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Link Preview Behavior on iOS

There are multiple factors that affect whether an iPhone make links active, shows a preview for a link, and what the preview looks like:

Is the recipient ever replied to your message?

In this case, iMessage may display links as inactive if they receive messages from an unknown contact with whom there has never been two-way messaging before and who has not been saved in the recipient's contacts list. To resolve it, you can easily provoke the recipient to reply to something to your message. For example, ask the recipient to respond with any emoji if they want more information about your product. When a message will be replied to, then the Messages app will mark your connection as two-way and the links will be automatically activated.

Is the sender saved in the recipient's contacts list?

According to our experience, iOS will only render a preview for links sent in iMessage if the sender is saved in the recipient's contact list. Otherwise, the URL will be displayed in the body of the message.

Is the URL at the very beginning or the very end of the message?

iPhones will only display a link preview if the URL is at the beginning or the end of the message. iOS will not render a preview for a URL in the middle of a message, or even just surrounded by periods or quotation marks.

Is there only a single URL in the message, or multiple?

iPhones will only display a link preview if there is one URL in the message. A preview will not be displayed if there are multiple URLs in the same message.

More technical details related to these previews you can find in the Apple Documentation Archive.

Updated on: 30/04/2023

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