Playing April Fool’s Day pranks is fine if you’re a news site, brand or actual human being doing it in real life, but less so if you’re a global tech product.
Google are learning this lesson today as their own April Fool’s stunt goes seriously, disastrously, spectacularly wrong.
What’s the joke?
The web giant is letting users of Gmail, the world’s most popular email service, “drop the mic” during conversations, leaving a Minions GIF as your curt sign-off.
“Simply reply to any email using the new ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button,” Google says. “Everyone will get your message, but that’s the last you’ll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won’t see it.”
Here it is in action:
Unless you hit the button by accident. Then it’s a bit less hilarious.
Sample responses on Google’s own forum include the following:
“Seriously Google? You mess with peoples’ email like this. I use gmail for my one-man business. I can’t afford for you clowns to mess around with my business.”
“I just completed and questionnaire via e-mail for a JOB and accidentally hit the send + mic drop button!!! GOOGLE I WANT THIS FEATURE TURNED OFF!!”
“I wish Mic Drop would Drop Dead from my gmail page.”
One user even claimed it cost them their job:
“Thanks to ‘mic drop’ I just lost my job.”
In its original post about the jokey feature, Google claimed that “friends and family have been testing Gmail Mic Drop for months, and the response so far has been awesome”.
Looks like the joke’s on them.