Microsoft Tag Used in amNewYork, the First Newspaper to Implement 2D Barcodes

amNewYork, a popular Manhattan newspaper, began implementing Microsoft Tags in August and has had great success. Readers, whom are primarily from the Tri-state area, have been scanning the tags in order to receive additional content, such as photo galleries and videos. This implementation of Microsoft Tag is the first of its kind for newspapers, which up until now, were one of the most traditional forms of communication in existence. Now, readers can see easily read reviews, watch movie trailers, and even buy tickets directly from their smart phones. Since most of amNewYork’s readers are young and tech-savvy, they are identifying with their audience by using the Tags, bridging the gap between print and the digital world.

However, these got me thinking—if they are truly trying to appeal to their young tech-savvy audience, why choose the Microsoft Tag over traditional QR codes? Such an audience would probably already have a standard barcode scanner downloaded, or perhaps their phone even came pre-loaded with one, so wouldn’t making them download an additional app be a nuisance? While I can’t speak for amNewYork readers, people seem to like what they know, and having an open source reader would seem to be more appealing to the tech-savvy. For me, downloading a new app isn’t that big of a deal, but it could prohibit others from going forward with the action that the paper is asking them to take.

This begs the question, which is better: Microsoft Tag, or QR Codes? And what about JAGTAG… are they still even in the running? From a business perspective, Microsoft Tag is easy to use, and offers great organization and free tracking, but from the consumers perspective, do people really want to be told they must download a specific app in order to look at something? While QR codes and 2D barcodes are rapidly growing in America, America is about choices—shouldn’t we be able to choose which apps scan our barcodes?

You decide! Let us know what you think about the Microsoft Tag vs. QR code debate by commenting here, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.