April Fools! 3 Times YouTube Pranked Users

In case you forgot, today is April Fools’ Day. Living in a world consumed by memes, viral videos and trending topics, it’s always interesting to see how huge companies choose to acknowledge this holiday. After all, it’s the one day of the year that brands can trick their customers and get away with it. Well, the holiday is more than half over for pranksters on the east coast and we’ve gotten….nothing from YouTube? It doesn’t seem like the video-sharing site has tried to prank users this year yet. YouTube has gone all out celebrating the holiday since 2008, so we have no doubt something’s coming. While we wait, here’s a look back at some of YouTube’s classic April Fools’ Day pranks:

2008: The best “Rickroll” of all time

Two years after being bought by Google, YouTube decided to join in on the company’s long-standing tradition of creative April Fools’ Day pranks. Proving that pranks can be simple and effective, YouTube linked all featured videos on their site to a video of Rick Astley’s hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up” from 1987, causing all users  who clicked on any featured video to be “rickrolled.” YouTube was one of the first to hop on this hilarious internet prank trend, and they did it best.

2013: YouTube “shuts down” for #BestVideo Contest

In 2013, YouTube announced it would be “no longer be acception entries” after being online for eight years. The video-sharing site posted a video (created in partnership with satirical newspaper company The Onion) to reveal that YouTube had actually been created as part of a contest.

The contest was simple: to find the “best video in the world.” The video details YouTube’s plan to shut down for the next ten years in order to “select a winner.” The site would re-launch in 2023 with only the winning video posted. (Anyone currently thinking about what life would be like without YouTube?!)

2016: Snoopavision

Last year’s prank was revealed in the form of a sophisticated video from the YouTube Innovations team. Users were introduced to the site’s latest feature: Snoopavision.

The video (which has racked up over 31 million views since last year) advertised a new feature that would allow viewers to watch videos in “Snoopavision,” a 360-degree video experience in which the legendary rapper appears. Snoop Dogg is shown in the video as a “Project Architect” and dropped gems like “when you add the double G, it becomes a greater.” Wearing a suit and tie. While solving a math equation. This video might be a joke, but can “Snoopavision” please become a real thing?


Which company will reign supreme as top prankster this year? The day may be half over but don’t be fooled - YouTube is always tough competition.