Early last year, USA Today rolled out Microsoft Tag barcodes on newspaper pages that readers could scan with their mobile phones to access photos, videos and other online content. Now the national newspaper is switching to 2D codes powered by AT&T on its pages. People can now use almost any QR scanning application, including the free AT&T Code Scanner, to launch interactive, multimedia content on their mobile devices.
"We launched nearly a year ago with Tags as an experiment which went very well," said Chet Czarniak, executive editor, content distribution and programming for USA TODAY. That said, we didn't have a permanent 2D solution defined, and we wanted to see what the open source QR code would do for our products."
AT&T recently said 10.4 million barcode scans were made through its code management platform in the first quarter of 2011, representing an 800% increase in scans. The company estimates 44 million people have a scanner app on their phone. Among marketers surveyed, 55% who don’t currently have a mobile marketing strategy plan to implement one this year.