After releasing iOS10 to the public last month, Apple has announced that they are sitting at a 54% adoption rate – which is impressive for such a short time period. More importantly, they improved how links display in text messages.
There is a catch however, the new format will only be displayed if the link is in a specific format and location. Before we get into the details, here’s a comparison between the old iOS format vs the new iOS10:
As you can see, your links now come with a special preview box. Once your recipient clicks on the preview box, it will display a photo – similar to how an MMS would display a visual. You will also still be billed as one text message, even though it looks like two.
Depending on your landing page or website settings, there are three types of previews that can be displayed. The far left option in the example below is what you should aim for.
How can I control my image preview?
For most people, the feature image on the page that you are linking to will be shown in your preview. If your feature image isn’t showing up or isn’t the preview that you want people to see then try:
If you are linking to your website, blog or a page maker then there is generally a section which allows you to upload a preview image inside the page settings
If your admin login doesn’t have this feature, then you can add a small line of code inside the <head> tag of the page that you are linking to. First, upload the preview image that you want to display. Now take that link, and place it inside this code snippet: <meta property=”og:image” content “https://insert-web-link-to-your-preview-image” />
If none of the above options are working or you do not have access to your code – then your website favicon will be automatically displayed.
If you don’t have a favicon, then the Safari icon will be displayed.
Disclaimer: Mandatory do’s and don’ts
Okay, now for the catch. In order to take advantage of this new preview, you must follow these rules:
Make sure your image is set properly from the information above
In order for the link to show it must start with http://
The link must be placed either at the very beginning or end of your message
You can only have 1 link inside your message. This will not work if you have more than 1 link.
As you can see, this isn’t the most perfect process. There is a clear trade-off that you need to make. However, the advantage is there if you would like to access it.
This is a step in the right direction for text messaging. Although there are extra steps that you need to consider, this update ultimately gives you more options to be creative. Let us know if you give this a try.