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Twitter’s April Fools Joke: Consonants-Only In Basic Service, Vowels Cost $5/Month
While Google has spent all of Easter Sunday rolling out its April Fools’ Day jokes, Twitter is getting into the act tonight, too, with a gag that both harkens back to the original spelling of its name and will remind you of the Wheel of Fortune game show.
Twitter’s joke is that it’s shifting to a two-tiered service with basic accounts being free, but only being able to tweet with consonants, and a new premium level that includes the use of vowels for $5 per month.
If President Obama had been on the basic plan, this Twitter mockup shows what the most retweeted tweet ever would’ve looked like last November.
Really, tweets are still somewhat readable without the vowels, so … you know … maybe that thing in Twitter’s blog post about opening up a new revenue stream isn’t so far-fetched after all. I bet you can read this tweet just fine:
Twttr’s nw bsc srvc lvl nly llws twts wth cnsnnts & th lttr y. Nt sr bt pyng xtr fr vwls. Wll y?
— Matt McGee (@mattmcgee) April 1, 2013
The joke harkens back to Twitter’s early days, when it was first known as Twttr — vowels were seen as somewhat extraneous in that era (i.e., Flickr, for example). Here’s an image from All Twitter showing the original Twttr logo.
The joke is that Twitter’s VP of Product, Michael Sippey, came up with the idea while watching Wheel of Fortune with Adam Bain (Head of Global Revenue) after Twitter’s recent birthday party when a contestant shouted about wanting to buy a vowel.