You wouldn’t put stickers on your customer’s cars while they shop, right?

It’s great that you have created a twitter-enabled app for showing off your newest product line or allowing your customers to enter sweepstakes to win some great stuff. I’m cool with that.

But never, never tweet on user’s behalf (using access to their twitter account they’ve given you by logging in to the app) without them knowing that & without them giving you distinct permission for that EACH TIME.

This can be compared to shopping mall putting stickers with their message on their customer’s cars while they shop. Just like anyone’s car is their personal belonging, anyone’s twitter feed is property, which says something about the person to the world. By not letting your customers choose what to say and invading their territory, you show your disrespect towards them. That’s a dealbreaker for any future relationship this person could have with you.

Why am I writing about this? 

I use sports tracking apps to count kilometers I run, swim, ride with bicycle etc. After getting bike last week I also decided to give a chance to Endomondo (my favorite is Nike+ GPS, but they do only running), because so many of my friends are using this app. It was a big (and not in a positive way) surprise that after I week I noticed that Endomondo had been posting my every bike ride to my Facebook timeline. There was no hint about this in the app and since I don’t use web interface of their service I wouldn’t have noticed this until much later if there wasn’t this one comment on Endomondo activity on my Facebook wall.

This was the last straw and starting from yesterday I’m using Runkeeper. They have much better iPhone app & they give you option to post or not to post to FB and twitter after each workout. I usually choose not to, since it’s not too interesting to read about my daily bike rides to work.