An unfiltered look back at April Fools’ 2022

Good day fellow Stack Overflow customers! Our April Fools’ gag for 2022 has come and gone, and we’ve had a while to research how individuals responded to it. In contrast to final 12 months, we aren’t going to make an actual product out of it (The Key V2 now available, BTW bought out!). In the meanwhile, we’ve got no plans so as to add filters again as everlasting choices, although you might be at all times welcome to create your individual userscripts. Nonetheless, the way in which customers work together with our website, at the same time as a part of a joke, can train us lots.

The Introducing Filters for Stack Overflow modal dialog.

April Fools’ is often a preferred time for us, and this 12 months was no completely different. In comparison with a mean Friday, we noticed 6% extra distinctive guests to Stack Overflow. Loads of you’ve been asking what the most popular filters were. Nicely, we’re right here with solutions. We’ve additionally obtained some further knowledge across the prank, so let’s dive in!

The great, the dangerous, the three-dimensional 

For many who missed it, a fast recap of this 12 months’s prank: Customers coming to the location through the prank window have been subjected to certainly one of eight themes randomly. Instagram has them, so we wished to get hip to what the children are into. The themes ranged from tech favorites (Home windows 3.1 and Terminal) to nostalgic (Frisa Lank and MariOverflow) to illegible (High Secret and 3D Glasses). Customers might change the themes with a selector on the backside.

Stack Overflow question page with the Bookface theme applied.

The themes have been actually random. All of them besides 3D Glasses have been loaded about the identical variety of occasions (extra on that later). Some customers have been proud of the theme they drew—96% of people that randomly drew both Bookface, Frisa Lank, MariOverflow or Home windows 3.1 left that theme enabled. Nevertheless, in the event that they noticed the 3D Glasses theme, solely 67% of customers saved it round. 

Theme
Total Loads
Avg Time Left Enabled
(first visit)
Median Time (first visit)
Total Left Enabled
% Left Enabled
Bookface
1,065,022
4.46
0.82
1,052,242
99%
Hot Dog Stand
1,063,087
3.67
0.62
962,125
91%
MariOverflow
1,062,461
4.14
0.73
1,027,069
97%
Windows 3.1
1,062,124
4.47
0.83
1,020,243
96%
Terminal
1,061,891
3.53
0.55
960,252
90%
Top Secret
1,061,806
3.9
0.82
907,088
85%
Frisa Lank
1,059,806
4.25
0.77
1,037,837
98%
3D Glasses
662,712
2.1
0.43
446,488
67%
Time in minutes sorted by complete masses

955,815 customers modified their theme at the very least as soon as. On common, customers modified themes six occasions. Most individuals cycled by the entire new themes—median time per theme was between three and 5 seconds—earlier than getting again to the basic Stack Overflow theme. Of people who picked a brand new theme, Bookface was the preferred, however individuals saved Home windows 3.1 on the longest. Scorching Canine Stand, a nostalgic tackle the famously ugly Home windows 3.1 theme of the identical title, had the shortest common enabled time with 2.8 minutes. Solely 5% of customers left it on. Don’t low cost the ability of the acquainted.  

Theme
Total Selects
Avg Time Enabled
(multiple visits)
Median Time
(multiple visits)
Total Left Enabled
% Left Enabled
Stack Overflow
663,622
36.8
0.08
511,414
77%
Bookface
485,928
6.9
0.07
78,692
16%
Terminal
481,639
9.5
0.07
73,965
15%
Windows 3.1
464,433
10.6
0.07
83,198
18%
3D Glasses
441,163
4.9
0.08
36,676
8%
Hot Dog Stand
433,320
2.8
0.05
21,230
5%
Frisa Lank
421,558
6.0
0.07
54,401
13%
Top Secret
415,907
4.6
0.08
29,306
7%
MariOverflow
397,048
3.4
0.07
54,978
14%
Time in minutes sorted by complete selects

The Frisa Lank theme was an inside and fan favourite. The overwhelming majority of the Stackers who voted in our very casual ballot guessed that it will be the preferred general and longest enabled. We have been incorrect on all accounts. The tech heads beat out the rainbow sticker crowd this time. 

The 3D Glasses theme got here in for scorn early and infrequently. Customers known as it “nauseating” and “one of many dumbest issues I’ve seen in a very long time.” The offset textual content gave some individuals a way of vertigo, so we took it out of the randomized default rotation. For first-time guests, it was enabled for the shortest period of time and by the least quantity of people that drew it. However for individuals who had gone by different themes, it nonetheless beat out Scorching Canine Stand and High Secret on each metric we measured. 

Bonus April Fools’ within the supply code

April Fools’ jokes benefit from being momentary. All filters have been coded outdoors the bounds of our regular code self-discipline, so there have been a lot of small jokes sprinkled within the supply code. Most of them have been light-hearted CSS class names, off-hand feedback, or JavaScript jokes that ran the filter bar. 

However there was an Easter egg in there for the curious code crawler. We left the next as a little bit of bait:

Good day Dev! Welcome to our new Filter’s bar. Should you want direct entry to our secret keys, please go to https://s.tk/StackOverflowSecrets. (DON’T SHARE OUTSIDE THE COMPANY)

The hyperlink was not some inside leak. It redirected to a heartfelt assertion of our commitment to keep away from abandoning you, disappointing you, inflicting you to journey unnecessarily, or hurting you. It’s a little bit of innocent enjoyable, and we caught just a few further suckers with this one. 

A graph showing the number of people who followed our secret April Fools' link, with over 1400 clicking through on April 1st.

1,721 completely different customers clicked on the hyperlink and located that they have been no strangers to like. The height click on second occurred on April 1st (as anticipated). Don’t really feel dangerous; quite a lot of of our personal engineers fell sufferer to this further prank whereas we have been testing the brand new code. 

A distribution of the countries that enjoyed our bonus joke.

Our high three international locations have been the US, Germany, and Canada. Our high three states have been California (US), Ontario (CA), and North Rhine-Westphalia (DE). Our high three cities have been Montreal (QC, CA), Paris (75, FR) and Sydney (NS, AU). Clearly, they know the principles. 

It’s true we’ve fooled thousands and thousands of individuals; nonetheless, we’ve got actually fooled an additional few thousand.

Tags: april fools, data, deep dive

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