Google Cancels April Fools Pranks a Second Time, Due to COVID-19 Crisis

Google’s VP of global marketing, Marvin Chao, asked managers to ‘pause on the jokes’.

Google Cancels April Fools Pranks a Second Time, Due to COVID-19 Crisis

Google asked employees to focus on appropriate ways to bring users joy via Doodles and Easter Eggs

Highlights
  • Google is known for its elaborate pranks every year
  • The tech giant cancelled April Fools last year as well
  • Google will focus more on Doodles, Easter Eggs instead

Google has cancelled its April Fools' day pranks this year due to the ongoing pandemic. The company confirmed its plans to not indulge in any jokes this year and instead focus its efforts on the fight against the pandemic. This is the second year that Google has cancelled its prank plans. The tech giant is famous for its elaborate pranks on this day. In the recent years, it had announced fake plans for a Mars settlement, and introduced a human-animal translation app as part of its usual annual April Fools' Day jokes.

This became a bit of a trend for all tech firms, but in 2020, most took a step back, recognising how the COVID pandemic required a more serious mindset. One year later, this message seems to have stuck, and we've seen relatively few companies try and cash-in on jokes during a deadly pandemic.

Business Insider reports that Google executives sent out an internal email to managers earlier in March asking them to ‘pause the jokes' in light of the disruption caused by COVID-19 in the past year. Google has decided to stop its April Fools pranks for second year in a row due to the hardships that people have had to face during the lockdowns and the pandemic-scare.

Google's VP of global marketing, Marvin Chow, in his email said, “As you will remember, last year we made the decision to pause our longstanding Google tradition of celebrating April Fools' Day, out of respect for all those fighting COVID-19. With much of the world still grappling with serious challenges, we feel we should again pause the jokes for April Fools' Day this year. Like we did last year, we should continue to find appropriate ways to bring moments of joy to our users throughout the year (e.g. Doodles, easter eggs, etc.).”

An official statement from Google was also shared by The Verge. “In 2020, we made the decision to pause our longstanding Google tradition of celebrating April Fools' Day, out of respect for all those fighting COVID-19. With much of the world still grappling with serious challenges, we will again pause the jokes for April Fools' Day in 2021,” the statement reads.

While Google is choosing to be sensitive to the ongoing global scenario and the looming coronavirus second wave that seems to be worse than the initial one, some companies in India are still choosing to post jokes and pretend to be completely oblivious to the disruptions in the outside world. Flipkart announced that it is now accepting Bitcoin as an official mode of payment inside the app and asked all users to update immediately.

Realme also played an elaborate prank by teasing multiple Meow-branded products, including the Meow Book, a 100-inch Meow TV, Meow AI Speaker, and even Meow VR Glasses. However, in its recent tweet it said that this may be an April Fools prank, and nothing else.


Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, has a double bill this week: the OnePlus 9 series, and Justice League Snyder Cut (starting at 25:32). Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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