YouTube Shutdown Prank: Google Says April Fools on Closing Site (Video)

Monday, 01 Apr 2013 09:34 AM

By Michael Mullins

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In an April Fool's Day prank, Google announced Sunday that as of midnight the company would be shutting down the popular video-sharing website YouTube.

"We started YouTube in 2005 as a contest with a simple goal to find the best video in the world. We had no idea we'd get such a great response," YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar said in a video posted to the company's blog.

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With more than 70 hours of footage uploaded to the site every minute, YouTube will now go black for the next 12 years, the blog said, and 30,000 technicians will narrow down the search for the best videos. Then, a panel of judges will select nominees, and ultimately, the winner of the competition, YouTube's "Competition Director" Tim Liston said.

"After eight amazing years, it is finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner," Liston said.

In the fake announcement, people who created some of the most famous videos on the site weighed in, like Antoine Dodson known for his "Bed Intruder" video.

"We are all story tellers, that’s what pulled me into this competition," Dodson said. "I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible before YouTube deletes everything tonight."

Other well-known YouTube users make a cameo in the video, such as iJustine and Matt Harding, whose videos of him dancing with random people from around the world have consistently gone viral.

"I better win. Otherwise all those years traveling the world were just an expensive waste of time," Harding said.

The winner of best video will be announced in 2023, Liston said.

Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006 and the popular website will not be shut down.

This year's April Fool's Day prank isn't the first the time YouTube has fooled its users. In the past, the website claimed to be changing its name to Topeka, ABC News reported.


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Related links:

YouTube Says Has One Billion Monthly Active Users

YouTube Enlists Big-Name Help to Redefine Channels

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