Facebook introduced their long-awaited video autoplay feature a few months ago, and apparently it’s been wreaking havoc with mobile data plans ever since. Autoplay is switched on by default, so when a video appears in your feed and you pause momentarily on it, the video will start to play.
Here’s the kicker: It’ll do this regardless of whether you’re on 3G or connected to wi-fi.
The fact is, if you’re downloading lots of video content over 3G, you’re going to very quickly hit the limit of your data plan. If you’re on a contract, you most likely won’t discover this until you get your next bill. Let me predict your next thought: how do I switch this autoplay feature off?
Well, here’s how to stop autoplay devouring your data plan on either Android or iPhone. There are two flavours: switch autoplay off altogether because it’s annoying or set it to only work when you’re connected to wi-fi.
On Android (Samsung/HTC/etc)
- In your Facebook app, click the top right menu item (after the globe icon)
- Scroll down and open App Settings
- Under Video Autoplay, choose Off to disable autoplay altogether or Wi-fi only to autoplay only when connected to a wi-fi network
- Open iPhone Settings app
- Scroll down and open the Facebook settings
- Click on Settings and then the Auto-play option
- Select Off to disable autoplay or Wi-fi only to autoplay only when you’re connected to a wi-fi network
Of course, the Ice Bucket Challenge will have contributed to this problem over the last couple of months. Thousands of Facebook users will have had their timelines flooded with family and friends dumping icewater over themselves – and the majority of those videos played automatically! Oops!
Most people aren’t aware how much data video uses – it’s significant. And though you won’t notice it on wi-fi, it quickly munches all the data on your phone’s data plan. So when you’re out on the road, be careful with watching videos over 3G. Unless you’ve got the platinum card to cover the bill…