Twitter Introduces QR Codes for Sharing and Following Accounts

Twitter today introduced Snapchat-style QR codes, which are designed to make it easier to find and follow friends on the social network. Each Twitter QR code is unique to an individual Twitter user, so when scanned, it'll bring up the person's account.

To access your Twitter QR code, you'll need the official Twitter app for iOS. In the app, go to your profile, tap on the gear icon, and select the "QR Code" option to generate your own personal QR code or scan someone else's code.

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Scanning a QR code is as simple as using the iPhone's camera to either scan from a secondary screen or an image you've saved to the camera roll. You can follow MacRumors on Twitter by scanning the below code with your iPhone and the Twitter app.

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QR codes were first made popular by Snapchat as a quick way to find your friends without having to search for them, but they may not be as popular on Twitter because the QR code settings are buried so deeply within the app.

Twitter's QR codes are currently rolling out to users and may not be immediately available for everyone.

Twitter for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Twitter


Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago
Because sending an @ handle or a link is too difficult these days. *eye roll*
Rating: 4 Votes
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37 months ago

Because sending an @ handle or a link is too difficult these days. *eye roll*

There's one very good use of QR codes that do make this useful - "IRL" use. Eg: Follow Us on (insert social media name and URL here). Having a sign with a Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter/etc links - people with smart phones will look at it, and maybe they will stop to type the URL out. But if they see a QR code, they can simply snap a shot of it and later use the social media app to load that QR code in and 'friend' or 'follow' the business.

Yes, they could take a pic of the URL, but then you have the whole "look at the URL, type part of it in a browser, visit the photo again to make sure i didn't make typos, etc" and that's a bit of a pain when you're trying to do something quickly.

For online - yeah, QR codes are harder, but if you've got a business and have cards or signs up, that's a very quick way to send people your profile info w/o having to make them type a URL.

Bonus points for making the QR codes slightly different if using it to send a customer to one's own website - you can have the URL embedded in the QR code lead to a different URL (which redirects to the home page) and analyze the logs later to see which QR codes people are scanning when in a store/business (each sign with the QR code would be tracked, so if a customer scans it on the front door sign, you'd know vs the sign in a different part of the building - same with printing it on a biz card - this way you can track an "offline referer" of sorts - so you know the person used a biz card, or a front door sign to discover your website).
Rating: 3 Votes
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37 months ago

Random question about QR codes in general (not about Twitter):

When you see QR codes printed on a poster or something in the real world... what are you supposed to scan them with? Does it need a special app? How is this not built into the OS ?

If I have this question... will the average person know what to do with them?


Good question; Apple embraced QR codes with iOS 7, but has kept them limited to the Wallet app; many 3rd party camera apps, however, recognize QR codes automatically and will open up a browser when viewing the code. But you're correct in that most folks who just use the native camera app and don't use the Wallet app, will not know what they need to download to use it.

I do see a lot [a lot!] of Android folks using their phone to scan QR codes on items in stores - I have never looked close enough to see what kind of app they were using, but Android too lacks native QR scanning for this kind of purpose.

You can see how quick Apple's QR reading is by scanning a QR code with Wallet [add a Pass to get to the QR reading screen].

That said, paper business cards that have my QR code are used daily [the biz card's QR code goes to a specialized link, so I can see in my logs that they came via the biz card]. Granted, those who have my biz card tend to be more into technology for technology's sake, so my experience with that is a bit skewed.
Rating: 2 Votes
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37 months ago
We did some research when I was studying marketing in college in early 2012 (I minored in that and photography in addition to my design degree) and not many people actually use QR codes. We found the same thing when I got a job at another university on the marketing and communications team. Students weren't engaging with them IRL and our survey showed only a fraction knew how to use them. I also think they're ugly, have poor UX, and as there is no native support for them on iOS, I recommended that we stop using them and my boss agreed. They were a trendy marketing thing that was popular for a while because it made you seem tech-savvy to your middle aged boss who doesn't understand digital marketing, and somehow it still hasn't completely died off.

It kind of works for Snapchat because they invented their own system in the iconic shape of their app icon and the ability to scan is built into the app itself. This is yet another example of Twitter throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks because nobody wants to buy them. At least they could have made them more unique to their own the brand rather than just sticking a tiny avatar in the center and a small bird in one corner.
Rating: 2 Votes
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37 months ago
Random question about QR codes in general (not about Twitter):

When you see QR codes printed on a poster or something in the real world... what are you supposed to scan them with? Does it need a special app? How is this not built into the OS ?

If I have this question... will the average person know what to do with them?
Rating: 2 Votes
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37 months ago

I didn't know you could do that. Thanks for explaining. And I agree with your reasoning. It makes sense.

I'm also a big fan of Apple Pay. Works great.


I'm a big fan of Apple Pay as well - only issue I've had with it is that the readers at stores I frequent, are not always working for contactless payment. I volunteer at a thrift store and have worked with the POS company to enable contactless payment on their POS credit card machine - but it works about half the time. :(

I tend to think that's the main issue with Apple Pay - POS systems that aren't 100% stable and don't always work with NFC-based transactions. Once firmware is updated to fix issues like this, it'll give more confidence in having customers use Apple Pay.

QR codes have their place, but payment transactions certainly isn't a good place for them to be! When Apple Pay works, it is lightning fast and easy; compared to the chip on a card readers which actually read the CC at a slower speed than the mag strip readers do, it sometimes feels unnatural that the paying process happens so quickly! :)
Rating: 1 Votes
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37 months ago

QR codes have their place, but payment transactions certainly isn't a good place for them to be! When Apple Pay works, it is lightning fast and easy; compared to the chip on a card readers which actually read the CC at a slower speed than the mag strip readers do, it sometimes feels unnatural that the paying process happens so quickly! :)

The first time I used it I was blown away. Full transaction literally took less than a second. The teller had no idea what had just happened lol.
Rating: 1 Votes
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37 months ago

The first time I used it I was blown away. Full transaction literally took less than a second. The teller had no idea what had just happened lol.

Similar experience here, as well! Kinda reminds me of TouchID on the 6s when it first came out - almost "too" fast. Definitely not complaining, but I think the first wave of people who have used it [and the clerks behind the register] all took a bit to make sure the transaction actually happened, as Apple Pay isn't a natural progression of speed from the usual check-out time - it's a giant leap!
Rating: 1 Votes
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37 months ago

By using them in the Wallet app - as my post said. :) Open Wallet and then tap the "+" for adding a new pass. You'll then be able to use Apple's QR reader to add a pass into your Wallet. Works very well, and because this tends to be a one-time thing [unlike ApplePay competitors who use QR codes which is a complete waste of time], it is a very fast way to get a pass into your wallet app.

Using QR codes for transactions [eg: what ApplePay competitors tend to do] is foolish and wasteful; but using QR codes to save typing out a long string of characters that auto correct could "fix" and slow down the process even further, is a good thing. No fear of typos, and it is a lot faster than typing a URL out [not everyone has short domain names nor wants to create a short URL from another company to print on their signs/biz cards/marketing material] or typing a long string of numbers and letters for adding a Wallet Pass.

I didn't know you could do that. Thanks for explaining. And I agree with your reasoning. It makes sense.

I'm also a big fan of Apple Pay. Works great.
Rating: 1 Votes
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