Following Popularity of April Fools Feature, Google Releases ‘Shelfie’
April Fools: the day for pranksters rolls around every April 1st, evoking joy or dread, depending on whether or not you’re a lover of schadenfreude. Never one to be outdone by others, tech-giant Google launched a salvo of its own pranks last Tuesday. Between transforming Google Maps into an augmented reality game of Pokémon and the invention of the Magic Hand, a device that lets mobile users text and surf the web on their tablets and phones without lifting a finger, the company made a huge splash.
“Shelfie” Prank Becomes Permanent Function
Of all of Google’s April Fools pranks, only one proved successful and “practical” enough to find a place among the company’s ever growing suite of tools it offers its more than 425 million Gmail users. A function named “Shelfie” was released in the prank onslaught, giving Google users the ability to share their custom Gmail themes with the world at large. For most people, the fact that Gmail offers 15gb of free storage and the ability to send e-mails of up to 25mb in size is reason enough to use the service, but by adding the hugely popular “Shelfie,” now referred to as Shareable Custom Themes, to Drive, Maps, and the rest of its menagerie of services, Google has tightened its grip on its users, if only slightly.
Should We Be Surprised by Its Success?
It’s hard to believe that the Silicon Valley behemoth only intended “Shelfie” to be a one-off joke. In a world where 70 billion pieces of content — from selfies, to statuses about cooking dinner, to overly emotional song lyrics — are shared just on Facebook every month, another web function that gives self-promotion capabilities to the “Me generation,” particularly one syncing with a hugely popular e-mail service, is sort of a no-brainer for added success. As a millennial myself, I plan to start sharing my custom themes, whether “My Little Pony” or “Frozen” inspired, straight away.
What custom Gmail theme are you most looking forward to sharing?
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