Google Once Fooled Everybody It Would Send Boxes of Your Emails at Home
Back in 2007, Google announced Gmail Paper—"You click. We stack. You get." It promised on-demand printed copies of emails for Gmail users.
It was announced on April 1—clearly intended to pass as an April Fool's joke—but a lot of users still missed the humor. But you really can't blame the users when Google actually put up a website with the name Gmail Paper. Talk about taking April Fools pranks to the next level.
On that website, users were told that the massive costs of printing would be offset by advertisements on the back of each sheet of paper, printed in "red, bold, 36-pt. Helvetica."
That super-specific detail on font should have given the joke away, but people were still demanding printouts of their emails.
The year 2007 was just a year shy of the 10th anniversary of Google, and it was a time when the Internet was a frontier to many users. It was also a time when many people still believed everything they read on the Internet, particularly if it came from Google.
The joke was supposed to be Google's way of poking fun at late adopters of the digital era. Google eventually admitted that the page was all a joke.
To this day, Google preserves Gmail Paper, no longer as a website, but as a link that leads to your Gmail account.
It's good to know that the world's largest tech company knows how to make fun of itself.