QR Code Types: The 3 Versions You Need to Know (2023)

By Tibor Moes / Updated: June 2023

QR Code Types: The 3 Versions You Need to Know (2023)<br />

QR Code Types

Imagine stepping into a portal and instantly teleporting to a new place – sounds like sci-fi, right? Well, QR codes do something similar, except instead of zapping you to Mars, they transport your smartphone browser to a webpage or online content. From making payments to visiting websites, they do a whole lot! Buckle up, as we unravel the fascinating types of these digital teleportation devices, the QR codes.


QR Codes are two-dimensional barcodes storing data readable by smartphones. They connect the physical world to digital platforms, directing users to various online destinations like websites, payment portals, or virtual cards.

Type 1 – Website QR Code: Just a simple scan transports you to a website. It’s like magic, isn’t it? These QR codes make it effortless to share website URLs, eliminating the need to remember or type long, complex addresses.

Type 2 – Social Media QR Code: Want to increase your Instagram followers or likes on your Facebook page? This QR code is your digital business card for all your social media handles, letting others connect with you with just a snap!

Type 3 – App Store QR Code: Forget searching for an app in the sea of millions. A scan of this QR code whisks you straight to the download page of a specific app in your respective app store. It’s like having a digital shortcut to your next favorite app!

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QR Code Types In-depth

Website QR Code: The Digital Shortcut to the World Wide Web

Do you remember the time you had to type in a long, confusing website address, only to get it wrong, again and again? Those days are long gone, thanks to our digital hero: the Website QR Code.

Now, think back to a magical fairy tale you might have heard as a child – Alice in Wonderland. Remember how Alice fell through a rabbit hole and found herself in a brand-new world? That’s precisely what a Website QR Code does. It’s a digital rabbit hole that pulls you into the World Wide Web without the fuss of typing or remembering long URLs.

Website QR Codes are like secret passages in a castle. In an instant, they can whisk you away to any website – be it a bustling social media page, a serene blog on gardening, or an online store teeming with your favorite books. All you have to do is point your smartphone camera at the code, and, poof, you’re there!

But how does this magic happen? It’s quite simple, actually. When the QR Code is generated, the creator inputs a website URL. This URL is then translated into a pattern of black and white squares – the QR code. When you scan this code with your smartphone, it decodes the pattern, recognizes the URL, and guides your browser to the specified website. It’s like giving your smartphone a treasure map, where ‘X’ marks the digital spot!

And don’t worry, these codes aren’t as fragile as glass slippers. They’re robust, and they can even work if part of them gets damaged or smudged. So, they’re perfect for use in posters, flyers, and billboards, where wear and tear are expected. Plus, they’re a wonderful tool for marketers and event organizers. By simply placing a Website QR Code on promotional material, they can lead potential customers or attendees directly to their site.

In essence, the Website QR Code is a bridge that links the physical and digital worlds. It simplifies our digital journey by serving as an instant shortcut to the endless world of the internet. It’s your very own magical rabbit hole, opening up a world of information with just a single scan!

Social Media QR Code: Your Digital Passport to Connection

Let’s take a step into the digital social scene, shall we? Imagine you’re at a bustling party, and you meet someone interesting. You want to stay connected, but trading social media handles can be as complicated as spelling out a complex, foreign dish. Thankfully, the Social Media QR Code steps in like a trusty digital concierge, making connections easier and quicker than ever before.

Picture this. The Social Media QR Code is like a charming host at a party who knows everyone. You just have to whisper your name, and the host guides you directly to the person you’re looking for amid the noise and crowd. No more fumbling through various platforms, misspelling usernames, or scrolling endlessly to find the right profile!

So, how does it do this? It’s quite nifty! When you create a Social Media QR Code, you link it to your social media profiles – be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other platform. This QR code, when scanned by a smartphone, decodes into these linked social media handles and presents them neatly to the scanner. It’s like a digital business card, containing all your social profiles in one neat package!

Not only is this a fantastic tool for making new friends, but it’s also a boon for businesses, influencers, and anyone looking to expand their digital footprint. By embedding a Social Media QR Code on a poster, business card, or flyer, you can guide people directly to your online social presence. One quick scan, and they can like your page, follow your profile, or even start a conversation!

Moreover, these QR Codes are like the Swiss Army knives of the digital world – versatile and multi-functional. You can customize them to match your brand’s aesthetic, embed them in your email signature, or even display them at a pop-up shop or event.

In essence, the Social Media QR Code is a digital passport to effortless online connections. It’s a tool that compiles all your digital personas into a single, scannable image, breaking down barriers and opening doors to new social connections. So, next time you meet someone interesting, let your QR code do the talking!

App Store QR Code: Your Digital Compass to the App Oasis

Picture yourself as an intrepid explorer, standing at the edge of a vast desert. The desert represents the seemingly endless array of apps in your device’s app store. It’s exciting but also daunting. How do you find that one specific app you’re looking for? Thankfully, you have a guide: the App Store QR Code.

Think of the App Store QR Code as your trusted digital compass, pointing you directly towards your desired app amidst the sand dunes of countless others. This QR code eliminates the need for typing and searching, offering you a direct route instead. One scan, and you’re on the express path to downloading your target app.

So how does it accomplish this marvel? It’s quite straightforward. When an App Store QR Code is generated, it’s linked to a specific app’s URL in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or any other platform. This unique URL is then converted into a pattern of black and white squares – our QR code. When you scan this code, your device reads and decodes it, opening the exact app page in your respective app store. It’s like using a shortcut in a maze that directly leads you to the prize!

This type of QR code is particularly handy for app developers, businesses, or anyone who wants to promote an app. Imagine launching a new app and wanting to share it with the world. By integrating an App Store QR Code in your promotional material, you can navigate users directly to your app’s download page. It’s like handing out personalised maps to everyone that leads straight to your app!

Moreover, these QR codes aren’t just functional; they can also be fun and aesthetically pleasing. You can customise them to match your brand’s style, adding colors, logos, or even a catchy call-to-action like “Scan to Download Our App!”

In essence, the App Store QR Code is a beacon, guiding users through the crowded app marketplace straight to your digital doorstep. It’s your fast lane in the app store, making app discovery and downloading as simple as a quick scan!


From your favourite website to your business’s social media platforms or even your innovative app, QR codes have revolutionized the way we interact with the digital world. Just like magical gateways, they bridge the gap between the tangible and virtual realms, simplifying our online journey. Website QR Codes, Social Media QR Codes, and App Store QR Codes each have unique abilities that cater to our varied digital needs, making them powerful tools in our daily lives. With their immense versatility and ease of use, these digital shortcuts have become indispensable in this age of information. So, next time you see one of these fascinating squares, remember, it’s not just a pattern; it’s a door to a world of digital wonders!

How to stay safe online:

  • Practice Strong Password Hygiene: Use a unique and complex password for each account. A password manager can help generate and store them. In addition, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever available.
  • Invest in Your Safety: Buying the best antivirus for Windows 11 is key for your online security. A high-quality antivirus like Norton, McAfee, or Bitdefender will safeguard your PC from various online threats, including malware, ransomware, and spyware.
  • Be Wary of Phishing Attempts: Be cautious when receiving suspicious communications that ask for personal information. Legitimate businesses will never ask for sensitive details via email or text. Before clicking on any links, ensure the sender's authenticity.
  • Stay Informed. We cover a wide range of cybersecurity topics on our blog. And there are several credible sources offering threat reports and recommendations, such as NIST, CISA, FBI, ENISA, Symantec, Verizon, Cisco, Crowdstrike, and many more.

Happy surfing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

What do I need to scan a QR code?

To scan a QR code, all you need is a smartphone with a camera and a QR code reader app. Many modern smartphones come with a built-in QR code scanner in their camera app, so you won’t even need to download any additional software.

Are QR codes safe to use?

QR codes themselves are safe to use. However, they can be misused to direct you to a malicious website or download harmful content. As such, it’s essential to only scan QR codes from trusted sources and ensure that the URL you’re directed to seems legitimate.

Can QR codes be customized?

Yes, QR codes can be customized. You can change their color, incorporate a logo, or even alter their shape to align with your brand’s aesthetic. However, it’s crucial to maintain a high contrast between the code and its background to ensure scannability.



Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

Over the years, he has tested most of the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

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