Creative technologist Matt Reed continues to make quarantine more bearable for all of us. First he blessed us with a tool that adds an AI-powered duplicate of yourself to Zoom meetings. His newest creation is perhaps even more useful, allowing you to Rickroll your co-workers. There’s a good chance your next Zoom meeting will be the last you’re ever invited to.
Using the tool is as easy as heading over to InviteRick.com this morning, any time after 9 a.m. ET, and submitting an invite link for a Zoom meeting you’re currently stuck in. You’ll be automatically added to a queue—the website will let you know your place in line and approximately how long it will be before Rick Astley starts a private performance of “Never Gonna Give You Up” for everyone in the Zoom meeting. The Rickroll only lasts for 15 seconds before it disconnects, but there’s a solid chance Rick will be booted from the meeting long before that.
You can read a brief explainer on how InviteRick works over on the redpepper website, but the tool basically required Reed to sacrifice his personal Zoom account, which has been thoroughly rebranded as Rick Astley, and connect it to a ManyCam Virtual Camera which broadcasts a shortened loop of Astley’s most recognized and despised performance to the next video meeting in an automated queue. As Reed points out, the tool is blatantly in violation of Zoom’s terms of service, so while he doesn’t know how long he’ll try to keep it running, the odds are Zoom will shut it down well before he does. In the long run, maybe that’s actually a good thing?
Update - July 9, 8:08AM EST: Coming as a surprise to no one, InviteRick.com has been disabled by Reed after being contacted by Zoom.
“I’ve been notified (very kindly I might add) that my rolling service is in violation of Zoom’s terms of service and therefore I must immediately quit with the Zoom Rickrolls. The smiles that I brought were priceless and your enthusiasm for my work is something I’ll cherish forever. So, with that, I have let you down. However, I’m never gonna give you up. We will meet again, when you least expect it. - Love, Rick”