Tuesday Tip: Facebook is Hammering Your Data Plan

By Richard Stokes

Facebook hammering data plan1Are you or a family member a regular user of Facebook on a mobile device?  Have you noticed lately that your data usage has increased on your cellular plan yet you don’t feel like you’re doing anything differently?  Perhaps you’ve even gone over your plan and have had to pay some additional charges due to increased data usage.

Facebook might be the culprit.

Today it’s increasingly common for companies like Facebook to make a change to their application.  Even if they’ve sent us some sort of updated Terms and Conditions Agreement (that I certainly never read) or some innocuous message loosely indicating the change, we really don’t have the time to pay attention to exactly what the change is.

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Well not too long ago, Facebook made some changes to the settings of their app whereby videos automatically play in the News Feed on your mobile device.

So, as you’re scrolling through and catching up on what your community of friends is up to, when one of them has either uploaded a personal video or shared a video from something interesting to them, whether you want to watch it or not, it’s going to auto play that video the moment you get to it.  This has massive implications on your data usage.

Here’s what you need to do to adjust that setting so it’s not hammering your cellular data usage.

For iPhone users:

1. Go to settings

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2. Scroll down and find the Facebook icon

3. Tap on Facebook Settings

4. Look for ‘AutoPlay’. If you haven’t gone through this exercise already, you will notice that it is set to ‘On’ by default.

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5. Tap the ‘Auto-play’ option and from there you can adjust the setting to either ‘Off’ or ‘Wi-Fi only’. I keep mine on Wi-Fi only.

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For Android users:

1. Launch the Facebook application first, tap the menu key and choose settings

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2. Select the box ‘Auto-play videos on Wi-Fi only’

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For other great tips on the mobile devices, check out some of our recent posts; iOS8 and Protecting your Smart Phone.

Richard Stokes: As the Director of Sales for Network 1, Richard identifies “future” clients that can benefit from the support of an experienced, outsourced IT team. He helps clients and prospects find technology solutions they need to achieve better productivity and efficiency so they can focus on making money and growing their businesses.

Network 1 designs, builds and supports the IT you need to run your business more securely, productively and successfully. Whether you want to outsource all of your IT needs to a reliable, responsive, service-oriented company, or need to supplement the work of your internal IT staff, we will carefully evaluate where you are now, discuss where you want to go and implement and support a plan to get you there with as little interruption as possible.


  1. Elena Lee on October 29, 2014 at 9:04 am

    This was great! I’ve made my change on my phone. I wondered why I received an email reading that my data was at a “certain” amount – I though that was odd and out of the ordinary!

    Thank you!! You saved me $$$$$!

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