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How to generate an SMS link preview?

Jun 26, 2020
How to generate an SMS link preview?
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More than 90% of people spend a maximum period of 3 minutes when opening a text message they got on their mobile phones. SMS Marketing, then, is an efficient strategy we recommend so your content can reach your desired audience. Showing your links can help you increase that average even more. An interesting way is to generate an SMS link preview, through which those links are sent as URLs in a different format you can simply click on.

What are the requirements to create one?

In an Android phone, you’ll need to comply with a series of requirements to be able to transform a link in a text format and only show a preview with an image, a title, and a description. Some smartphones incorporate this option to their software, but not all of them have this preview system: only those that have the 3.2 version of the app Messages.

Para que el SMS link preview se muestre es fundamental que coloques el enlace al principio o al final del mensaje de texto, que el hipervínculo contenga el protocolo http:// ó https:// y que no haya más de un link en dicho mensaje. Just consider that the receiver will need to click on Tap to Load Preview so they can see an image in the section of preview. This is a small grey square that loads the file.

You also have to use the fields Open Graph Protocol (OGP) to adjust the values of the preview in HTML format. We also advise you to take into account that there are only 160 available characters, even if it seems like the text has been deleted.

News about SMS in relation to the main brands

As stated above, some mobile devices are already incorporating in their operating system the option to generate an SMS link preview. This is the case of Apple devices as of iPhone iOS 10. It’s interesting for you to know that, in these cases, the requirements are the same as in Android smartphones. 

The main complication is that the phone number you want to send an SMS with these hyperlinks has to be registered as a contact in the persons’ contact list so they can preview those messages. Also, it is mandatory that it’s a phone number and not an email address. Since 2016, more than 90% of Apple devices have a version that is compatible with previewing.

In the case of Android, all the ones sold since 2018 have this option already in the system. You need to know that the version 3.2 of the app messages is necessary for the preview of SMS with links to be compatible with Android 5.0, so as a user you can install it in phones older than 2018.

Concretely, we believe that one in three devices with this operating system can show a preview in sMS. The last models that appeared in the market like the K series for LG, p40 for Huawei or Samsung Galaxy S9+ have this preview, that you can deactivate if you want. All in all, creating an SMS link preview is pretty simple and offers great potential to reach your audience.