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YouTube's April Fool's Joke: Site Will Close, Relaunch in 2023 (Video)

The Associated Press, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 2:24pm (PDT)

The Hollywood Reporter -- April Fool's day is arriving a day early for YouTube.

In a video uploaded on the site on Sunday, the company teases that it will be shutting down at midnight so that its tech team can comb through every clip to pick the best video in the world.

STORY: YouTube: 1 Billion Monthly Visitors Reached

"30,000 technicians" will sift through all the clips, and a winner "will be announced when the website goes back online in 2023," states an actor playing a YouTube competition director. YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar makes an appearance in the clip as well as internet celebrity Antoine Dodson, who quips: "I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible before YouTube deletes everything tonight."

YouTube deemed the prank clip part of a yearly tradition and also created a fake blog post touting the closure of the site.

"April Fools' Day is a big part of YouTube's culture," a company spokesperson stated. "Each year, we enjoy finding ways to celebrate our community's creativity, be it throwing it back to 1911 as we did in 2011 or 2008's prank of Rickrolling every video on our site."

Watch the April Fool's day clip below:

Related article on THR.com:

Reddit Debuts Original Web Mini-Series (Exclusive)

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Find more online: THR.com

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