April Fools? Joke’s on you. Google, which unveiled Gmail Shelfie as part of its silly April Fools’ celebrations, is now actually giving its users a means to do just that – share their Gmail themes.
And, yes, that means that you could still theoretically carry the torch for the Gmail Shelfie post-April Fools’ Day, if you so desire. (For the curious, the phrase is short for “SHareable sELFIE,” as Google describes.)
“Shelfies are so yesterday, so we’re saying goodbye to Gmail Shelfie. That said, many of you told us that you loved the concepts of themes and sharing together, so we worked through the night to update this feature into something even better. Today, we’re excited to announce that you can now share any custom theme—your favorite vacation spot, pet, family photo or even, yes, a selfie—with friends, loved ones or anyone,” wrote Google software engineer Greg Bullock in a blog post yesterday.
To share your custom Google theme with others, all you need do is hit up the Themes portion of your Gmail Settings menu. Once there, click on the Custom Light or Custom Dark theme that you’ve previously created (or have yet to create), and select the “Share your theme” link that appears below.
Once you’ve selected that, you’ll be able to share your custom theme via email, Google+, or a raw URL. A note about those: If you send your URL to a friend via any of the three methods, and they pass it along to a friend, and so on, then your custom theme has the potential to propagate through the Web. Anyone will be free to use it as they desire once they have said link. To disable your theme, however, you need merely to delete the associated photo from your Picasa account (using the handy links Google provides when you go to share said theme).
Although Google has killed off the “Top Trending Shelfies” theme, which would automatically rotate through popular images posted to the Gmail Google+ page, the company plans to start up a “Theme Thursdays” promotion on the page to share all the creative custom themes that other users have crafted up.
Frankly, we wouldn’t mind the former: A way to automatically rotate through some of the top images that Google’s selected to feature on a frequent basis. Minus the brief moment where we had a giant Miss Piggy in our Gmail, we actually kind of liked Google’s “joke” trending feature.