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The Case Against QR Codes

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qrcodeFact: It seems like everywhere you look there is a QR code popping up.

What’s a QR code? It’s those strange, square, barcode looking things that marketing agencies and “pr gurus” everywhere are telling their clients they must include on everything. I even saw a company with a GIANT QR code on a billboard this week, who’s idea was that?

There is no question QR codes are being used more and more by advertisers, but the big question is, are they being used by users?

There are all kinds of statistics out there, but here are some facts that drive me to believe QR codes are not actually being used by most mobile users currently.

  1. iOS Devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, etc.) take up over 60% of mobile web traffic. (Net Applications Mobile/Tablet Top Operating System Share Trend Nov ’09 – Oct ’11)
  2. No iOS device comes pre-installed with a QR code reader, meaning users need to download an app to scan and use QR codes.
  3. The highest ranked, free, QR code reader in the app store is #35. There are only 2 QR code readers currently in the top 200 apps!

Based on this data, it seems pretty clear that the majority of mobile users are NOT using QR codes on a regular basis.

Maybe that will change in the future, but in most of the current examples I have seen, QR codes are not a huge time saver and seem like a clumsy solution to quick input of data and sharing information.

With that said, QR codes are very easy to setup. There are tons of web sites and tools that will let you create free QR codes and put them on anything you want. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing they are expensive or complex to create.

That’s just our opinion, what’s yours?

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