Thanks to social media, your April Fools' Day pranks can reach a wider audience than ever before. If you though switching the salt and sugar was a fun trick for your family, then just wait until you take it online. The April Fools' Day pranks to play on Instagram range from the silly to the sillier.
Sure, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media sites deserve to get in on the fun, too. But doesn't Instagram also deserve a bit of a ribbing? Instead of aiming for effortless perfection, you can poke fun at the site, your followers, and even yourself. Because if there's a time when everyone needs a laugh, it's April.
That said, there's a fine line between cracking a joke and sort of alienating your followers. For instance, posting fake pregnancy announcements might upset people who have struggled with infertility. Because social media has such a wide reach, it's a good idea to think about what you're posting first.
But for the most part, a harmless prank will make your followers feel momentarily confused, excited, or silly. And some of the posts won't fool anybody, but they're in the cheesy spirit of the holiday. Whatever the case, enjoy your April Fools' Day posts, and (perhaps) be thankful that this day is only once a year.
1. My New Pet
Post a pic of an animal that would make an improbable pet. Anything from an angler fish to a porcupine could do the trick, so be imaginative. Welcome your new pet to the family, give it a name, and gush about your future together.
2. Odd Motivational Quotes
Sure, inspirational quotes have been around forever, but they seem especially prevalent on Instagram. Take the sincerity down a notch and post perplexing quotes in pretty fonts. Use an Instagram quote maker to say something inspirational (preferably about pizza, burritos, or some other life-affirming thing).
3. Spoiler Alerts
OK, so this one is a little cruel to the mega-fans out there. But posting that the new Game of Thrones season is up on your HBO account will send at least a few people scrambling to login. And then proceed to feel really duped.
Post that April 1 is your birthday. Make a big deal about it and post every birthday-related hashtag you can find. Bonus points if your actual birthday is at the end of March or beginning of April.
5. Check My Lunch
Lunch photos may be the most cliché topic on Instagram, so you can take this opportunity to make it weird. Instead of some gorgeously plated meal, take a pic of something random and claim it's lunch. An empty hot dog bun? A bowl of ice cubes? A bag of sawdust? The choices are endless. Check out the delightfully odd “bon appétit” memes on Buzzfeed for more inspiration. The cornbread image cracks me up every time.
6. This Looks Shopped
If you're good with graphics, a convincing Photoshop of you winning the lottery, for example might make a fun post. But I have a soft spot for crappy Photoshop jobs. A picture of you and your favorite celebrity, in which the famous person's image looks like it was cut out with safety scissors, is always classic. Argue vehemently with anyone who claims it looks fake.
7. Sweet Ride
What's the least likely vehicle you would ever drive? Find a pic and claim it's your new set of wheels. Check CarsGuide for some images of the weirdest cars ever and go from there. Although I genuinely love the Smart Monster Truck.
8. Mysterious Sighting
Granted, this may feel like a throwback to The X-Files. But claiming you've seen something otherworldly in your everyday life is fun. It's even better if your pic of a UFO is very obviously a streetlight. (Maybe I just like super lame pranks?)
9. Share The News
There are always a slew of great parody news articles on April 1. Pick your favorite and comment on it in all seriousness. If all else fails, use something from The Onion, such as the piece about a toddler looking for a mid-range tricycle. It's all gold.