Facebook Auto-Play Videos Are Chewing Up Your Mobile Data

Mobile data plans can be an annoying thing to have. Unless you have an unlimited data plan, chances are that you have to be mindful of how much data is being used up each month. So it would behoove you to know that Facebook’s auto-play feature tends to chew away at your mobile data.

Just browsing through Facebook’s Newsfeed will chip away at your allotted amount of data thanks to its auto-play feature that starts a video when users immediately come upon one in their newsfeed. Because of this feature, U.K. consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com noticed that there was a surge in hefty data charges and asked for feedback from its community regarding the spike.

According to the website, “We’ve seen many complaints from people who have been stung with data bills after exceeding their monthly allowance and who believe it to be because of Facebook autoplaying videos.”

MoneySavingExpert.com looked further into the issue and discovered that users who browsed the social media website through an internet browser did not activate Facebook’s auto-play feature. It was only when using Facebook’s mobile app that the feature was on and consuming data.

Facebook admitted to CBS News that the feature is enabled on the mobile app and desktop by default. The media company added that auto-play consumes “very little data” if users just scroll past the videos and said, “Only if people stop to watch the video do they consume more data. We want to make sure that videos consume as little data as possible and that people can control what they play automatically.”

However, Facebook’s auto-play function can be turned off so that data-conscious consumers do not have to worry about increased charges because of it. Just go into your smartphone’s settings, locate the Facebook app, click on Auto-Play, and choose whether you want to keep it on, off, or even Wi-Fi only.