Digital Easter Eggs: The Internet’s Coolest Hidden Treasures

Virtual Easter Eggs. Image courtesy of Photobucket user rupavagini.It’s Easter season. This means millions of people from around the world will soon wake up on Easter Sunday to participate in Easter egg hunts in their very own backyards. For technology and pop culture buffs, the search for Easter eggs is never over.

In the online world, the term “Easter egg” has a different meaning—it is any hidden, entertaining gem that is left by a programmer for people to discover by doing a series of reproducible actions.

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Easter eggs and where to find them so you can access them too. Enjoy!

Facebook

Facebook included some neat features in their most recent Facebook Chat update this January. Users can now include thumbnails, or tiny pictures, of user, event, and brand pages in messages.

  1. Go to any profile, brand page, or event that you want to use as an emoticon.
  2. Look at the URL. Find the username or profile ID at the end of the URL such as “JustinBieber” from http://www.facebook.com/JustinBieber, “andrewgrojean,” “TheHungerGamesMovie,” or “6281148998″
  3. Place that name or number in double brackets like [[JustinBieber]]
  4. Enter that string into a Facebook Chat or Message field. When you send it, the bracketed number or letters will appear as that person, brand, or event’s current profile picture.
My Facebook Chat With Obama. We're Pals.

Facebook also has some fun language options. By selecting Account Settings, and then Language, you can change your language to Pirate.

  • Friends become “Mateys”
  • Comment becomes “Scrawl a message…”
  • Like becomes “This be pleasin’ to my eye.”

I won’t spoil all the terms, so change your language to Pirate or another bonus Upside Down for a day to see the fun options. This may be my favorite Easter egg (or as a pirate would say, Eastarrrr egg.)

The last Facebook Easter egg is a hidden profile. Everyone should visit this Facebook page and Subscribe to this person—they have some really neat statuses! Check it out: http://facebook.com/profile.php?=73322363.

If you haven’t noticed, everyone views that profile as his or her own.

Google

The Chuck Norris meme may have died, but the Chuck Norris Easter egg is alive and well. When you enter “Find Chuck Norris” on Google and click “I’m Feeling Lucky,” you are taken to third-party results that read:

Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris, he finds you.

Chuck Norris Google Plus

This Easter egg is updated for 2012, even including Chuck Norris’ Google+ page in the upper right hand corner.

Google also has some neat search results. Searching “askew” tilts the results page, making it askew. There is another neat third-party egg accessed by searching “Google Gravity” and clicking “I’m Feeling Lucky.” You may need to turn off Instant search by changing your search settings, but it enables gravity on the home page dropping the search bar.

YouTube

Play the classic arcade game Snake on any YouTube video! Click any video a few times to select it, hold the left button, followed by the up button. Then play Snake by using the arrow keys to collect dots and avoiding the walls. Try it with the video below.

AndrewGrojean.com

What kind of post would this be if I didn’t have a few Easter eggs of my own? (Hint: You can access one using the most popular video game code of all time, and then pressing Enter.)

I’m always looking for new Easter eggs and neat tricks online. Do you have any favorite Easter eggs?

Happy Easter!

Andrew

About Andrew Grojean

Andrew is a Senior Analyst, Social Media at a digital marketing agency in KC, interested in all things social media, pop culture, sports, and technology.

14 comments

  1. Have a Super Happy Easter Weekend!

  2. I’m used to the concept of the “easter egg” in video games, but I had no idea about any of the ones you listed in your article above. Some of the stuff, like the profile pictures on Facebook, seems more like general site functionality, but the Google and YouTube stuff was definitely cool!

    • Thanks Jason! You are right, the Facebook Chat updates may have been a stretch, but I didn’t think many people knew about them so I threw them in anyway. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Yes, I have heard of it, but never participated in those “egg hunts”. Guess I have some catching up to do.

  4. I love Easter Eggs, but I am usually reading and finding out about them from someone else. Very rarely have I discovered any on my own

    • I am the same way, Omar. Though just because people have found them before us doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy them, right? Most of these I read about from somewhere else before discovering them. I decided to throw some of my own in so I could finally be the one creating Easter eggs instead of just finding them!

  5. thanks for sharing, it sounds a lot more common than i thought. Happy Easter

  6. Ramesh Shankerlal

    I have heard of it right from my convent days, but never participated!

  7. Yes, and Smarties, Egg with smarties in side, is my favorite one

  8. These are great, Andrew! I knew about Easter Eggs but can never recall them and didn’t know about these ones. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Liz! I sometimes have a hard time finding them again too after I’ve found them, but the Facebook and YouTube ones I use often so they are pretty easy to remember. Glad I could let you know about some new ones!

  9. Thanks Andrew for sharing!
    There was a time in my childhood, I must have been nine years old, where we were looking for hidden eggs in a big garden and I still remember having found some of the hidden eggs myself!
    Have a great and happy Easter holiday!
    Best,
    Lucas

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