Google has reportedly announced that it is cancelling its 2020 April Fool's Day plans due to coronavirus pandemic in an email obtained by a news media outlet. It declared that there wouldn’t be any pranks in view of helping those battling with the crisis with accurate information, and paying tribute to the many lives lost to the COVID-19 disease. The management encouraged the staff to refrain from jokes in an email amid the time of hardships, as per the media report.
A public relations expert at Google was quoted as saying that April Fool’s Day pranks might be viewed as insensitive in such challenging times when the health professionals were exhausted at their capacity. There were death and devastation from the novel coronavirus, he added. At the time, when the public was desperately looking for information on the virus, health, and wellbeing, any attempt at jokes can result in misleading people and damage the brand’s reputation, the PR expert reportedly said.
Last year, the company made at least four announcements to celebrate the occasion. It allowed the users online to play snake games on Google maps. The users had to hit the hamburger button provided on the top left of the app then choose play. The snake from different ethnicity—Cairo, London, Japan was made available on the Android and iOS for at least a week.
In another joke, Google introduced the file cleaner app that worked “geometric dirt models, combined with haptic micromovement pulses, to dislodge what’s stuck to your screen.” the most popular, however, was the Google tulip, in which the company tricked users to speak with the flower. It said that the tulip was a great listener and gave excellent advice. “Thanks to great advancements in artificial intelligence, Google Home is now able to understand tulips, allowing translation between Tulipish and dozens of human languages,” the Google wrote in a blog post, in an April fool’s stunt.