yogurt

Google announces a joint project with the Virgin Group that aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. This operation has been named Project Virgle. it also includes videos of Richard Branson as well as Larry Page & Sergey Brin (The Founders of Google) on YouTube , talking about Virgle.

Google launches Dajare in Japan (google.co.jp), with the mission of “organizing the world’s laughter.”

Google announces gDay in Australia, a new beta search technology that will search web pages 24 hours before they are created.

Gmail’s sign-in page announced a new feature, called Gmail Custom Time, that would allow its users to “pre-date” their messages and choose to have the message appear as “read” or “unread”.

Around 11:00 p.m. EST March 31, 2008, on the newer and older version of Gmail, but not in the basic HTML version, in the upper right corner, next to Settings, a link appeared labeled, “New! Gmail Custom Time”. The link led to a 404 error until April 1when it led to the full Gmail Custom Time hoax page. Clicking any of the three links at the bottom of the page brought the user to a page stating that Gmail Custom time was, in fact, their April Fool’s day joke.

Google Books has a new section allowing users to ‘scratch and sniff’ certain books. Users are asked to “…please place your nose near the monitor and click ‘Go’” which then ‘loads odours’. When clicking on ‘Help’ users are redirected to a Google Book page entitled “Belgravia: A London Magazine”

Google launches Manpower Search (??????) in China (google.cn). This new feature is powered by 25 million volunteers who do the searching around the clock. When the user entered a keyword, volunteers will search any possible answers from a mass of paper documents as well as online resources. The user is expected to get the search result within 32 seconds.

A little easter egg was added, where a user can click the file menu and directly under new document is “New Airplane” which immediately opens a copy of a Google branded paper airplane. To reach the file menu, click the new menu, then “Document” then a new window opens.

Google launched their “Wake Up Kit” as a calendar notification option. The option sends a series of increasingly aggressive alerts, starting with an SMS message to your cellphone, and ending with a bucket of water dumped into your bed, which would then flip over, tossing you out (all using apparently-free equipment). Google also added the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button to its calendar feature. When you tried to create a new event, you were given the regular option of entering the correct details and hitting “Create Event,” and also the new option of “I’m Feeling Lucky” which would set you up with an evening date with, among others, Matt Damon, Eric Cartman, Tom Cruise, Jessica Alba, Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Anna Kournikova, Johnny Depp, George W. Bush, or Lois Griffin.

If you want to know about previous april fool hoaxes from Google you can visit this wikipedia listing.

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