From Vine videos to the popular Ice Bucket Challenge, Facebook newfeeds are swarming with videos and even if you didn’t click for the video to play, it automatically will, both on 3G and 4G connections and on Wi-Fi.
If you’ve experienced unnecessary maximum limit on your data charges, chances are, Facebook’s auto-play videos are partly to blame, according to a new research.
During a test made by MoneySavingExpert.com, the videos only auto-play via the Facebook app although this function is also available on the website. The website has claimed that they are receiving complaints from people who have been hurt with huge data bills after going beyond their monthly data allowance.
The money advice website then offers that Facebook’s auto-play video function is the one responsible for the excess data and has advised the users to change their settings to stop the mobile app from auto-playing videos on your newsfeed. The social network’s auto-play function was first experimented in September of last year but they would not confirm when it was fully rolled out.
According to Steve Nowottny, MoneySavingExpert.com’s consumer and features editor, users are caught out that they have exceeded their data usage, incurring extra charges as a result, because “Facebook is auto-playing videos by default.”
He also suggested for everyone who uses Facebook on their mobile or tablet using 3G or 4G connections when they’re out and about to check their settings immediately.
You may change the settings to set the videos to auto-play only on Wi-Fi or you can choose to completely turn off this function. If you want to avoid spending more money than what’s necessary on your phone bill, you should check your Facebook settings if the function is turned on or off. If it is turned on, follow these steps to save money.
For Apple users, go to Settings > Click Facebook > Settings > Click Auto-play and select Wi-fi only or Off.
For Android users, Facebook app functions can be changed through the app itself or through the device. Go to Facebook account Settings > App Settings > Within General Settings, select Auto-play only on Wi-fi or Off.
You should also take note that even if you did stop the videos from auto-playing now, you probably will have to do it again every time Facebook updates since the updates seem to override your phone settings, as noted by other Facebook users.
If it’s too late and you’re already charged excessively, you may contact your network provider and explain why the charges are made and, if you deemed it unfair, ask to refund the money. There’s a big chance this won’t work but if you’re really decided on a refund, you may take your complaint to communications authority.
Facebook cleared that changes you made in settings will not be overwritten when the app is updated. However, the company has refused to say more on the issue but they did confirm that videos automatically play on 3G and 4G connections. They also did not expand if this referred to the app or to the browser.