Twitter April Fools 2013
On Monday April 1st 2013 Twitter announced to its users via a blog on the site that it was moving to a two tier service of operation. The two tier service included two options. The first option which was available to all of the platforms users, “Twttr”, which enabled users to post purely with consonants. The second of the two tier service, the premium “Twitter” service, where users paid five dollars a month in order to have the option to use vowels in their tweets.
The site announced in their blog for the day that their decision was, due to the belief that eliminating vowel usage from the standard service would encourage a much more “efficient and dense form of communication”. Whilst also stating that the new two tier Twitter service would enable the platform to diversify their revenue stream. For the Twitter April Fools 2013 hoax the social media platform produced a modified version of the most popular tweet, Four More Years, which read as follows: “fr mr yrs”.
Despite the site announcing the removal of vowels from use for “standard service” users, the platforms administrators still kindly allowed all users access to the secret or sixth vowel which is y. The blog explained the free provision of the letter y: “Because our users come first, we believe that “Y” should always be free to everyone — today and forever.” The site announced in the same blog that vowels in URL’s would be available to all of the platforms users. The standard service vowel Twitter boycott was only reserved to alphabets which make use of the Latin alphabet: English, French, and Italian etc. However languages which made use of other alphabets such as: Japanese, Chinese, Turkish or Arabic, would be unaffected by the new two tier service.
The blog warned users that initially the service changes would be limited to a small percentage of users before being rolled out over the subsequent weeks and months. The site went to great lengths in order to make its elaborate prank believable, advising users to practice tweeting without vowels in preparation for the two tier system. The platform even provided its users with a “Twttr convertor” which removed the vowels for users. The Twttr convertor is still available at the following URL: https://discover.twitter.com/twttr/.
The platform also provided a further prank to its tweeters on April 1st. The site announced that in addition to the “normal suite of promoted products”, the platform was providing its users with the ability to buy a single character expansion to their tweet allowances. The single character expansion would provide users with the ability to post tweets consisting of 141 characters; the price of the extra character was to be confirmed through a bidding system depending on the popularity of the vowel. The site made clear to its users in the faux announcement that it was strictly limiting the character extension to one extra character. What a fab Twitter April Fools 2013 practical joke, we look forward to seeing what they tweet about next year!