Google's April Fools' joke backfires: Tech giant apologises for Gmail feature that 'cost people jobs'

Google has been forced to remove a feature it installed in Gmail as an April Fools' prank after furious users complained that it was costing them jobs.

Designed as an alternative to the Send button, the "Mic Drop" tool would email the message, along with a gif of a minion dropping a microphone. The feature also muted any future replies from people in the email thread.

The main problem was that the tech firm placed the Mic Drop button - described as a way to "get the last word" - directly next to the normal Send button.

There was an immediate backlash to the feature, with many users clicking it accidentally, sometimes on emails replying to potential employers.

Justin Boxill wrote on a Google Help forum: "I just sent off an email with my resume to the first person who wanted to interview me in months.

"I clicked the wrong button and sent it with the mic drop. Well, I guess I'm not getting that job.

"I'm actually shaking. One click, ONE CLICK and I lost the job. Goddamnit. Not funny, Google."

Several other users took to Twitter to report similar incidents when replying to job-related emails, with hundreds more using Google forums to request its removal.

Google apologised and removed the feature less than 12 hours after it went live.

The email service recently surpassed one billion active users, making it one of the most used social tools in the world.