Google Maps Abandoned Its Cupcake Calorie-Counting Feature After Backlash On Twitter
According to multiple reports, Google Maps has ditched its new feature on the widely-used iOS Maps app that calculated how many calories users would burn if they were to walk, instead of drive or take the train, to their destination. While the feature, which has been in testing for roughly a week, was well intended—encouraging people to make healthy decisions—it was met with backlash online. Early users thought the feature was “generally shamey,” and a Google spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the removal is, in fact, “based on strong user feedback.”
It seems users were baffled most by the use of confectionary units as a measurement for success. Google used mini cupcakes alongside the calorie count, suggesting how many pink-frosted cupcakes would be burned off by walking to the destination entered. Did they really expect people to relate to mini cupcakes? People felt this suggested that “all exercise must be atonement for the sin of eating,” as one Twitter user put it. The app also used vague language, such as “the average person,” not taking into account gender, height, or weight.
Keep scrolling to see some initial reactions from users.
"Cupcake?" Let's talk about all the signifiers that contains is about assumptions of gender, culture and food. https://t.co/1hhLaekuXk
— Rachel Larris (@RachelLarris) October 17, 2017
I kinda wish they’d removed the horrible cupcake monitor but kept the calories indicator as an opt-in feature.
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) October 17, 2017
It's amazing to see the differences in responses to this based on gender. https://t.co/q3fjHcR5BI
— Kyle Feldscher (@Kyle_Feldscher) October 17, 2017
One of the hardest parts of recovery was quitting calorie counting. When your life revolves around numbers it’s so hard to break the habit
— Selena (@selenalarson) October 17, 2017