This article was published 14 years ago

April Fools Day: YouTube ASCII videos

YouTube April Fools
YouTube videos in ASCII font – Image credit: Google

Today is April Fools day, the only day that you can tell someone that their house just burned down and not either lose that friend or get arrested. It is also a day in which many online companies – mainly Google and the rest – like to pull pranks on everyone.

Last year, every video on the front page of YouTube redirected to Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up, thus finally putting an end to Rickroll. Since the country is still in a recession and YouTube is losing loads of money in bandwidth costs, engineers at YouTube has found a creative way to save money: transcribe movies into text.

“It’s great news that there are 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, we support 1080p and HD uploads are rising quickly, but that’s also meant increasing bandwidth costs cutting into our bottom line. And so, in our drive to keep expenses under control, we’ve decided that April 1 is the perfect day to take the important step of offering a new way to experience YouTube: text-only mode, or TEXTp.”

Most videos should have the TEXTp option. Videos we shot at SXSW have the option.

Best prank so far and it’s only 1AM; can’t wait to see how the rest of the day will go.