YouTube fans who nearly had a heart attack after hearing the recent Google announcement that it was shutting the popular video site down should take note that the dateline for the startling news is April 1st, traditionally celebrated as April Fool’s Day.
“It’s finally time to pick the winner,” YouTube representatives announced in a 3:32 minute video posted on its homepage.
Officials at Google allege that the YouTube site, which carries videos of everything from classic television show theme songs and credits to Gangnam Style songs and Harlem Shakes demonstrations, was merely an eight year long contest to find the world’s best video and would cease to exist after the plug was pulled at midnight on April 2nd. Google has owned YouTube since 2006.
“We are so close to the end. Tonight at midnight, youtube.com will no longer be accepting entries. After eight amazing years, it is finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner,” said Tim Liston, named as “competition director.”
“I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible before YouTube deletes everything tonight,” said Antoine Dodson, who became an Internet sensation when a musical version of his 2010 TV interview about a house intrusion was posted on YouTube.
“Distinguished” film critics, YouTube celebrities and some of the site’s “most prolific” commentators are on the judges’ panel, according to Liston.
The announcement of a YouTube shutdown isn’t the first prank played by Google officials. Other goofy announcements made on previous first days of April have been news that Google had adopted the new name of Topeka and had launched a new service that would send recipients paper copies of all of their Google e-mails. In that same tongue in cheek vein, Google announced today that it was launching its latest service for internet users called Google Nose which would search the world wide web by smell. Unfortunately, the rumor that Google Reader will shut down this summer is still true.
Check out the YouTube prank video below
YouTube’s ready to select a winner
Google Announces YouTube Shutdown (Or Its Biggest April Fools’ Day Prank Yet!)