Recently, Mr. Hayzlett published a Trend Watch article for iMediaConnection titled, “Why SnapTags are Replacing QR Codes” and, in the article, he sites a campaign by Glamour magazine where a SnapTag was used and how it was received by the magazine’s readers. According to Mr. Hayzlett, “…over 100,000 code activations, 50,000 Facebook likes, and 500,000 interactions of some kind including code scans and peer sharing” came as a result of using a SnapTag, which featured a Facebook “like” logo (see bottom right-hand corner of the cover below).
If you are unfamiliar with SnapTags, the idea is that a company’s logo is placed in the center of a notched circle, and the SnapTag can either be read with SnapTag’s proprietary reader app, or a picture of the code can be taken and then sent to a short code. The short code reply email provides the consumer with the intended advertising or promotional information. If this sounds like JAGTAG all over again that’s because it is very similar.
Do SnapTags look cleaner and more simple than a QR Code, as Mr. Hayzlett suggests? That all depends if you are comparing apples to apples. Yes, a SnapTag will look better than a generic black and white QR Code, but a customized QR Code could look just as clean and just as simple as its SnapTag counterpart. And, if done correctly, a customized QR Code can be just as easy to scan and the analytics can be just as deep, as that of a SnapTag.
Great that Glamour’s SnapTag encountered 500,000 interactions of some kind, but can we be a bit more specific (i.e., how many magazine subscriptions were generated, how many advertiser products were sold, etc., etc.)? One 2D barcode campaign after another reports total number of scans, but few, if any, go beyond that and report what marketers, advertisers, publishers, etc., really want to know, what was the revenue generated as a result of the campaign? Of course, no one will make this claim, so we are left with scan rates that are virtually meaningless and somewhat out of context.
Based on my research, and as agnostic as I try to be in the 2D barcode space, I would say that SnapTags are hardly replacing QR Codes anytime soon and, even if they were, Mr. Hayzlett would need a lot more evidence than this one campaign to support his Trend Watch claim.