2020 sucked hard. A year ago Google decided to skip its tradition of elaborate April Fools' Day jokes, on account of, you know, a worldwide pandemic that killed millions of people. A year later things are looking up — I'm getting my first vaccine dose tomorrow! — but it's far from over. So maybe it's a good thing that Google is reportedly skipping the levity for a second year running.
Insider cites an internal Google memo that cancels its jokes for 2021. The report quotes Google VP of Global Marketing Marvin Chow:
...With much of the world still grappling with serious challenges, we feel we should again pause the jokes for April Fools' Day this year. Like we did last year, we should continue to find appropriate ways to bring moments of joy to our users throughout the year (e.g. Doodles, easter eggs, etc.).
Google did not specifically confirm the internal email, but a statement from Chow repeated the same sentiments.
Google's April Fools' Day projects are the stuff of tech industry legend, and something that a lot of people look forward to each year. Alternately, there are a lot of people that think the tech industry's increasingly elaborate celebrations are indulgent and more than a bit tired. Google was not the only company that decided to skip April Fools' Day 2020, but others are already back at it in 2021, Like Volkswagen's weird and premature "Voltswagen" campaign.
While vaccine distribution is accelerating, and the United States and other wealthy countries are beginning to turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, it's worth reminding readers that the total world population may not be vaccinated for another two years. There's no guarantee that the jokes will return in 2022.