Joke’s on Google after April Fools’ prank backfires

Gmail "Mic Drop" didn't go down as well as Google hoped. GIF: Giphy

Gmail “Mic Drop” didn’t go down as well as Google hoped. GIF: Giphy

One of Google’s April Fools’ Day pranks was so unpopular with users that the company was forced to pull it just hours after it rolled out.

The Gmail stunt, which automatically inserted a “mic drop” GIF into users’ emails as they were sent, was greeted by a torrent of complaints and labeled inappropriate.

The idea seems pretty humorous; Google swapped Gmail’s “Send + Archive” button with a “Send + Mic Drop” button, which embedded the GIF above into their reply. “Everyone will ger your message, but that’s the last you’ll ever hear about it,” Google said.

The problem is, some users started hitting that “Send + Mic Drop” button accidentally out of habit and sent the GIF to bosses, colleagues, and other people they’d rather not to upset. The mockup below demonstrates a worst case scenario.

“April fools jokes are great fun but not when they affect my business correspondence,” wrote one user on the Google Product forum.

“I sent out an important email to 30 recipients and I inadvertently clicked the ‘Mic Drop’ Send. I completely did not mean to, and I realised what had happened after the fact. I tried to resend it without that, but it was too late.”

Google received lots of other complaints just like this one, so shortly after its new “feature” went live, it was pulled.

“Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year,” the company said in an update on its Gmail blog. “Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We’re truly sorry. The feature has been turned off.”

Google advises users to refresh Gmail if they’re still seeing the “Send + Mic Drop” button.