Every year I look forward to seeing what Google has cooked up as its April Fools’ prank. It has come up with some very hilarious pranks over the years so naturally many were excited to see what the company came up with this year. What it did come up with ended up costing some people their jobs, Google quickly pulled the gag and has now apologized for the whole episode and has also explained precisely what went wrong.
Google introduced Gmail Mic Drop as its April Fools’ prank for 2016. It allowed users to reply to any email with a new “Send + Mic Drop” button. Clicking on the button added a mic drop GIF featuring a Minion and also muted the threat, so even if the recipients replied to the email the user wouldn’t be able to see new emails in that thread.
You can immediately see how this might play out in the exact opposite way that Google would have wanted to. It didn’t take long for the criticism to pile in and for Google to pull the plug on this prank.
It has since updated the original announcement post with an apology. The company says that it’s working to bring back Mic-Dropped messages that had subsequent replies in users’ inbox so that they’re able to read the emails they might have missed out on as the threads were muted once the Mic Drop functionality was used.
Google further says that it should have asked users before turning on the feature for all of them and it should have included a confirmation before sending. It also acknowledges that it didn’t consider accidental clicks to the Send + Mic Drop button as it was placed too close to the regular Send and Send & Archive buttons and this ended up causing confusion.
“Again, sorry. We love April Fools jokes at Google, and we regret that this joke missed the mark and disappointed you,” it apologizes for the second time towards the end of the update to its post. Google has done much better in the past and we can be sure that it’s going to be extra careful about April Fools’ day pranks in the coming years.