The Button: Reddit’s Mysterious April Fool’s Day Joke Has Everyone Wondering What Happens When It Hits Zero

The Button was one of the more genius April Fool’s Day jokes, but the new Reddit page may be around a long time until people figure out exactly what it all means.

The approach was simple. On Wednesday, a new Reddit page showed up called The Button. At the top of the page was a button alongside a time counting down from 60 seconds. Any registered Reddit user could re-set the timer back to 60 seconds by hitting the button, but they could only hit it once.

So what happens when The Button reaches the end of its clock? So far it hasn’t even gotten close. More than 425,000 Reddit users have hit the button, which isn’t getting below 58 seconds.

Reddit didn’t offer many hints as to what The Button did, noting in the official announcement:

When this post is 10 minutes old, a button and timer will become active at /r/thebutton. The timer will count down from 60 seconds. If the button is pressed the timer will reset to 60 seconds and continue counting down. Only users logged into accounts created before 2015-04-01 can press the button.

You may only press the button once.

We can’t tell you what to do from here on out. The choice is yours.

There are some who think The Button is part of a bigger social experiment.

“This isn’t even an April Fools thing, the admins are just trying to make a point that users can’t go a minute without pushing the admin’s buttons,” wrote user SnipeyMcSnipe.

Others thought there would be a reward when The Button finally reached zero.

“My actual theory is that it will go until nobody presses it for 60 seconds and then the last presser will get something special,” wrote Buncs.

By late in the day on Wednesday, users were bragging about the lowest they had seen the countdown hit (one person claimed to have seen it fall below 30 seconds) and pleading with each other to conserve their hits to spread it out. Others pointed out that Reddit seems to have stolen the idea from Season 2 of Lost.

But it could take a very long time before the Reddit April Fool’s Day joke reaches its payoff. The site gets billions of views per month, and with many millions of registered users it could take The Button a long time to hit zero.

[Image via Reddit]