Every year the tech world trips over itself to create a myriad fake products for user chuckles and some easy press. There's also a very small percentage of companies that decide to launch real products. We've rounded up six of those sites and services below, as well as some honorable April Fools' Day-related news events.
1. Google Gmail
One of the most notable April Fools' Day launches was Google's Gmail in 2004. Back then, a gigabyte of storage for a Web e-mail service was a big deal. This was especially true given that competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo were charging for extra in-box space.
Gmail wasn't open to everyone though. Its small, 1,000-user private beta test, which expanded through the company doling out user invites from time to time, became a hot tech ticket, and one that spawned an entire ecosystem of invite-trading economies.
Gmail has since continued to expand how much service it gives users, which is now up to 7.4GB.
2. Yahoo Sideline
Yahoo launched its Twitter tracking tool Sideline exactly one year ago, and it's still up and running. The Adobe Air-based app lets users keep an eye on Twitter in real time. Users can enter in search queries, and see them stream in across multiple tabs. The software is meant to be running all the time, though it cannot do some basic things like allow you to post to Twitter, or quickly follow a user that shows up in the results.
See our hands-on with it from last year.
3. Scribd's "Paper to iPaper"
A scanning-by-mail service from a digital documents service? It seemed too outlandish that a company would eat the cost of scanning a giant stack of your documents in order to get them in its database. But that's just what Web document-sharing tool Scribd launched on April Fools' Day in 2008. We thought it was a joke and so did our readers.
The service, which was quietly killed off last year, worked pretty well in our testing (see the result). The only big downsides were that you never got your physical documents back, and you had to pay for it to be shipped to Scribd's scanning headquarters.… Read more