Are Mobile Barcodes Toast As Google Kills Print Ads? (GOOG)

Google (GOOG) is finally killing its newspaper ad program that no one wanted. Is it also killing the mobile barcode?

If you recall, so-called “2-D” or “QR” barcodes were a big part of Google’s newspaper ad push: You could take a picture of the ad’s barcode with your camera phone, and it points your phone’s browser to a Web site, map, coupon, etc. (And gives advertisers something they can track.)

Sounds good in theory — big in Japan! — but hasn’t taken off here. (Remember the similarly useless CueCat?)

And while Google isn’t the only company pushing mobile barcodes here — Microsoft (MSFT) has joined with a useless iPhone app — it was probably the most important, especially for formal QR-style codes.

So unless we’re missing something huge, it seems mobile barcodes are losing their biggest U.S. backer.

See Also:
Google’s Newspaper Ads: Big Hopes For Small Barcodes
Another Useless iPhone App From Microsoft: ‘Tag’

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