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Facebook’s autoplay video ads blamed for jacking up users’ phone bills

Published Sep 3rd, 2014 3:30PM EDT
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One the absolute most annoying things that Facebook has done over the last year has been to add autoplay video ads to its mobile app that can quickly rip through your monthly mobile data cap if you aren’t careful. Consumer finance website says that it’s recently “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,” which shouldn’t be surprising given how much data videos consume. The website says that it’s confirmed that videos are set by default to automatically play no matter what kind of network you’re connected to.

FROM EARLIER: Here’s how to stop Facebook’s annoying autoplay ads from eating through your data cap

Thankfully, there’s a very easy way to solve this problem by disabling autoplay video ads on the Facebook app:

  • First, open up your Facebook app
  • Next, find the App Settings page by clicking on the menu icon in the upper-right hand side of the app’s home screen
  • Finally, scroll down until you see the Video Auto-play option in the General Settings list. Once in there, you just switch the Video Auto-play option from “On” to either “Wi-Fi only” or “Off,” which will make sure you don’t blow through your data cap thanks to videos you never intended to watch.

Of course, it would be nice if Facebook set “Wi-Fi only” as the default option instead of leaving it users to fix it, but that’s pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the company these days.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.