I don’t understand Google’s decision to launch Gmail yesterday. Google has a history of participating in the first of April tradition. You might say that the amazing size of the 1GB account plays well with April’s Fool Day.
My question is: Why would you ever want there to be a question if the new service that you are offering is really available or not?
Good question! Really the only answer I can come up with is that they simply wanted to be mentioned that second and third time when people ask and are confirmed. But in reality I guess it does very little to help launch Gmail … so maybe they just plainly made an error?
I thought it was extremely clever! As Anders suggests the question about whether it was an April fool or not seemed to generate much more buzz than the product itself. I suppose the figure of 1GB of storage seems just about far out enough to make everyone wonder if it could be for real. I bet they figured it would make people very suspicious and thereby generate second order blogging effects if timed to coincide with that unique day.
These guys know how the blogosphere works and even though I’m sure the announcement would be highly linked anyway, you’ll notice that it occupies 4 or 5 of the top ten positions on the blog meme indeces (Popdex, Daypop, etc), which I’m sure owes more than a little to the second order buzz.
I understand that the confusion got a lot of people talking.
I think (as a company) you also want to be concerned about what it is that is being said.
I thought it was sheer brilliance. It generated tremendous attention, far beyond what it would have gotten initially even coming from Google, because of what day is was and their April Fools reputation. It looked ambiguous enough that people wondered whether it was a clever joke or an excellent new business line, and stayed on board, as it were, to find out for certain. It got them extra attention immediately and remained more memorable.