How to use Messages to play videos and preview links in macOS Sierra


iMessage Messages on Mac
Sharing videos and webpages just got a bit easier.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

macOS Sierra has a ton of neat features that’ll change the way you work using your Mac. The ability to play videos inside Messages probably isn’t one of them, but it’s certainly a nice touch that makes chatting to your friends and sharing content that much better.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re running the new operating system, which is currently in public beta and will be released this fall.

Sharing videos and webpages just got easier

1. For starters, you’ll need to find a video link you want to send.

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2. Next, copy the link from your web browser and paste it into Messages.

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3. After you hit “send,” the link will transform into a live preview, allowing you to view it without opening up a separate Safari (or other web browser) window. Unfortunately, in the current macOS beta this doesn’t work for every video hosting site. YouTube does work, but others like Vimeo currently don’t.

However, given that Vimeo videos can be viewed in the Messages window on iOS, we hold out hope this will change for the final release version this fall.

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Like the Picture-in-Picture option on macOS Sierra, there’s no option to do anything beyond playing and pausing videos — so don’t expect to be skipping back and forth through videos.

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There is, however, the neat option to add reactions to the video, which you can do by double-clicking.

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6. Live previews can also be created for web page links, which display the featured image and headline straight in the Messages window — a bit like pasting a link into Facebook.

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