Friday, February 11, 2011

QR Codes Added to USA Today

If you are on of the 33% of smartphone users, your mobile experience is not complete unless you are accustomed to using QR codes, those graphical boxes on print materials, that link to online content on your phone. And USA Today is introducing these QR codes, more specifically, the Microsoft Tag, to their daily addition. "Microsoft is enthused about the partnership, as it brings big potential market share to their Tag system. 'We’re excited that USA TODAY is using Tag to engage with readers in a more interactive way. Microsoft Tag makes the world around you clickable, and now with the scan of Tag, customers will get a richer, more enhanced experience from the pages of the newspaper,' said the director of Tag, Bill McQuain."

Smartphone penetration continues to rise. The launch of the Verizon iPhone will only push penetration further. The smartphone has become the must have device, connected to most of us 24/7. It connects us with voice, test, GPS, email, and more. It can be our still camera, our video camera, our radio, and even as a wallet. The Microsoft Tag or QR code enables us to enjoy a more interactive experience with the information and content we encounter. Adding it to newspapers like USA Today seems like a no brainer, yet it is only just now being added. Tags don't have to be just for advertising; they add more value to editorial as well and hopefully that connection will only serve to make USA Today a more desired newspaper.

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