This one’s been making us a bit nuts, and we’re thankful to MacWorld for providing this hint.
Where you formerly could see the full names of the people you texted, iOS 7 shows only a first name, or perhaps a first name and last initial. When you know many people with the same name, this just doesn’t work.
There’s a fix.
In the Settings app, tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars. and then scroll way down to the Contacts section. Under that header, tap on Short Name. You can turn off either Short Name and Prefer Nicknames, or both. Now, Messages shows the full names of the contacts you’re sending messages to, shortening the button labels at the top as necessary to make everything fit.