What Will Google Do for April Fools Day?

    March 30, 2006

April Fools Day is just two days away, and the question on everyone’s lips is (if by everyone, you myopically only mean me), what will Google do?

The last two years, Google has done some pretty big things for April Fools Day. Problem is, only half of them were jokes. On April 1, 2004, they released Gmail, which was such a radical idea (a gig? But MSN only has 2 MB!) that most people thought it was a hoax to make Hotmail and Yahoo look bad. They also announced the opening of the Google Copernicus Center, a Google research center on the moon.

On April 1, 2005, Google doubled Gmail to 2 gigs. It was more believable, the idea of infinitely increasing storage, but it still gave many people pause. The real joke: Google Gulp, a Google branded brain drink. Previous years saw PigeonRank, the technology that powers Google using a bunch of pigeons tapping on keyboards, and MentalPlex, which guessed what you were going to search for before you did. Just remember to remove your glasses and hat :-)

So, what’s happening this year? Likely, the only real product announcement will be Gmail related, since 4/1 seems to be Gmail day, so I’m predicting something random: Gmail Public Storage, letting you store large files on Google’s servers for others to download, and so you can link to them in your emails. Basically, Google’s version of RapidShare, but without all the annoying advertising. Some people will use it for podcast files.

Yeah, it’ll probably be something else entirely, but I had to guess something. What do you guys think the real announcement will be, and what will the joke be? Should be an entertaining day, as always.

Google Operating System tries to guess the jokes. I like the idea of Google pretending to delete everyone’s Gmail inbox, although its so extreme it might be too risky. Nicholas is predicting the real release will be the Google Calendar, a very good guess.

Philipp has an open thread with guesses, including Godzilla in Google Maps, Gmail leaving beta, Big Mommy and Big Baby data centers, and Google Cavity Search.

You know what would be the greatest prank of all time? Adding “A Yahoo Company” to every Google service logo.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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