Few things on the web are more annoying than trying to decipher the letters or words that make up a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart – in case you were wondering). Well if all goes well for one start-up company, we are close to the death of the traditional captcha and a number of things will happen; users won’t have to suffer through those anymore, publishers will have an additional revenue stream, and advertisers one more way to get eyeballs on their brand, as if there weren’t already enough of those online.
Usually when you’re being forced to fill out one of these, you are in the middle of a task such as online registration or shopping and in either case; it can be extremely frustrating when you are denied 3 times in a row even if you’re positive you’re typing it correctly.
Say hello to the (possible) future of the CAPTCHA – once filled with wavy, indecipherable text, there will now be clearly legible, branded ads. No longer will a degree in hieroglyphics be necessary to pass this test since all you will have to do is type the easy to read brand or product message. The company behind this new model believes advertisers will pay anywhere from 25 to 50 cents per completion, which would be split down the middle with the publishers. Some major advertisers such as Dr. Pepper, Microsoft, Toyota and AOL have already signed up for trials. A key selling point for these types of ads is their ability to increase brand recognition/recall when compared to a simple banner ad since users will be interacting with it.
Although these ads won’t redirect users to a site they aren’t interested in going to or anything too intrusive like that, not everyone is happy about this development. Reading some message boards, it appears people are split on this one, with some viewing it as another annoying incursion by advertisers, however, I personally think it’s brilliant and I would gladly take part in another advertisement over staring at a word for 15 seconds trying to figure out if I’m looking at a d or cl combo.
What do you think? Is this better than the traditional CAPTCHA?