SnapTags: A Competitor in 2-D Barcodes

2012 will be an important year for mobile marketing and the use of 2-D barcodes. While QR codes are the dominant method of mobile activation, there are other 2-D barcodes trying to break into the market. SnapTag™ technology, a mobile activation method that utilizes code rings to encircle brand logos, allows people to snap photos and send them in text messages to a specific number, creating a more accessible means of interaction. Does this make SnapTags better than QR codes?

Here are eight things to consider when determining which mobile interaction to use:

  1. BrandingSnapTags incorporate a company’s brand logo into the tag, enabling immediate brand recognition. QR codes offer minimal branding space, and customizing them requires additional testing to guarantee optimal scanning performance.Winner: SnapTags
  1. Speed of ResponseWhile QR codes only require scanning and responding, SnapTags ask that people snap, send, wait for a response, and then interact. The SnapTag reader app levels the playing field by speeding up this process, making the experience arguably the same.Winner: Draw
  1. ReachSnapTags can reach people who do not own smartphones. By utilizing only cameras and text messaging, users can engage via SMS conversations. QR codes can only be used by smartphone users who own a QR code reader.
    Winner: If using an SMS campaign, SnapTags. If not, it’s a draw.
  1. PriceSnapTags is a service provided by SpyderLynk, meaning only they can create them and the process includes both set-up and participation fees. QR codes, on the other hand, are free and can be created on many different sites.Winner: QR Codes
  1. Coding TurnaroundWhile QR codes can be made instantly by generating them on many websites, SpyderLynk takes at least two days to create and distribute SnapTags. This might not have a major impact on planned campaigns, but it does affect any last-minute decision to incorporate them.Winner: QR Codes
  1. RecognitionMore people are familiar with and know how to interact with QR codes because their unique checkerboard designs are hard to miss on print advertisements. SnapTag’s brand-focused designs risk being interpreted as regular logos, potentially resulting in a poor response rate.Winner: QR Codes
  1. App AccessibilityThere are hundreds of apps that can read QR codes, including apps with additional functions and features like Google Goggles. This allows QR codes to be scanned more often by users in comparison to SnapTags, which can only be read by the SnapTag app available only for Android or iOS users.Winner: QR Codes
  1. AnalyticsSpyderLynk can record the number of times a SnapTag is scanned and the number of users who engage in communication with the company. QR codes provide some level of measuring metrics, but are limited to those who engage and visit a web page.Winner: SnapTags


Unless you’re using an SMS campaign or brand recognition is a high priority, our recommendation for now is to use QR codes. Both strategies excel and falter in different aspects, and determining which works better is dependent on the audience you are trying to reach and the results you want to achieve.