I, for one, thoroughly enjoy April Fool’s Day. Sometimes too much. And each year, when all of the large tech companies release their yearly April Fool’s pranks, I couldn’t be more delighted. What excites me the most is when I think about all of the thought that must go into executing a simple joke online. Here’s to you, you crazy bunch of web hooligans.

To save you from scouring the entire web for April Fool’s goodies, here is a collection of 2012’s best April Fool’s Day online pranks:

Forbes Gets Google Good

Google’s gullible. Or at least its news aggregators must be. When Forbes broke the news of “Mitt Romney Drops Out Of Race; Backs Santorum”, Google seemed to think this was perfectly plausible. Before being removed, Google gave the following story its top, number one news spot:
“In a surprise move, Mitt Romney announced today that he is ending his presidential campaign and throwing his support behind Rick Santorum. The move shocked observers, including Senator Santorum, as Governor Romney seemed poised for a decisive victory in Wisconsin. The governor, however, said he concluded that he has ‘no chance’ to win the general election in December and that a Santorum candidacy in 2012 would be in the ‘best interest of the party.'”

Mashable Acquired By Conan

I’ll have to admit, this was the first joke that I woke up to. The one that stole my sacred 2012 April Fool’s virginity. Mashable reskinned their entire website in commemoration of Conan O’Brien, of late night fame, who apparently had acquired the technology-news site because he couldn’t stand the “atrocious job they were doing”. Conan Now Runs Mashable; Boots Pete Cashmore

Google Maps Goes 8-Bit

Those of lucky enough to hit Google Maps last night and today have found that Google’s gone retro. Dropping their hi-res satellite maps for a more practical 8-bit look, Google got us with just one of dozens of jokes it had planned. I guess the hundreds of people Google employs finally found a day to earn their grossly high salaries. Google Goes 8-Bit

Flickr Feeling The 80’s Vibe

Flickr’s users got a surprise today when they learned that their photos would be displayed in an 80’s black-and-white dither by default in the coming weeks. Some photographers prompty went “WTF” before realizing the date. Most people didn’t actually notice, due to the current Flickr collection of filtered vintage photography that already plagues the site. Flickr's Feeling The 80's Vibe

The YouTube Collection

Since the online video portal now has over 13 billion videos, they thought it would be wise to address those of us who wanted to add every single video to our private home collections. Introducing The YouTube Collection: Including “Every Video Uploaded To YouTube, Ever”. The YouTube Collection

There’s been thousands of reports of pranks posted already today. So, we want to know: what’s your favorite?

About The Author: Allen has worked on the web for over a dozen years. Like many young entrepreneurs, he began with a small workspace in his basement, where he eventually formed Ideas and Pixels. The rest, well, is history. Allen enjoys fine wines, weight training, and beautiful, semantic code.

  • http://www.facebook.com/valvanomatt Matt Valvano

    Mashable’s was the best!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Gingrich/1435959906 Allen Gingrich

      Gonna have to agree with you on this one!