The Fading Trend of Tech Industry Pranks


Lucas A. Meyer


April 1, 2023

In the tech industry, it used to be an amusing tradition for companies to play pranks on their employees and customers every April Fool’s Day. However, it seems that this trend is slowly fading away.

One of the tech giants to famously prank their users was Google. In 2005, Google released a beta version of their new email service, Gmail, which included a feature that allowed users to send emails back in time. In 2008, they introduced “Gmail Custom Time,” a fake feature that allowed users to backdate emails to make them appear as if they had been sent earlier.

Microsoft also joined in on the fun by introducing a new product called “Microsoft MS-DOS Mobile,” which was essentially a joke that made fun of the early operating systems by making the user interface look like a command prompt.

In 2010, Twitter announced a new feature called “The Twitter Helmet,” that would allow users to tweet directly from their helmet while skydiving, skiing or biking.

As entertaining as these pranks were, for those of us who worked in customer support, April Fool’s Day was not always the most enjoyable day. Customers often called in, confused and angry about the fake new features that tech companies were promoting.

It seems that tech companies have stopped playing pranks on their customers and employees, and maybe it’s for the best. Although these jokes were a fun way to provide entertainment and engage with their customers, it is not worth the potential backlash and confusion that could arise.

As the tech industry evolves and continues to grow, it is important for companies to stay true to their mission and core values. Perhaps, leaving pranks in the past is the best way to ensure that companies maintain their reputation and focus on providing quality products and services to their customers.