It’s April Fools’ Day, the internet’s biggest and most celebrated holiday, and a YouTube shutdown prank has joined the fray of tech companies pulling gags on users and visitors.
The stunts seem to start earlier each year, and, in a blog post yesterday, the YouTube shutdown prank was announced by the video service.
YouTube played the shutdown prank straight on their blog where the site writes about the inception of YouTube as a giant version of America’s Funniest Home Videos essentially.
In a clip featuring Antoine Dodson, iJustine, and other YouTube personalities, the “contest” to find the best video is announced, as YouTube explains it is shutting down for 10 years to select a winner.
The blog post begins:
“When we started out in 2005, we focused on rapidly increasing user engagement. We wanted an inventive way to draw people in and catalyze their creativity. The result? A contest for the best video on our site.”
“Nearly eight years later, with 72 hours of video being uploaded every minute, we finally have enough content to close the competition. We’ve started the process to select a winner and as of tomorrow at midnight, we will be closing the site to submissions.”
Finally, the shutdown prank is announced by YouTube:
“Watch the video below to hear from our leadership, the minds behind some of our most famous entries, and the panel of judges who will select our nominees, and ultimately, the winner for ‘Best Video.’ ”
Despite the prevalence of pranks like the YouTube shutdown video, users seem to be falling for it in relatively big numbers — comments coming in on the clip above seem to indicate that people are quite concerned about YouTubers’ jobs after the shutdown prank.