Big Players Embracing QR Codes

It’s been interesting over the last few weeks to watch more and more big web companies beginning to get into QR codes and roll them out to users. I think that it’s going to take one of these big companies (or perhaps Microsoft, Apple, Twitter) to start embracing these we’ll see a big spike in usage.

The missing piece right now is education – no one really knows what these little bar code-looking things do and how to use them. And besides, knowing is half the battle, right?

Here are a few recent examples:

Google

Google’s URL shortener will now create a QR code for you automatically. Just add a .qr to the end of your Google shortened URL and you’ll get a QR code you can embed, save or print and use anywhere. Here’s a tweet from Google’s Matt Cutts:

Facebook

Facebook has started testing out some implementations of QR codes, which according to Lost Remote, could be quite the push QRs need to gain more mainstream acceptance. From their post:

If Facebook were to really get involved in the QR code space, it would be a promising development. Facebook’s size and sheer market dominance could bring QR codes into the mainstream. It would seemingly be a foregone conclusion that Facebook would take an active role in fostering QR code adoption and the use of reader applications. If Facebook were to integrate QR code functionality into its existing mobile applications, the social network could have an enormous impact on the future of QR code technology. Facebook’s reach would guarantee that QR code readers would garner mainstream adoption.

So what will they be used for on Facebook? Well, they’re not saying, but expect it to be a big part of their mobile sites and future location-based plans, according to TechCrunch:

A source with knowledge of Facebook’s plans tells us that the QR codes will be used with an upcoming version of Facebook’s mobile app. More specifically, businesses could potentially print out a QR code and put it on a wall or a counter in their venue to allow users to scan it to check-in at that store, we’re told. Facebook is expected to unveil its location plans at its f8 conference in late April.

Blackberry

Even though I’m an iPhone guy, it’s interesting to see Blackberry start to implement QR codes in its phones, which are used by a ton of businesspeople around the world. They recently released a Facebook app to let users create a QR code of their Blackberry messenger ID for easy sharing with other. It’s interesting because the most recent version of the Blackberry Messenger program has a built-in reader.