The QR code is a failed symbol of marketing despair, something that was built to engage users with brands and businesses. But, thanks to Snapchat, they're making an unexpected comeback—and you might start seeing them more than ever.
In an effort to spread the presence of Snapchat beyond the digital world, the service will begin allowing users to print out their own personal Snapcode, and even customize them, which could be a huge deal for brands.
Snapcodes work like this: each user has their own Snapchat-branded QR code. All someone needs to do is open up Snapchat, point their camera at your QR code, and take a picture. Just like that, and they'll be following you. It's an easy alternative to manually entering a username or finding someone in your address book. It's an elegant solution to Snapchat's clunky and confusing UI.
The problem with Snapchat is there's no discovery feature, but Snapcodes mitigates that problem to an extent. Now that users will be able to easily print out and customize their own QR code, it'll be easier than ever to add your favorite musician/brand/whatever.
You'll be able to customize the white ghost portion of Snapcodes; anything beyond that (changing the yellow background or black dots) and the code won't work. Once you do get your own vector Snapcode, however, you're pretty much free to put it anywhere—on a T-shirt, sticker, poster, etc. Once someone sees it, all they'll have to do is scan it and they'll be following you.
It always seemed strange for Snapchat to commit to such an old and unloved method of connecting people. But the QR code might be here to stay. Speaking of Snapcodes, ours is at the head of this post.