How Web Video Rocked April Fools Day 2011

By Megan O'Neill Comment

Last Friday, pranksters around the globe were playing tricks on their friends and loved ones in honor of April Fools Day.  But nobody took the prankster cake this year like online video.  From YouTube to Vimeo, Funny Or Die to Google, online video crushed it on April Fools Day 2011.  Read on to relive some of the best online video hoaxes.

YouTube 1911

One of the first hoaxes that most Internet surfers stumbled across on Friday was YouTube 1911.  In honor of YouTube’s “one-hundredth anniversary”, the site featured a new 1911 mode, which let viewers watch all of their favorite videos in old-fashioned sepia tone with old-timey ragtime music.  They also featured a video compilation of the ‘Top 5 Viral Pictures of 1911’, which included parodies of everything from Keyboard Cat to Antoine Dodson.


This year Google turned to online video to help them execute some hilarious April Fools hoaxes.  The first was a video interview with a Google Autocompleter—a fake job position that they invented especially for April Fools.

Google also introduced Gmail Motion—a new service that allows Gmailers to control their email with their body.  Gmail Motion was promoted through a number of YouTube videos.

They also launched a new website and exercise regime called Chromercise, designed to help your hands keep up with Google Chrome’s lightning-fast speed.  The workout video for Chromercise is hilarious.  I love the little leotards that the hands are wearing.  Priceless.

If you liked this year’s Google hoaxes, check out our post on YouTube and Google Hoaxes from throughout history.

Vimeo Voicetron 2000

As their April Fools hoax, Vimeo introduced a funny new tool called Voicetron 2000.  How does Voicetron 2000 work?  Press the “~” key on any video page and the Voicetron 2000 system pops up.  You can record yourself saying what you’d like to watch and Voicetron 2000 will (supposedly) direct you to the video you are looking for.  Of course, Vimeo is sure to point out that, “This software is perfect, so don’t even try reporting any bugs or giving us any feedback.  We have thought of everything.”  Although it doesn’t actually work as it should, Voicetron 2000 will direct you to some pretty amusing videos.

Funny or Die Black Friday

Funny or Die celebrated April Fools Day with ‘Black Friday’.  Their entire homepage will packed with Rebecca Black videos, and funny ones at that.  Rebecca Black pokes fun at herself, analyzing the lyrics to her song ‘Friday’, talking about the importance of not getting in cars with 13-year old drivers, and telling the world “We so excited!” again and again and again.  Kudos to Funny or Die.  This was officially my favorite April Fools campaign of 2011.


On April 1, 2011, ThinkGeek introduced an awesome new product—a Playmobil Apple Store Playset and created an amazing YouTube video to promote it.  If users clicked to buy the product on the product page, they reached a page that exposed the product as an April Fools hoax (for those who hadn’t already figured it out from the hilarious video).

So what was your favorite April Fools hoax this year?