When Google turned their iconic homepage into a destination for Pac-Man lovers last month, some users complained online that the old arcade game cost companies millions of dollars in work hours. In fact, software provider RescueTime estimated that the search company's fun little project wasted approximately 4.82 million hours of time and more than $120-million in lost productivity.
Aside from this recent time-sucker, Google is notorious for years of creative doodles on its ultra simple site. A quick look through the history of these designs reveals that the doodle team (yes, that's what they call themselves) has created more than 300 logos for Google.com and more than 700 international designs. From sporting a leprechaun's hat on Saint Patrick's Day in 2000 to an April Fool's Day "Topeka" theme last April, the company has no shortage of ways to celebrate holidays, historical figures, and cultural events.
This week, Google announced that its users can get in on the fun. If you're sick of the blank white space on the search page, you will soon be able to upload your own photo or image. Many Googlers in the U.S. can now access this feature, which will be rolled out in the rest of the world over the next few days.
This is a significant departure from the company's simple philosophy, but as Microsoft's Bing mixes up its search page design on a daily basis and other tech companies are jumping on the personalization bandwagon, Google is breaking its own model. Twitter users are already sharing their custom creations with the hashtage #mygooglepage. From personal photograph pics to family photos, there is no shortage of creative ideas, demonstrating that many fans are embracing Google's latest move to keep a hold of their spot as the world's number one search site.