Facebook's video autoplay feature causing inflated mobile data bills?

Facebook's autoplay video function is being blamed for unexplained high mobile bills of users.

Published Date
08 - Sep - 2014
| Last Updated
08 - Sep - 2014
Facebook's video autoplay feature causing inflated mobile data bi...

Facebook's autoplay videos launched in September 2013, is causing an increase in users' mobile phone bills. The video ads start playing automatically without requiring users to click on them, when they scroll through their newsfeed.

The issue was brought to notice when many users complained to the Consumer advice website Money Saving Expert about exceedingly high mobile bills and unexplained data usage. "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," the site reported.

Facebook has confirmed that autoplay is on by default on mobile and desktops. The video ads start playing automatically and uses their Wi-Fi or 3G connection. To stop the autoplay ads users have to select the option of ‘Auto-play only on Wi-Fi,’ or ‘Off.’

Users can access Settings within Facebook from the main Settings menu on iOS, while Android users can do the same by opening the social network’s official app, Facebook Account Settings and then App Settings. Desktop users can click on Settings, then Videos and click Off for Auto Play videos.

Steve Nowottny, consumer and features editor of MoneySavingExpert, said: "It's worrying that Facebook is autoplaying videos by default, as it's clearly catching users out, with some claiming they've unknowingly exceeded their data limit and incurred extra charges as a result.

"Anyone who uses Facebook on their mobile or tablet when they’re out and about or using 3G or 4G should check their settings now - change your autoplay settings to off, or so that videos only play over Wi-Fi."

Facebook recently unveiled a privacy checkup tool for users that will help users manage their profile information, posts and updates. The social networking site launched the tool in response to constant privacy concerns and criticism over its data mining practices for marketing purposes. Facebook has also cracked down on click bait articles after a recent survey found that 80 percent of the people preferred headlines that helped them decide if they want to read the full article before they had to click through.

Source: Money Saving Expert