Apple iOS 11 Bug is Blocking Links in Text Messages

During the last couple weeks we’ve heard from multiple people that when they receive a link in one of their Apple devices’ text messages, they aren’t able to click on it. This is happening because their mobile phones are displaying the link as plain text, meaning it’s not clickable.

This topic is different from how marketers can get Apple iOS to preview a link in their text messages.

Earlier this week we determined this issue was only affecting iPhone users running iOS, but we were unable to replicate the issue, and trust us, we tried… and tried… and tried. Tonight though after continued testing, we finally figured out why some iPhone iOS users aren’t able to click on the links in the text messages they’re receiving.

In Apple’s latest iOS versions above 10.3.2, a user is unable to click on a link in a text message if the text message happens to include a dollar sign ($) or any term related to money “dollar”, “bucks”, etc. This is apparently intentional filtering by Apple to keep people from inadvertently clicking on links that are requesting money in what could be a scam.

Now that we know what is causing users not to be able to click on links in text messages, the question is what can marketers do. After discussing this issue with our client services team tonight, we came up with a pretty good solution, that until Apple fixes this, will at least allow your users to get to wherever you’re trying to link them to.

The solution is to include something like the following text copy in your text messages with links. This text copy can be placed either after the hyperlink, or at the very end of your text message.

“Not able to click on the link? Reply RESEND”
 

Then when a user replies with the SMS keyword “RESEND”, you either re-send the entire text message to them, or just the link. By resending the text message to the user, the user will be able to click on the links in that text message, because they will have received a previous message from you.

We know Apple has been contacted regarding this, and we will update our readers when this issue is resolved. In the meantime, if you have any other ideas of how to work around this bug, please let us know in the comments below.

 

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