Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus flagships come with a wide array of features that some users may not be aware of, and one of those is the default messaging app's ability to show previews for web links posted in messages. The capability works in SMS and MMS messages, and simply puts a thumbnail and short text preview of the web page in question below a posted link or URL in the message thread. The feature is on by default, and can be turned off in the "More Settings" menu of the messaging app, using the "Show web previews" option. When the feature is turned off, web links will display as normal within the text; highlighted and clickable.
Link previews will show with their size set according to the system's display and accessibility settings. The size cannot be changed in the built-in messaging app's settings. When clicked, the previews will open up the full website in whatever browser is set as the default for the device. This feature is fairly common among full-featured web messaging clients, such as WhatsApp, but having it on board with the default messaging app means that Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus buyers have that much less motivation to head to the Play Store and grab something different. It should be noted that earlier Samsung flagships updated to Android 7.0 Nougat and higher, even the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, lack this feature.
With the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus' software being as loaded down with features as it is, Samsung has put in considerable work to make everything as seamless and easy to navigate as possible. The Samsung Experience software, an evolution of TouchWiz, is based upon the Grace UX from the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7, with touches of Samsung's Good Lock experiment thrown in for good measure. While most of the UI mimics the Nougat update hitting older phones like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S6, there are a good number of features that are exclusive to the Galaxy S8, even if they have nothing to do with the uniquely built and powerful hardware, much like this one.