(USA Today) - Tired of all those vowels clogging up your tweets?
Twitter announced a solution late Sunday night, saying it will shift to a two-tiered service, dubbing its basic, consonant-only plan "Twttr."
The April Fools' Day joke kicked off with Twitter tweeting out, "Trd th nw Twttr yt? Mr tm fr mr twts!" (Translation: Tried the new Twttr yet? More time for more tweets)
The social media service says for a mere $5 a month, you can keep your vowels by using the premium "Twitter" service.
"We're doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we'll encourage a more efficient and 'dense' form of communication." the company said on its blog. "We also see an opportunity to diversify our revenue stream."
In the announcement — which the company says was partially inspired by Wheel of Fortune — Twitter said that "Y" will remain free and other languages will be unaffected by the change.
The company is also offering a single character extension, allowing the length of a tweet to extend to 141 characters. "The price of the extra character is based on a bidding system reflecting the popularity of the character you would like to add," the company's blog states.
Twitter also announced a site that automatically transforms your tweets into a Twttr friendly format.
Joan Rivers got in on the action early, tweeting "Twyttyr? Why byy vywyls whyn yyy gyt "Y" fyr fryy? Syckyrs! #nvwls" (Translation: Twitter? Why buy vowels when you get "Y" for free? Suckers!)
Google introduced a new "scentsation" with its search as part of a two-prong April Fools' Day prank with Google Nose. The feature incorporates smells into Google's search function, with a whopping 15 million scentibyte database of smells.
"In the fast-paced world we live in, we don't always have time to stop and smell the roses," says Jon Wooly, Google product manager in a YouTube video promoting the feature. "Now, with Google Nose Beta, the roses are just a click away."
Google describes the feature as a "flagship olfactory knowledge feature enabling users to search for smells."
Through "intersecting photons with infra-sound waves, Google Nose beta temporarily aligns molecules to emulate a particular scent."
And if you're afraid of what a particularly query may cook up, just use the SafeSearch feature.
Feeling like digging for buried treasure? The search giant also released a "Treasure Mode" overlay on its maps site.
In a YouTube video, Google explains the mysterious paper maps its Street View Team found off the coast of Madagascar in 2012 and later digitized belonged to Captain Kidd, who hid his treasures around the globe. Google calls on watchers to help decipher the maps and find the long-lost treasure.
A variety of techniques can be used to reveal hidden symbols, including applying sunlight to the maps, piecing multiple tablet and mobile devices together or aligning the map perfectly by skydiving over a specific landmark. The heat responsive ink is likely to get the most laughs, as Google shows some symbols can only be revealed by placing your laptop over an open flame (with the disclaimer do not attempt at home!).
To access the feature, visit Google Maps and click on the "Treasure" picture icon in the top right corner. The overlay even contains street-view, applied with a sepia-toned filter to give it that historical feel. The maps contain a number of Easter eggs including a separate URL with a live pirate ship tracking map and symbols hidden around the globe that spell out "April Fool." Treasure Island near San Francisco, Calif., has a mini-map with an X marking the spot, and New York City is marked by a pirate's skull with mysterious numbers in its eyes.
Users can share what they find on Google+ using the hashtag #treasuremap.
Google might have some trouble getting the word out on its treasure maps through its video since YouTube announced on Saturday that it will shut down the site on April 1, saying "It's finally time to pick the winner."
In keeping with the April Fools' Day fun, YouTube said it would "no longer be accepting entries." The website said that after 8 years, it was time to review all the videos uploaded to the site and select a winner.
"We are all storytellers. That's what pulled me into this contest: stories of how to photoshop and stories about The Hobbit trailer HD." YouTube judge Antoine Dodson said. "I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible before YouTube deletes everything."
YouTube celebrities also pop up in the video, making their case for winning the prize.
"I better win otherwise all the years traveling the world were just an expensive waste of time," says Matt Hardin, of "Where the Hell is Matt? 2012."
Rafi Fine, who submitted "Kids React to Grumpy Cat," tells viewers to continue to push themselves.
"We challenge ourselves every day to think of groups of people who could react to some video people already know about," he says. "Hopefully the judges appreciate the risks we take as artists."
Every video uploaded to the site will be reviewed by the site's 30,000 technicians who will narrow down the submissions for a panel to select the best video. The team of judges include YouTube commentators, and you can guess quickly how conversations with them will turn out.
The punchline? The winner of the contest will be announced when the site goes back online ... in 2023. When the site comes back, it will only feature the winner of the competition.
Viewers can weigh in on the contest on Google+ using the hashtag #bestvideo.
YouTube says it will begin announcing the nominees for best video in a livestream starting at noon ET on Monday. Presenters will then announce all the nominees for 12 hours every day for the next two years.
Among the other tech gags making the rounds:
-- Nokia jumping from the smartphone business to microwaves? Check out the Nokia 5AM-TH1N6 Constellation, a touchscreen microwave oven that features a touch display that works with oven mitts and multiple colors, such as "blue cheese cyan" and "lemon yellow."
-- According to Samsung, even trees can be more environmentally friendly. That's why they've unveiled a new line of Smart ECO trees, with Group Play and Smart Sharing. Keep watch for our chart breaking down the comparison to Apple trees.
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