Google is well known for the fact that they take April Fool’s Day really, really seriously. Google love to prank their users on the 1ST April, and in the past we’ve had a range of hilarious April Fools jokes from the multi-user search engine and email platform.
But, this April Fool’s Day, Google’s Gmail April Fools prank didn’t go altogether as well as they’d probably hoped. They added the ‘Mic Drop’ prank to Gmail, an idea that seems pretty funny and cute when you first hear about it – it allows a Gmail user to send a virtual Despicable Me ‘minion mic drop’ GIF to their email recipient while immediately archiving the entire conversation.
On paper, it’s hilarious – a witty, appropriate way of ending an email conversation that could potentially never have ended. Plus, it’s a harmless way to have a laugh with your email pals… or is it?
Yeah. Unfortunately, Google’s minion-inspired April Fool’s joke didn’t quite go to plan, resulting in them pulling it much earlier than they had planned. It turns out that the ‘mic drop’ feature was actually put in place of an actual feature called ‘Send and Archive’ that appears alongside the ‘Send’ button when replying. If you’re looking at your Gmail account and scratching your head looking for this feature, it usually has to be switched on manually through the settings menu.
The results were, well, awful to say the very least. With the caption: ‘What a harmless April Fool’s joke, what could go wrong?’, one guy tweeted screenshots of an email reply featuring the mic drop sent by a FUNERAL HOME to a GRIEVING FAMILY!!
In another instance, a job seeker sent her resume to an employer, only to discover that the job application had, in fact, included the GIF of a minion dropping the mic. Oops. We can only hope that the HR department has a good sense of humor, or at least used Gmail themselves and understood that it was a prank gone wrong.
That isn’t where it ends, though – another user took to the Google forums to ask if Google would give him a job. Why? The ‘mic drop’ feature had apparently not gone down too well with his boss when the guy, who is a writer, had sent it in place of some articles that he had written for her.
It’s safe to say that after receiving a barrage of complaints, Google quickly pulled the feature, restoring normality to Gmail. Although many who hadn’t activated the ‘Send and Archive’ button reported that they were lucky and didn’t have the prank feature added to their accounts, many came forward to say that they’d also fallen foul to the April 1 joke and had accidentally sent the mic drop or noticed the feature even though they hadn’t previously activated ‘Send and Archive’.
Updating their March 31 blog post which introduced the Mic Drop feature, Google apologised for any negative impact that the April Fool’s prank caused. In the post, they explained that they were pulling the feature due to the fact that they heard feedback from many users detailing negative impacts, and were working hard to restore any replies to mic-drop messages to users’ inboxes. They also ensured Google Apps business, government or education users that this feature was never turned on, and that it was intended for personal accounts only.
Still, plenty of people use a personal account for business, or sending important messages. But, Google has learned from the mistake and have assured users that they’ll ask them first before trying any pranks in future.
*Featured Image – Credit Edwardgerges | Dreamstime.com