April Fools' Day is a wonderful and terrible day for the internet. Let's start with the terrible part: yes, there's a chance that you'll be tricked by fake news and bad pranks, and that's not really fun for anyone. But then there's the nice part: today is the one day that companies stop taking themselves so seriously. Sure, some just use it as an opportunity to beg you for retweets of a silly image. But others put a surprising amount of thought and effort into making small pranks and videos that their customers and other viewers online will have fun with. And that's pretty cool.
As always there are a lot of April Fools' Day videos, sites, tweets, and other pranks online right now, especially from tech companies. We've rounded up 11 of our favorites from 2015 — some because they're funny, others because they're interesting, and others for showing a bit of personality. You can view them all below.
Motorola's Selfie Stick
For April Fools' Day, Motorola turns the much-derided selfie stick into high art. Its video is a wonderfully funny parody of the craftsmanship films that tech companies, Kickstarter campaigns, and generally hip companies like to make about their new products. And honestly, it'll kind of make you want a hand-made selfie stick.
What are the chances something like this ends up on Kickstarter by the end of the month? A digital mailbox is a silly concept, but we wouldn't put it past anyone. One San Francisco startup even offered a service that digitized your mail by having its employees come get your letters and then scan them and put them online. It shut down after about a year.
ThinkGeek's Steam Machine
Steam Machines haven't exactly taken the gaming world by storm, but they'd probably sell a lot better if they looked like this and were bundled with a copy of BioShock. ThinkGeek is always one of the more fun sites to visit on April Fools' Day because of its dedication to making up weird gadgets and apparel, but this one wins for identifying a pun and just going for it.
No more parking tickets for Model S owners. Today we’re introducing: ticket-avoidance-mode. Here’s how it works: https://t.co/uPFF3J5XyS— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) April 1, 2015
Tesla's autonomous parking ticket avoidance
Tesla gets points for idea over execution. Its video isn't anywhere as sharp as, say, Motorola's, but the idea that autonomous cars could one day avoid parking tickets for you is interesting and sounds like it could even be possible. Why couldn't your self-driving car just find another spot when its parking time was up? For now, you're still stuck with parking garages (or, you know, public transit).
Google Maps' Pac-Man
Google is serious about April Fools' Day. Each year, pranks usually come out of multiple corners of the company — some good, some bad, and some that seem to involve a surprising amount of work. This year, that's Google Maps' Pac-Man mode, which can turn areas of the globe into maps that you can play Pac-Man on. Definitely a potential winner for best of 2015.
Is there a better possible use of Google's custom top-level domain? Probably not. Just head there and try it out.
Funny or Die's Dips
Just joking about creating an app for 1.5-second videos would be one thing — one not-all-that-funny thing — but actually getting together tons of 1.5-second videos from celebrities makes Funny or Die's April Fools prank pretty impressive. Click through for some weird and super-short moments from your favorite comedians, musicians, and other stars.
Reddit's "The Button"
Maybe it's real. Maybe it's fake. Who cares. Reddit put a button on its site that supposedly resets a 60-second countdown every time someone click it. What, if anything, will happen if the timer makes it all the way down? Who cares. This is arguably the best button since Lost Season 2.
Netflix's binge watch warnings
Let Netflix make fun of you for sitting around on your couch all day with its series of binge watch warnings. One of 13 warning videos is supposed to show up if you stream more than two episodes in a row of any show. Check them out now — it looks like they disappear tomorrow.
YouTube's "Sandstorm" obsession
Points for absurdity. If you search for a musician or a song today, YouTube will ask if you meant to search for "'Sandstorm' by Darude." It also lets you pump snippets of "Sandstorm" into any video that you're watching, making it dramatically more exciting.