Facebook Setting That is Eating up Your Data Usage

September 10, 2014
Josh Light

Have you noticed an increase in the amount of videos shown in your Facebook news feed? I have.

Facebook has recently put a lot of emphasis on video. This is a quote from Facebook’s newsroom:

Growth in video views exceeded 50% from May through July of this year, and since June there has been an average of more than 1 billion video views on Facebook every day. Video on Facebook was built to be mobile firstand now more than 65% of video views are on mobile. And we’re just getting started.

I personally enjoy the increase in videos on my newsfeed. The auto-play feature is especially convenient because it allows me to quickly glance at a video’s intro to decide if I want to invest another minute of watching (that’s my attention span).

But there’s a problem…

The auto-play feature is eating up my cell-phone data plan, and it’s starting to burn a hole in my wallet.

Here’s how you can disable the auto-play feature on your mobile device, or change it so it only activates when you have a Wi-fi connection.

Disabling Auto-Play on an iPhone

Open up your iPhone, and select “Settings”.

disabling auto-play feature on Facebook


Scroll down until you see “Facebook”, and click on it.


disabling auto-play feature on Facebook


Press the “Settings” button.


disabling auto-play feature on Facebook


Press the “Auto-play” button.


disabling auto-play feature on Facebook


Select which setting you’d like. I set mine up for Wi-fi only.


disabling auto-play feature on Facebook


Disabling Auto-Play on an Android

Android users need to simply log into the Facebook app, and go to app settings. Click on “Video Auto-play”. From here you’ll be able to turn off, or change auto-play to only happen when you’re connected to Wi-fi.

Additional Tips For Saving Data

If you’re still looking for ways to use less data then you might consider these tips:

  • Go to each of your apps and change their settings to only sync with wifi.
  • Disable auto-updates. Change your update setting to only occur when you’re connected to Wi-fi.
  • Analyze each apps data usage. If you’ve almost used up your data for this month then disable your highest data usage apps.

Following these tips will not only decrease your data usage, but it will also help improve the battery life of your smart phone.

Bonus: did you know that Facebook’s newsfeed impacts your opinion on sensitive subjects? Check out this article to learn about how Facebook’s newsfeed perpetuates war.

Can you think of any additional tips that we may have missed? Please comment below.

(Photo Credit: Flickr via Maria Elena)