Over the last few years, we have seen several big tech companies, especially Google, making goofy announcements on the first day of April and they are not always funny. Sure, April Fools' Day pranks are witty enough to raise our curiosity but the question is very simple: Are they really needed? According to Microsoft, they are not. In fact, Microsoft also happens to be the first tech company to take a stand against April Fools' Day jokes this year and for a reason.
Microsoft CMO and EVP of Consumer Business Chris Capossela has sent out an internal memo to all Microsoft employees, warning them against participating in April Fools' Day pranks tradition this year. Microsoft seems worried about pulling any prank that might get the company in trouble. Hence, Microsoft has decided to refrain from playing April Fools' Day pranks this year. This is what Capossela in his internal memo sent out to Microsoft employees:
"Data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles. Considering the headwinds the tech industry is facing today, I’m asking all teams at Microsoft to not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts. I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day."
Satya Nadella-led Microsoft may have a valid point in this case. We live in times where news travels faster than ever before, and concerns are instantly raised about the way fake news spread across social media platforms. And April Fools' Day jokes stand the risk of negatively affecting people who forget what day it is. We have seen in the past how easily people believe in something which is not true and they fail to differentiate between what is real and what is not real.
This unnecessarily creates trouble for their PR department with an added responsibility of clearing the mess. However, it remains to be seen what other tech companies including Google and Apple are up to this April Fools' Day.