Launched on 18 May 2012 to much fan fare and promises of a bridge between print and digital, Fairfax’s AirLink functionality appears to have disappeared from the list of tools being used by either Fairfax journalists or advertisers.
AirLink is a technology that transforms ordinary photographs and symbols on print pages into scannable images that can direct consumers to websites or rich media; pretty much a QR code without the QR code).
On launch day, AirLink was the subject of a video from the then editor in chief and publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Fray, welcoming readers to the future of journalism.
“AirLink is a cutting-edge, audience focused technology development that allows us to fully integrate print and digital content,” said Fray, who resigned from his post in June 2012.
Fairfax mobile director, Rick Gleave was equally enthusiastic about the launch “AirLink is another example of how we are continuing to set the standard through constant investment and innovation in mobile technology,” he said.
Advertisers too appeared to have been suitably wooed by Fairfax’s in-house designed and built application that still sits within the SMH app, with MasterCard signing up as AirLink partners.
Following its launch in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sunday Herald, the technology was also offered as part of the The Age’s offering.
However in the past few weeks the AirLink app logo appears to have completely absented itself from the print title. Fairfax refused to confirm when the last time AirLink was used saying only: “AirLink is still available to use and is being used by editorial where they feel it adds value. It is also still available as an offer for advertisers if they wish to use the technology.”