Smile! April Fool's jokes that appeal to our vanity

OK, we can take a joke. But 196 April Fool’s Day pranks? It’s tough to crack wise about all of them, so we’ll settle on a big theme this year: vanity. And yes, it’s not lost on us that in today’s selfie- and photo-obsessed world, the list includes entries that aren’t so far-fetched.

• One of Google’s many gags is the “Shelfie,” which allows for selfies to be set as the custom theme for users’ Gmail accounts. Shelfie, by the way, is short for shareable selfie — and who wouldn’t want to stare at their significant other’s selfie as you slave away on Gmail, right? Google predicts shelfie will become the word of the year. (Last year’s, of course, was “selfie.”)

Speaking of Gmail, by the way, it’s 10 years old. (Remember when you were scrounging for an invite?) It was introduced on April Fool’s Day in 2004, so it’s probably Google’s longest-running “pranks.”

• But back to selfies: Ever wonder how some of your friends look oh-so perfect, so flawless in their selfies? Perhaps they use the Birchbox Self-EAZE Glamour Shot Generator, which includes the “Super Selfie Mode” for “real-time feedback on lighting and poses.”

• Selfies can be such hard work. Why not automate it with the Selfiebot?  The little drone can take photos of you from the moment you wake up. The video says it’s “always watching…  for life’s most precious moments.” It’s like your very own Big Brother robot! But cute. And small.

• Chegg U, which offers online classes you care about, has a course called “Mastering the Art of the Selfie.” One tip from instructor: “Tilt your head seductively.”

• OK, last one before we return to the real world. Again, this one is from Google, where it seems like the engineers’ 20 percent time (Is it dead or alive?) must be devoted to releasing these little jokes. This one might be our favorite, because we have fond memories of The Hoff (in “Knight Rider,” although we heard he was also in something called “Baywatch”). Behold the Auto Awesome Photobombs, for when you need a little David Hasselhoff in your photos. You know, so your photos look like you hobnob with celebrities, albeit one past his prime.

 

Photo of David Hasselhoff, shown last week in Spain, by Gabriel Solera/Getty Images

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (4060 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also helps take care of SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay (at) bayareanewsgroup (dot-com).