Google has acknowledged that one of its April Fools jokes backfired when it started causing real embarrassment to some Gmail users. It has now pulled the joke feature.
Google added a ‘send + mic drop’ button last night, that added a GIF of a Minion dropping a microphone to an email reply, before archiving the thread. It was intended as a fun way for users to express their desire to exit an email conversation, but the company made one schoolboy UI error: it put the joke button right where the usual ‘send and archive’ one sits …
Muscle-memory did the rest, and a whole slew of Gmail users found themselves inadvertently inserting the GIF into important business emails, as well as sensitive personal ones. Some users also claimed that the GIF was inserted in emails sent using the normal Send button.
One Gmail user even claimed that the prank cost him his job. A designer also create a mockup of another way the joke could cause upset.
Google said in a blog post that it is “truly sorry” for the problems caused, and has now switched off the feature.
You can check out a roundup of other April Fools pranks here.