The Messages app now enables rich previews for Mastodon posts when you send a link to a post in an iMessage chat, which is an unexpected feature of iOS 16.4. This equalizes Apple’s support for Mastodon with Twitter’s long-standing integration for similar tweet balloon previews.
iMessage now retrieves information like the post text, author, and attachments when a link to a Mastodon post is shared and displays it inline in the discussion thread. The usual web link previews that Messages try to retrieve for every web URL go beyond this and do not contain information like the body of a Mastodon post.
This addition is possibly Apple’s most resounding endorsement of the federated social networking service to date. Mastodon has gained traction in recent months as Twitter users search for alternatives to Elon Musk’s product decisions, even going so far as to receive Phil Schiller’s endorsement.
Today saw the release of iOS 16.4’s first beta, which is now accessible to developers. Members of the public beta program will soon receive a seed. New emojis, new features for online apps, UI tweaks for Apple Music, and more are among the other new features in iOS 16.4.