Microsoft Sees Huge Traction With 2D Mobile Barcodes, More Than 2 Billion Printed So Far

Microsoft issued a press release this morning detailing some pretty impressive usage stats for its “Tags” proprietary 2D mobile barcode solution, saying more than two billion tags have been printed since its inception in January of 2009.

Just last week we covered how Allure magazine used Microsoft Tags to generate over 450,000 scans for its annual Free Stuff Giveaway issue in August.  Beyond that, Microsoft says over 1 billion Tags have been printed in the past four months alone, with the number of Tag users increasing three fold since emerging from beta in May.  The number of Tags scanned increased by four fold during the same time period, the company said.

To date, more than 100,000 Tag accounts have been set up to add interactive digital experiences to brand advertising and marketing campaigns, and since August, Tag has been used in more than 100 million magazine issues.  “Consumers are rapidly embracing smartphones, which opens a new marketing channel for savvy businesses.  Microsoft Tag gives brands and their agencies a powerful way to engage this growing set of connected consumers and create immersive experiences that connect the digital world to the physical world,” said Aaron Getz, general manager of Microsoft Tag. “With Tag, businesses can build compelling customer scenarios to drive engagement and retention, easily measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, and explore new merchandising opportunities for their products.”

I’ll admit I had reservations about Microsoft’s attempt at mobile barcodes in the beginning, with the exception of knowing that the company’s weight was its biggest attribute in making it a success.  By targeting publishers, it’s gotten the technology known in the right circles and consumers are obviously responding to it.  The deal with Allure was the largest mobile barcode campaign ever in terms of response, and as long as they keep the momentum going, Microsoft Tags could very well become the long-term success the company always envisioned.