April Foolish: Google apologises as it withdraws new 'Mic Drop' feature

Google's attempt to add a playful Gif feature into Gmail backfired spectacularly after it inadvertently ended up causing anger and upset for some of its 900 million users.

Mic Drop: Google took inspiration for its Gmail feature from the animated film Minions
Mic Drop: Google took inspiration for its Gmail feature from the animated film Minions

Taking inspiration from a scene from the popular animated movie Minions, Google added the ‘Mic Drop’ option, a feature that went live earlier this week ahead of April Fool's Day - a day on which Google has historically performed strongly.

"Today, Gmail is making it easier to have the last word on any email with Mic Drop. Simply reply to any email using the new 'Send + Mic Drop' button. Everyone will get your message, but that's the last you'll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won't see it," the firm posted on its Gmail blog yesterday (31 March).

However, a bug meant that even when people pressed the normal send button, the 'Mic Drop' was inadvertently activated.

Google quickly removed the feature after complaints on social media and posted an apology on the blog: "Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year. Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We’re truly sorry. The feature has been turned off. If you are still seeing it, please reload your Gmail page."

However, the damage was already done as the feature was live for 12 hours. Users took to social media and forums to tells stories about professional embarrassment, the loss of potential job opportunies and even work.

When Gmail was originally announced on 1 April 2004, when the internet giant's service offering was much narrower than today, many people assumed it was a joke.

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