Google YouTube Joke Tops April Fool's Pranks

Dennis Faas's picture

The most popular story on Google News' Science and Technology section yesterday: the earth-shattering announcement by Google that it is shutting down video site YouTube after eight successful years.

Of course, it was all just an April Fool's prank.

In a video posted to YouTube (which you can view by clicking here), Google claims that the site was just one big eight-year experiment designed to find the very best video clip.

$500 Reward for Best Video

Google "competition director" Tim Liston (who appears to be entirely fictional) says that, with a best video selected, YouTube will shut down.

For the next ten years, YouTube aficionados will be asked to sift through all of YouTube's billions of videos and choose one -- just one -- deserving of a "best video" crown.

According to Liston, the winner of the best video award will be announced in 2023, when YouTube goes back online. Even though the evaluation process is set to take a decade, the prize for best video is pretty awful: a $500 stipend that can be used for creating a new video. (Source:

The Liston video includes cameos from popular YouTube personalities, including Matt Harding, iJustine, and the stars of videos "Charlie Bit My Finer" and "David After Dentist."

Even Antoine Dodson has made an appearance in which he says "I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible." (Source:

The video also reveals that each and every one of Google's 30,000 staff members are currently poring over the video content to find the best clip.

Too Soon? Google Reader Announcement Remains Controversial

However, not everyone is laughing. Many experts have pointed out that even though the idea that Google would shut down YouTube is preposterous, it hasn't been that long since the company announced plans to disable Google Reader, its popular RSS service.

Many Google Reader fans were incensed with that decision, and this most recent prank might very well bring some of that anger back to the surface.

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