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The Best Internet Pranks Of April Fools 2017

April Fools’ Day came and went, and it’s that one time of the year when people around the world gain some unspoken license to pull pranks on their friends.

This is especially a good way for web developers and website administrators to present something a little out-of-the-box and entertain their audiences — two birds in one stone! Sites like Google and Reddit have made it a tradition to present some April Fools pranks for their users, but it seems like every website is in on the action. Let’s take a look at some of the best of them!

Hulu

TV streaming service Hulu celebrated April Fools by launching a snarky prank. According to The Verge, Hulu announced that they will be launching a service called “Hu,” in which they will be cutting down TV episodes to just 8 seconds, to better fit the people’s “shortened attention span.” To show off their commitment, they even had Hu versions of Seinfeld and The Mindy Project, among others.

Netflix

The current giant of streaming services, Netflix got their April Fools’ on by presenting what they called “Netflix Live.” It’s got a catchy name — as it is with most things when you add the word “Live” to it — but what exactly is it? No one really knows, except that we got Will Arnett narrating the most mundane things. Whether this is just a way to pass April Fools or a program that they will actually keep making still remains to be seen.

Actor Will Arnett speaks during a keynote address by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at CES 2016 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Netflix got Will Arnett narrating ‘very ordinary things’ in ‘Netflix Live.’ [Image by by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]

Duolingo

Duolingo is an excellent way to learn a new language. It has a decent selection of courses, it is free, and the community-based approach makes it a bit more accessible. That it got itself a lot of users is in itself impressive, as learning a new language can be daunting at times. As a treat to fans this April Fools, they released a new set of learning cards… for an Emoji Language Course! Imagine the surprise, huh? The upside is we could probably at least understand the upcoming Emoji Movie better.

Reddit

Reddit had a beautiful April Fools in 2015 when they released “The Button,” a sort of social experiment that eventually became an unforgettable part of the website’s history. Have they outdone themselves this year? Perhaps not, but their offering is somewhat similar in philosophy.

They put up something called “Place” this year, which is basically a large blank canvas where each user can place a pixel of color every five minutes. It’s a social experiment in a similar vein as The Button, what with hierarchies popping up and teams and connections made mainly because of the colors each user favors. However, Reddit being Reddit, it’s not really unusual to see genitals drawn all over “The Place.”

Co-Founder and Executive Chair of Reddit, and Partner at Y Combinator, Alexis Ohanian (L) and co-editor at TechCrunch, Alexia Tsotsis appear onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2015
Alexis Ohanian (L), Co-founder and Executive Chair of Reddit, with Alexia Tsotsis (R), Co-editor at TechCrunch. [Image by Noam Galai/Getty Images]

Google

Google perhaps won April Fools this year — unsurprisingly. It’s not only that they had a ton of these pranks scattered around their network of services for users to find, it’s also because they actually are funny. Take for instance their promotion for the new selfie stick for the Chromebook. Or even “Google Gnome,” a smart robot gnome that takes care of your lawn!

They’ve also made Google Maps into a fully functioning game of PacMan back in 2015, in what was later dubbed as “Pac-Maps.” This year, they released the “sequel” for it as Google Maps became a haven for digital ghosts again, this time inspired by the video game Ms. Pacman.

Needless to say, these pranks are just a way of developers to have fun for April Fools’ Day. Once again, these examples prove that comedy indeed demands creativity — with the most creative presentations being the most rewarding.

[Featured Image by David Ramos/Getty Images]

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