Tag Archive | "Humor"

Facebook Instagram Acquisition: 20 Witty Reactions

Comparing Instagram to Kodak

On April 9, Facebook announced plans to acquire popular photo-sharing app Instagram. Earlier this year, 131-year-old film pioneer Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Click here to view this gallery.

Facebook’s arsenal of services will soon get a little flashier with the $1 billion acquisition of trendy photo-sharing Instagram — and users on social networks quickly reacted to the sudden business deal.

Herds of Instagram users expressed their satisfaction, dismay and an array of other opinions through funny or compelling message on Twitter. Not surprisingly, they also posted visual responses on Instagram (see gallery above).

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the agreement, which is the social network’s biggest acquisition, in a post on his Timeline. Facebook plans to close the sale sometime during this quarter.

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More About: acquisition, apps, Business, Facebook, humor, instagram, mobile apps, Social Media, social networks, trending, Twitter

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Comedian Joel McHale ‘Goes Viral’ in Nintendo Commercial [VIDEO]

Joel McHale, star of TV comedy Community, takes jabs at the often mocked “viral video industry” in Nintendo’s latest commercial for 3DS, its glasses-free 3D gaming console.

McHale touts inane characteristics of memorable viral clips (sneezing panda, anyone?) and discusses the organic nature of the web’s most-viewed comedic videos. McHale then kicks an intern in the groin, surrounds himself with bikini-clad women and slyly rattles off Nintendo 3DS features.

“It’s hard to make a commercial that people don’t realize is a commercial until it’s too late,” McHale says in the ad. “I mean, that’s like trying to convey the 3D image of the Nintendo 3DS within a lousy 2D video.”

Did we mention Mario and Luigi make cameos? Oh yeah, they do.

The 3DS rolled out in March 2011, and besides gaming, allows users to snap 3D pictures and shoot 3D videos. Less than six months later, sluggish sales forced Nintendo to slash the portable device’s price from $249 to $169. The company eventually reported major losses for the nine-month period ending Dec. 31, 2011, with 11.4 million units of the 3DS sold worldwide. The 3DS fared better than other Nintendo products.

Last month, Nintendo said it had sold 4.5 million 3DS devices in the U.S. within a year, selling faster than the gadget’s predecessor, the DS.

SEE ALSO: The Louvre’s Got Game, Replaces Audio Tours With Nintendo 3DS [VIDEO]

Nintendo recently expanded its 3D-video offering on the 3DS with the addition of 3D music videos.

More About: Advertising, Commercial, Gaming, humor, joel mchale, Nintendo, nintendo 3ds, viral, YouTube

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10 Most-Shared Apple Ad Parodies of All Time

1. Introducing Siri - iPhone 4S

Shares: 47,802

There are several well-known Siri parodies out there, but nothing quite compares to this melodramatic, film trailer-esque video. The protagonist argues with his friends out of love for the indomitable Siri, the main factor that makes the iPhone 4S and it's predecessor "not the same." The Droid makes a surprise cameo.

Click here to view this gallery.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Apple’s definitely the most popular girl at school.

Fans and haters alike have created spoofs, mocking the widespread Apple advertisements that promote every new product. Whether the iPad, iPhone, MacBook or Siri, you’ll be able to find a thoughtfully executed parody.

Here are the 10 most-shared Apple ad parodies of all time. They range from the artsy to the downright ridiculous. But one thing’s for certain: They’re all darn entertaining.

Thanks to our friends at Unruly for compiling the list.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Picture Lake

More About: ads, Advertising, apple, features, humor, ipad, ipod, macbook

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How a High School Prank Call Site Turned Into Serious Business

When Fahim Saleh bought the domain name “prankdial.com,” he fit the demographic one might expect: a high school boy in a small town, an occasional prankster and an Internet geek.

The site ran a simple prank call service. Users entered a message, and the computer would call a number of their choice before reading it in a slow, robotic voice. Saleh put the site up, used it a few times, and then pretty much forgot about it while he was at college.

That is, until someone copied it. When the nearly identical site “prankdialer.com” launched, it inspired Saleh to revive the dinky high school prank site he built on a whim in high school. By that point a serial Internet entrepreneur, he reinvented PrankDial, turning it into a profitable business.

Since its revival, PrankDial’s iPhone app has been downloaded 500,000 times, and its Android app (before it was taken down at Android’s request) was downloaded 4 million times. The site has been behind nearly 100 million prank calls to date.

Saleh — now 25 — has used the prank site’s revenue to found new businesses, relating to everything from Facebook cover photos to iPhone games for kids.

“We’re probably the number-one prank anything on the web,” he says. “If you search ‘prank’ or ‘prank calls,’ you get PrankDial or one of our properties.”

Here’s how the high school gag site grew up.


PrankDial isn’t the only URL that Saleh purchased in high school. Launching websites was something of a habit — and a profitable one.

The first site he sold, a resource for instant messenger icons called AIMDude.com, went for $1,200 on eBay. As he built more sites, he and his business partner (who he met on AIM) outsourced the actual programming involved to agencies abroad.

“We were basically sitting at home in bedrooms, talking to people three times our age, and they have no idea they’re talking to a teenager on the other side,” says Saleh. “We’re in our pajamas, writing up specs and telling them how we want the design changed.”

By the time he was 20, the pair had founded a conglomerate of websites called WizTeen, which allowed users to customize their avatars on services such as MySpace, MSN Messenger and AIM (remember them?). At the company’s peak, Saleh says the sites were pulling in $30,000 to $60,000 every month from Google Ads.

In 2007, a reporter from the Poughkeepsie Journal wrote an article about WizTeen, in which she interviewed its 20-year-old co-founder. She asked him where he saw himself in five years.

“I see myself behind one project that I’m very passionate about, funded by venture capitalists, in California, working full time in an office with like-minded people, working on a project that we’re all passionate about,” Saleh told her. “Everything I’m doing now is leading up to that.”


Five years later, Saleh is in New York, leading a team of 10 who work on PrankDial, as well as a handful of other services under the umbrella company Tapfury. He says he hasn’t sought venture capital because the site has been profitable.

WizTeen fizzled while Saleh was in college as services like AIM made their way out. Seeing imitator Prankdialer.com launch (he eventually bought the site) was what turned his attention to his own prank site, which at that point was getting 300 or 400 unique visitors per day.

It needed a makeover. Sending robot messages over the phone wasn’t as funny as it was in high school, and Saleh replaced the robot with pre-recorded character messages. The recordings pause periodically to give the illusion of a conversation. You can send your friend the voice of an indignant pregnant woman who is pretty sure her baby is his. Or a desperate man who needs bail money. Or a threat from Batman.

“At first, it was just me,” says Saleh. “Basically I just got my really terrible microphone and started blurting out things.”

Now, the site hires voice talent to record the calls. PrankDial charges users who make more than three calls a day, but the service free up until that point. About 2 million people visit the site each month.

Saleh swears his users aren’t just high school boys.

“They don’t have that much discretionary income to spend on prank calling,” he reasons. “I think it’s about having a laugh with friends.”

Prank Call-Funded

At the end of the day, PrankDial sells prank calls — which, while not without their merits, are unlikely to change the world.

“I really think if you market something properly, it can be anything on the Internet nowadays,” says Saleh. “It’s hard to believe this makes money, but if you’re the largest prank call website in the world, that generates revenue.”

Just as he funded his college education by customizing AIM icons, he’s funding new business ventures through prank calls. Though Tapfury runs a handful of businesses, PrankDial — which requires very little maintenance — accounts for about 80% of revenue.

Saleh is still searching for that one project he told the Poughkeepsie Journal at age 20 — something to be passionate about. “I really want to work on one project that has an influence on people’s lives,” he tells me, echoing the response he gave that reporter five years ago.

Sure, most people fund such ideas through venture capital or loans. But prank calls seem as good a method as any.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, IGphotography

More About: entrepreneurship, features, humor, pranks, Startups

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20 Over-The-Top Tweets About the Mega Millions Jackpot

Mega Millions reaction

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The chatter online and in offices across New York focused heavily on Friday’s mind-boggling Mega Millions lottery jackpot, which soared above half a billion dollars Thursday. And as the monetary sum has increased — to a world-record $540 million prize — so too has the amount of entertaining messages on Twitter.

We scoured the social birdcage for the most entertaining and downright hilarious tweets from big-name Twitter personalities and hopeful Americans. Flip through the gallery to give yourself a hefty dose of laughter.

Expect more of these conversations to surface across social networks as the day continues. “Mega Millions” is currently number five on Google’s hourly updated list of top 20 trending topics.

The drawing for this jackpot will happen Friday. Lottery tickets cost $1 per play. To win, a player must match all of his or her six numbers on a ticket to the numbers picked during the drawing. The jackpot is paid in 26 annual payments or in a smaller cash option. The cash option this go-around is $389 million.

As Effie Trinket from Hunger Games would say, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

What would you do with $540 million if you won the Mega Millions jackpot?

More About: google trends, humor, lottery, Mega Millions, Social Media, trending, Twitter

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Abbott & Costello on Unemployment

And now for something completely different…

I got the following in email of what Abbott and Costello would say if they tried to understand how Obama measures today’s joblessness. There’s enough truth in it to be amusing.


COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good subject. Terrible times. It’s about 9%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: You just said 9%.

ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%…

COSTELLO: Wait a minute. Is it 9% or 16%?

ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.

COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: But … they are out of work!

ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.


ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work… Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You don’t want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?

COSTELLO: That would be frightening.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means they’re two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an economist.

COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!

And now you know why Obama’s unemployment figures are improving!

Follow me on Twitter.

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Behind the Scenes of Twitter’s No-Cost Viral Recruiting Video

Twitter’s viral job recruitment video took the web by storm over the weekend, already gaining nearly half a million views — and it didn’t cost the company a dime.

“We spent zero dollars on this film, using only existing equipment,” explain the video makers and members of Twitter’s corporate design team, Jeremy Briggs and Ian Padgham. Also involved was Olivia Watkins, a member of the recruiting team.

According to Twitter, Briggs brought in his old camera from home for the low-quality scenes and Padgham drew the featured picture of CEO Dick Costolo on a whiteboard in a conference room. Everyone participating in the video actually works at Twitter.

“I think the project really embodied the team spirit essence of #Hackweek,” Padgham says.

The video was one of many projects derived from a week-long event at Twitter where employees stepped away from their desks to come up with ways to enhance the company. Nearly 100 teams participated in this year’s Hack Week.

“Recruiting videos are the worst,” Padgham explains. “Jeremy and I decided to make the worst possible video ever, since there was no way to make a good one. Knowing that #HackWeek was coming up, we wanted to have fun and embrace the awesome creative environment you find at Twitter.”

In 2010, Twitter created a recruiting video (also under Briggs’ assistance) in a similar cheesy style, which was designed to pay tribute to Wes Anderson’s film, Rushmore.

Although it’s too early to say what the outcome is for Twitter’s employment, the video has definitely grabbed the web’s attention. While Twitter is known to be a mega fanbase for Justin Bieber, it looks like his people are fond of Twitter too.

“We have been blown away by the positive reaction on almost all of our channels — tweets, YouTube and Facebook comments, and even Google+ posts,” Padgham and Briggs say. “Even the guy who makes Justin Bieber’s videos wants to work at Twitter now.”

More About: features, humor, Recruiting, Twitter, Video, viral videos

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Meme Machine: Top 5 Viral Hits of the Week

The Mashable Meme Machine is a daily look at five hilarious viral topics spreading across the web right now.

The weekend is finally here, and if you’ve been too embarrassed to look at photos of cats and Ryan Goslin at the office, we’ve got you covered with this week’s roundup of our best meme coverage.

If those two corners of odd Internet culture aren’t intriguing enough, we also have a canine version of Steve Jobs, Drunk Hulk’s interview about the Oscars and a Samsung commercial parody.

Stumble upon any hilarious memes lately? Let us know. Feel free to contact Brian Anthony Hernandez (@BAHjournalist), Christine Erickson (@christerickson) or Lauren Hockenson (@lhockenson).

1. Steve Dogs

This variation of the popular 2011 meme "Yes, This is Dog" features a Husky looking an awful lot like the late, great Steve Jobs. Its origins are dubious at best, but the image of the canine staring icily into the camera while wearing the innovator's signature turtleneck has blown up all over the Internet.

Yes, that is Steve Dogs.

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More About: features, humor, Meme Machine, trending, tumblr, YouTube

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Meme Machine: 5 Hilarious Viral Topics Trending Right Now

The Mashable Meme Machine is a daily look at five hilarious viral topics spreading across the web right now.

Today’s Meme Machine features cats and tablets. While some don’t understand the point of a tablet, as shown in the parody commercial for Samsung, cats get it. Tablets are the future, and these cats are living in a world where technology exists to enter the feline mind through Nyan Cat-dream invasion.

If that’s not enough for you, we also have Obama GIFs, a crazy possessive praying mantis, and people who need to learn how to tell a good story.

Have you run into any solid memes lately? Let us know. Feel free to contact Brian Anthony Hernandez (@BAHjournalist), Christine Erickson (@christerickson) or Lauren Hockenson (@lhockenson).

1. Crazy Girlfriend Praying Mantis

It's an odd but common fact that a female praying mantis kills and consumes her partner after mating. Think your girlfriend is crazy? Think again.

Naturally, there is also a whole Tumblr dedicated to the subject.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: cats, features, GIF, humor, Meme Machine, obama, trending, tumblr

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Secret Florida primary training video leaked!

Never you mind how said training video was acquired, and/or which campaigns are going to use it to inform their operating methodology: that part’s not important. What’s important is that this is how the next week is going to look, in the run-up to the Florida primary:

OK: humor, sarcasm, and satire aside the above Platonic Ideal of short-term gain at the expense of long-term position is actually ringing pretty true as a working paradigm for any of the four campaigns left in the race. None of them have anything really to lose at this point. If Newt Gingrich can somehow knock Mitt Romney out of the race with Florida he’ll have a glide path to the nomination. If Santorum can grab second place in Florida then he (and a bunch of other people) can hope to either replace or even face Gingrich in a two-man race. If Ron Paul makes it to the top three in Florida then he can keep being a parasite on my party’s primaries. And if Mitt Romney doesn’t win Florida he’s in trouble. Heck, if Mitt Romney comes in third in Florida then he’s probably out of the race.

In other word, none of these people have anything in particular to lose at this point; and not doing anything will not actually help Romney with his sagging poll numbers, Gingrich with his looming baggage, Santorum with his long-shot status, and Paul with his being Ron Paul. So… expect fireworks this week. Lots of them.

Aimed at the face.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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