How does iOS 16 affect your SMS marketing?

Here we go again.

Apple's new update for iOS released on September 12th has a major focus on user data privacy. Consumers have become more and more concerned about what they want to share with companies, and Apple is leading the fight to give more power to the user.

This is not necessarily a bad thing for SMS marketing, though. It may even benefit you in the long run.

Are you curious about how iOS 16 will affect your SMS marketing? Read on, and we'll walk you through everything that will come into play and how you can use it to your advantage.

A look back at iOS 15

In a previous blog, we talked briefly about how iOS15 was launched with "App Tracking Transparency" and "Hide My Email", which in short, means more customization for the user and less data for you as a marketer. At least when it comes to e-mail and web browsing.

Apple is back on track to make the user experience even more customizable with iOS 16, but this time for SMS.

What's happening with iOS 16?

Apple's new OS comes with a slew of updates, but there's just one bit, in particular, you may need to be aware of for your SMS marketing.

The new operating system enables the user to filter SMS in much the same way as one can filter e-mails. This means that SMS from family end up in one category, while SMS from, for example, transactions, offers or junk end up in other categories.

It is already possible for iOS 15 users to filter SMS from unknown contacts, but they must first turn this on in settings manually. Meaning, it is not a default setting.

But with iOS 16, the user will also have the choice to filter like Gmail's "Promotion" and "Social" tabs. While unlikely, In the worst case, this can lead to lower open rates for your SMS.

It wont affect your SMS marketing

iOS16's filtering option in the update is only available for users in Brazil and India for now.

It will most likely come to more countries eventually, but for the moment, a third-party app paired with Apple's API is needed to make this work in, for example, Sweden.

It's good to be prepared

There is still no timetable, but it is quite sure that the filtering will end up in European iPhones in the near future. And of course, you don't want your customers to miss your text messages.

To ensure that your SMS ends up correctly, you can ask your iPhone customers to add you as a contact. The easiest way to do this is to forward your information in an introductory SMS so that the customer can add you with the push of a button. You can also do this for your current subscribers.


You don't have to worry that iOS 16 will affect your SMS marketing.

Although the user can now filter and categorize different types of SMS, there is still some time left until it becomes relevant in Sweden and the rest of the EU.

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