Reddit’s April Foolery Wins A Slow Day For Social Media Pranking


It’s April 1, the day when every fool thinks he (or she) is a master prankster and just about any company with an online presence can’t resist joining the fun. Our colleagues at Search Engine Land are compiling definitive roundups here and here.

Surprisingly (mercifully?), the major social media networks seem to be sitting the foolishness out or at least not trying very hard. Facebook posted a video of a group of friends pranking a buddy by wrapping his sports car in tin foil, using Facebook messenger to communicate before the reveal.

And Twitter barely made an effort, announcing the “Twitter Helmet” with a four-paragraph blog post by “Dr. Helmut Grebe

The helmet is created with an impact-resistant, oleophobic-treated glass. The wearer can tweet through a simple “pecking” head motion.

The product will be available for purchase mid-September 2014 for $139.99 retail. In addition to the helmet, users can also purchase Twitter Helmet HD™ accessories including a hand-tooled leather case inspired by falconry hoods, feather-shaped Wi-Fi and cellular signal boosters, and a carbon fiber chinstrap with optional wattle-form factor microphone.

Reddit Tries Harder

closeReddit took a similar tact with headdit, an alleged feature that gives users a way to navigate the site with head and facial motions. “Using revolutionary hand equivalent action detection, headdit allows you to upnod, frownvote and navigate your way around reddit. There is also cat mode. So sit back, relax and enjoy headdit.”

The twist is that reddit has rigged the feature to work — sort of. If you click the headdit icon in the lower right corner of a reddit page, the site activates your webcam (after asking you for access). Naturally, we tried to use the new features. Sad to say they are only window dressing (with some amusing overlays). And despite no cats in our office, we kept activating kitty mode.

No surprise: some of the reactions to the stunt in reddit comments are priceless, for instance:

headdit comment

LinkedIn also ran with the feline theme, introducing Cats You May Know with a post full of groan-worthy puns that we can’t bear to repeat.

That’s pretty much it from the social networks. Let us know if you see other efforts and we’ll update this post.

Postscript: Twitter’s Fool’s effort got some support from ABC’s “Good Morning America” today (hat tip to Los Angeles Times tech reporter Salvador Rodriguez). We’ll let you decide whether it’s funny:

ABC US News | ABC Business News

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Features & Analysis | Top News


About The Author: is Third Door Media's Social Media Correspondent, reporting on the latest news for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. He spent 24 years with the Los Angeles Times, serving as social media and reader engagement editor from 2010-2014. A graduate of UC Irvine and the University of Missouri journalism school, Beck started started his career at the Times as a sportswriter and copy editor. Follow Martin on Twitter (@MartinBeck), Facebook and/or Google+.

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  • James R. Halloran

    These April Fools Day jokes seem really weak this year. Why? I thought social media was supposed to be about creativity along with some innovation? I guess no one wanted to try this year.

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