Troubleshoot your MMS messages

As you incorporate media (including images, GIFs, and videos) in your message, use this guide to troubleshoot MMS and optimize engagement and content.

Note: Media may appear differently for subscribers, depending on their device. Carriers and devices may shrink or enlarge media to accommodate screen sizes.

How do I reduce my file size?

Media (especially photos) contain many pixels to accommodate shadows, highlights, and color variation. When you resize the media to be less than 500 KB, it will become slightly blurrier. This is due to the reduced color palette and pixels.

Reduce JPG or PNG file size

Follow the instructions below to compress and resize your images:

  1. On the top menu of Ezgif.com, click Resize.
  2. Click Choose file to upload your desired image. Then, click Upload. The image resizer appears.
  3. Below your image, enter the desired Width and Height. When you are satisfied, click Resize Image!.
  4. Below the new image, click Optimize.
  5. The last step depends on whether you are using a JPG or PNG image:
    • JPG: Adjust the Image Quality Factor, or check fit file size in to compress the image under 500 KB.
    • PNG: Click Optimize PNG!.
  6. Save your image.

Reduce GIF file size

Follow the instructions below to compress and resize your GIF file:

  1. On the top menu of Ezgif.com, click Resize.
  2. Click Choose file to upload your desired media. Then, click Upload. The Animated GIF Resizer appears.
  3. Below the GIF, enter a new Width and Height for your media. Make sure it aligns with our recommended aspect ratios.
  4. When you are satisfied, click Resize image! Your resized media appears below.
  5. Below the new GIF, click Optimize. The Online GIF Optimizer appears.
  6. In the Optimization method drop-down, click Remove every 2nd, 3rd, or 4th frame. Repeat the process until it is under 1MB. Be careful of your timing and make sure it is not too fast.
  7. When you are satisfied, click the Save button. Then, click Frames under the new media. All of the frames of the GIF display.
  8. Adjust the delay times to control how long each frame displays. Note that 100 is .001 seconds.
  9. When you are satisfied, click Make a GIF!
  10. On the new GIF, click Optimize. Adjust the Compression level slider until it is under 500 KB.
  11. Select Optimize GIF! and Save your GIF.

How can I enhance image quality?

We recommend the following practices to ensure a higher quality image:

  • Use PNG images: PNGs are lossless files, which ensures that the file does not lose quality, regardless of the platform it is on.
  • Increase your resolution: By increasing the file size resolution around 72-300, we found that a higher resolution helps with the blurriness.

For more information on optimizing image quality, see FAQs: MMS messages.

Why does a random color appear behind my media?

If you send MMS messages with transparent backgrounds, a random color appears as the background. This color is out of our control, thus we recommend adding a solid colored background to better control what subscribers see.

How do I avoid random-colored backgrounds?

We recommend using media that does not have transparent backgrounds. Solid colored backgrounds and full-bleed media can ensure that the background is consistent and controlled.

However, if the media you would like to use has a transparent background, you can follow the steps below to add a solid background in Photoshop.

  1. Upload the media to Photoshop.
  2. If this is a GIF or video, click Open Timeline.
  3. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer and click Solid Color. Select a color that you would like to use as the background. Then, place it behind your media.
  4. For videos and GIFs, make sure that the background layer applies to the entirety of the media.
  5. Test the new media on your phone to see the results.

Why is my media discolored?

If the background or other elements of your media are too similar, it can result in discoloration.
However, you can override this with a desired color by tracing out the background or elements affected and adding that color. Alternatively, you can add an overlay or adjust the brightness and contrast; this causes the media to differentiate the different elements within its composition.

How do I fix discoloration?

Follow the instructions below to add a solid background color to your transparent media. This will ensure that all subscribers view the same background color that you configure.

  1. Upload the media to Photoshop.
  2. In Photoshop, click Open Timeline.
  3. Locate the frame that contains discoloration. Then, using the Pen Tool, trace over the background.
  4. Use the Eyedrop Tool to select a color to apply to the background. Make sure this color does not blend into the other elements in front of it.
    • Alternative option: Use the Magic Wand to mask out the background.
    • Alternative option: Add a solid color to go below all of the layers.
  5. Create folders with the background and frame that you traced. Use these to rearrange the Timeline.
  6. Open Save for Legacy and use our GIF exportation settings.
  7. Use Ezgif.com to resize and compress the file as needed.

Why is my image blending together?

If elements within your image are too close together, your image may blend due to low contrast. iOS and Android softwares don't always distinguish nuanced colors well. We recommend maintaining high contrast throughout your images to mitigate this, and ensure ADA compliance. You can increase contrast by: increasing the difference between elements, darkening or lightening the background, or breaking down the elements.

Increase the difference between elements

Increasing effects such as brightness, contrast, curves, or levels helps to set objects apart from one-another in your image. Follow the instructions below to increase contrast through these elements.

  1. Send yourself a test message to locate the blending issue(s) in your media. Make a note of these.
  2. In Photoshop, open your Timeline to view the frames, their durations, and the placement of objects within each frame.
  3. Use Adjustment Layers to increase the following aspects. You can try all of them at the same time, or individually.
    • Brightness
    • Contrast
    • Curves
    • Levels
  4. Save your changes.

If this does not distinguish the object from the background enough, you can also darken or lighten the background to further isolate the moving text or object.

Darken or lighten the background of an image

Another way to adjust the contrast of your image is through the background. Follow the instructions below to darken or lighten the background to clearly distinguish it from other elements.

  1. Send yourself a test message to locate the blending issue(s) in your media. Make a note of these.
  2. In Photoshop, open your Timeline to view the frames, their durations, and the placement of objects within each frame.
  3. Duplicate the image you would like to focus on.
  4. Click Burn Tool to darken the image, or Dodge Tool to lighten the image.
  5. Set the Exposure to 25 - 50%. Higher exposure results in stronger effects. While doing this, switch to Shadows or Highlights to create contrast within the image composition so that elements stand out.
  6. Click Brush. Then, brush the media until you have the desired effect.
  7. Save your changes.

Break down elements within your media

Another way to increase the contrast in your media is to break down the elements within it. You can accentuate and isolate elements to piece together a full image with greater contrast.

  1. Send yourself a test message to locate the blending issue(s) in your media. Make a note of these.
  2. In Photoshop, open your Timeline to view the frames, their durations, and which objects do and don't display in the frame. We recommend keeping note of this.
  3. Duplicate each frame.
  4. Isolate or mask all of the objects in each frame with one of the following tools. This includes text, background, emojis, faces, and other objects.
    • Color range
    • Pen tool
    • Magic Wand
  5. Isolate the elements you wish to edit within an image that moves on each frame.
  6. Increase the contrast and color of the objects or background by darkening or lightening the colors.
  7. Save your changes.

How do I fix my image if it is zoomed in?

Sometimes media appears more zoomed in than you anticipated, and subscribers can't zoom out to see the full image. In order to mitigate this issue, we recommend resizing the image to one of the following dimensions:

  • 350x350 (square)
  • 350x349 or less (landscape)

By reformatting it to be wider than it is tall, you force the software to show the original image.

Follow the instructions below to resize the image:

  1. On Ezgif.com, select Resize in the top menu.
  2. Click Choose file to upload your desired image. Then, click Upload.
  3. Enter a new Width and Height for your media. These dimensions should be under 350 pixels, and the height should be no greater than the width.
  4. Save your changes.

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