Flop of the month: Gmail gif goes viral for the wrong reason

PRWeek's flop of the month for March 2016 goes to Google, thanks to its April Fools' prank gone awry

As an April Fools' prank, Google decided to add a feature to Gmail allowing users to add a gif from the Minions film to emails, with all such emails automatically archived.

It all started innocently enough: "Email’s great but sometimes you just wanna hit the eject button. Like those heated threads at work when everyone is wrong except you (obviously). Or maybe you just nailed it, and there’s nothing more to say)," Google explained on the Gmail blog.

"Today, Gmail is making it easier to have the last word on any email with Mic Drop. Simply reply to any email using the ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button. Everyone will get your message but that’s the last you’ll hear of it. If folks try to respond, you won’t see it."

Little did Google know that it had a PR nightmare on its hands. In the first 12 hours after activation, the tool irritated many users as an apparent bug meant Mic Drop was used without people realising – with one complaining he has missed out on a job because of it.

Google quickly shut down the feature after a furore on social media. The tech giant ended up apologising profusely: "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. "

Needless to say, we expect Google to take a more conservative approach to 1 April 2017.

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