Skip to main content

Google apologizes for Gmail’s big Gfail on April Fools’ Day

google gmail april fool fail mic drop 900 x 600
Gmail April Fools' Day Prank Feature From the Official Gmail Blog
Gmail April Fools’ Day #fail. Have you ever truly messed up with email? Of course you have. We all have. Whether you sent an angry note about your boss to your boss by mistake or clicked “send all” for a sensitive email you meant for one set of eyes only, email flubs can be embarrassing, relationship threatening, and even job-ending. Well, rest easy, because yesterday Gmail topped us all with a related April Fools’ Day prank and soon had to issue an apology.

Gmail’s annual April Fools’ Day joke got immediate backlash from users who didn’t find it funny at all. The prank came in the form of a post on the Official Gmail Blog. The post started by establishing a common problem; email threads from which we want to escape because they’re time-wasting, inappropriate, or repetitious. And truly, when you’re trying to be productive and someone includes you on a group email asking what everyone did over the weekend or what they think will happen on the next episode of The Walking Dead, the ability to extract oneself from the thread would be wonderful.

Laugh it up! The 30 best April Fools’ Day tech jokes of 2016

The new Send + Mic Drop feature was introduced with the claim that “friends and family have been testing Gmail Mic Drop for months, and the response so far has been awesome.” When you clicked on the Mic Drop button, according to the post, an “explanatory image” would accompany the email. Apparently those who bought into the joke assumed what would go out would be a dignified notice that the sender had left the thread. But that’s not how it played out.

Clicking on Mic Drop sent the message along with a GIF of a minion-like character dressed in a royal cloak and crown. The minion spun around and then dropped a microphone out of the image frame.

Negative feedback was immediate. Apparently it didn’t occur to many people that April Fools’ Day was coming. Those who were offended likely also didn’t know that the Gmail team has a history of pranks, and they didn’t take a hint from the blog post closing, “Stay tuned and stay saucy.”

In an apologetic update on the same post (so those of us who think it’s funny at least can see the post and the spinning minion), the Gmail team called it a bug and stated, “UPDATE: Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year.

Editors' Recommendations

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
Microsoft is testing out Gmail and Google Drive integration for
how to sync your Outlook calendar with an iPhone

Outlook might soon let you access the contents of your Gmail inbox and Google Drive from within the web mail version of Microsoft’s popular email client.

According to The Verge, Microsoft has been discovered testing out this new Google account integration feature for The new feature was first spotted on Wednesday, November 20, by a Twitter user known as Florian B.

Read more
Yes, Google tracks and collects your online purchases through Gmail. But why?
Google Press Photo of Google products

Personal data is collected through so many services and applications, it's overwhelming to keep track of it all. It's even more unsettling, though, when it happens without our knowledge or consent.

According to a report by CNBC, Google has been tracking its account users’ purchase history via their Gmail accounts. The tracking goes beyond just online purchases you might have made via one of its own sites, like Google Play. If you have a Gmail account and you’ve used your Gmail account to receive receipts or other payment confirmation emails from other vendors, Google has aggregated all of that information for you in a Google Account web page no one knew existed called Purchases.

Read more
Gmail logs your purchase history, undermining Google’s commitment to privacy
pixel 2

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google tracks many of your online purchases, even if they are bought from a non-Google affiliated store like Amazon, according to a report from CNBC this week -- a troubling example of the way that Google collects data from the services you use without you being aware of it.

Read more