On April Fools’ Day, the joke was on Google.
The tech giant ended up with egg on its face after facing a backlash from folks who saw nothing funny with its Gmail tomfoolery – with some claiming it actually cost them their jobs.
The company added a “mic drop” button in its email service that allowed users to fire off a GIF of a Minion — a character from the animated film “Despicable Me” — that would drop a microphone and mute responses to the user’s email.
“Email’s great, but sometimes you just wanna hit the eject button,” Google wrote in its official blog announcing the gimmick.
A mic drop is a popular meme in which someone makes a final statement before dropping a microphone and traipsing off.
But livid users cried fool after unintentionally attaching minions dropping a mic during important business communications.
One user, Scotty Martin, wrote on Gmail’s help forum: “Seriously Google? You mess with peoples’ email like this. I use gmail for my one-man business. I can’t afford for you clowns to mess around with my business.”
An incensed Allan Pashby, a writer, said Mic Drop cost him his job.
“I sent my articles to my boss and never heard back from her. I inadvertently sent the email using the ‘Mic Drop’ send button,” he wrote. “There were corrections that needed to be made on my articles and I never received her replies. My boss took offense to the Mic Drop animation and assumed that I didn’t reply to her because I thought her input was petty (hence the Mic Drop).”
Red-faced Google Inc. apologized for the fiasco and turned off the feature.
“Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year. Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We’re truly sorry,” it said in its official blog.
The Google gag went down like a lead balloon on a day known for corporate hijinks, Internet antics and all manner of hoaxes and spoofs meant to ensnare the gullible.
“It gets more and more challenging to stand out,” said Rachael King, spokeswoman for ThirdLove, a lingerie maker that partnered with pet-sitting service DogVacay to unveil a fake line of dog bras, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, the Amherst, NY, Police Department hopped onto the bandwagon by using an allegedly drug-sniffing rabbit along with a cop on its Facebook page.
“Drug interdiction has become more difficult with criminals discovering ever new and smaller areas to conceal drugs,” the department said. “‘Dusty’ and his handler will be able to search vehicles and other small areas with greater accuracy.”
New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College, which last year began using a robotic tackling dummy it called “MVP” to help players avoid injuries in practice, said the robots would be used in games beginning next season.
“In the future, we’ll line up 11 MVPs and they’ll compete in the games for us … Our players will execute their responsibilities by remote control,” head football coach buddy Teevens said in a video, Reuters reported.
ZipRecruiter promoted “Jobs for Babies,” a new service to help the diaper set “find a job, quickly and easily.”
“With Jobs for Babies, ZipRecruiter is now helping over 4 million new babies born each year find jobs,” its Web site trumpeted.
The Analog Watch Co. offered 25 “limited edition” moon rock timepieces at $27,500 apiece with a ship date of, yep, April 1.
Gizmodo, which wrote about the offer on Thursday, later added “We got fooled” to its headline and wrote: “This watch is totally fake, and everything on the internet is officially insufferably terrible.”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was himself a foil.
Clothes retailer H&M launched the Zuckerberg collection pack online — a pair of jeans and seven identical gray T-shirts in honor of his muted fashion sense, AFP reported.
The Beijinger Web site also claimed Zuckerberg had accepted a “green card” from China’s Communist government and was moving to the capital after a recent high-profile visit to Beijing.
But not all in China saw the humor of April Fools’ Day.
Official news agency Xinhua posted on micro-blog Weibo that the occasion “does not conform with our nation’s cultural traditions, nor does it conform with the core values of socialism.”
“Don’t believe rumors, don’t create rumors and don’t spread rumors,” it urged. No joke.
Sen. Ted Cruz joined the follies by tweeting: “Happy to hear @realDonaldTrump accepted my challenge to debate one-on-one.”
The Donald wasn’t hoodwinked.
“Ha ha ha funny April Fools’ Day,” he responded.