Confusing Comscore QR Code Study

15 Aug

Last week comscore released a study that claimed that ’14 million Americans used a QR code in June 2011′.

14 million? In one month?

That’s over 5% of the adult population… I just don’t buy it, sorry. I would raise an eyebrow if you told me that 5% of my (very tech focused) friends and colleagues had used a QR code in June, let alone the general population.

I tweeted my doubt this morning, and @comscore responded that the study includes bar codes. I’m not really sure what that means. Either way, it’s confusing: the headline very clearly says QR codes, and that’s certainly how it’s being reported.

Regardless… though I see lots of potential for QR codes, the fact of the matter is we’re using them them wrong: using a QR code to simply link to your site is dull, and a classic example of deploying technology for its own sake. QR codes on underground subway billboards? OK then…

I don’t believe that it’s a dead technology by any means, but I think that for them to succeed I would like to see more smart digital application and less people claiming extraordinary success. Or if you are going to claim that success, I want to see some evidence.

UPDATE 3.30pm, 8/15: so this is weird. The original release from Comscore used the language ‘QR and bar codes’, but Comscore dropped the ‘bar codes’ bit. Strange.

Check out the original: http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS371US371&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=14+Million+Americans+Scanned+QR+or+Bar+Codes+on+their+Mobile+Phones+in+June%C2%A02011

And here’s the release on Comscore’s site: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/8/14_Million_Americans_Scanned_QR_or_Bar_Codes_on_their_Mobile_Phones_in_June_2011

Strange, no?

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