When you get past the idea that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) essentially monitors everything you do online, it’s possible to actually recognize that at least a few people working on their campus have a fairly decent sense of humor. Just look at Sebastian Thrun, the head engineer who actually thinks I’m going to enjoy getting into a car driven by….nobody.
That said, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has a proven track record over the last few years of celebrating April Fool’s Day in style and this year is no different.
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To begin with, and where April 1st starts, is the Google Australia blog, which has announced Google SCHMICK — Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit. This feature allows owners of bland homes to bling up their Google Street View, complete with kangaroos and a barby full of shrimp. Thankfully for those who fall for this one, Google immediately forwards you to a page that lets you know you’ve been punked.
The next is pure genius. On the heels of announcing that YouTube is now seeing 1 billion repeat viewers each month, those that view the page today will see the startling announcement that YouTube is shutting down. The 3:32 video explains that the eight year contest to determine the best video is over and that judging will continue for 10 years before YouTube resumes in 2013. The video features several YouTube stars from over the years, including Antoine Dodson, David Devore Jr. — the drugged up post-dental appointment kid (my favorite) , Judson Laipply of “Evolution of Dance” fame and others you undoubtedly know well.
For those who find themselves visiting the Google Search page today they will find a new search possibility. Google Nose, “the new scentsation in search.” If you’re foolhardy enough to give it a sniff, you will be treated to what “people also sniffed,” in its “Beta” mode.
Not to be left out the engineers at Google+ also got involved in the list of pranks, allowing you to add emoticons to your photos because…” Because “when it comes to expressing yourself, nothing beats the richness and elegance of a few properly placed colons, parentheses, letters and hyphens.”
Finally, for those that actively use the Real-Time section of Google Analytics, you’ll be pleased to know that 41 people are presently viewing your site from the International Space Station if you’re fortunate or unfortunate enough to click the “Locations” tab.
I’m not certain that this is enough to push software engineers up the list of “funniest professions” but it’s good to know that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is stilling having fun at our expense. Or theirs, the YouTube video cost some money and is definitely worth the stream time.