How Facebook’s New Video Autoplay Could Chew Up All Your Data

How Facebook’s New Video Autoplay Could Chew Up All Your Data

Facebook is testing a new feature where videos in your news feed will automatically begin playing (with the volume turned down). That’s potentially bad news for anyone using the Facebook mobile client.

The feature is currently being tested on the desktop client, and Facebook says it will begin rolling out on mobiles in the “coming weeks”. Right now, only videos from individuals and musicians will play; ads won’t. The videos are silent initially, but go full screen and add audio if you tap or click on them.

To my mind, the autoplay move is a really bad idea on mobile. Even if you don’t want to watch a video, you’ll be downloading at least some of it, and that will waste data. I’ve reached out to Facebook to ask if there will be an option to disable this “feature”, and will update if I hear anything. Again, this is being rolled out gradually, so you might not see it for a while (I’m hoping I won’t see it at all).



  • The facebook app is slow enough and takes up enough space (its cache is currently using ~150meg) on my iPhone. This will only make matters worse.

  • Autoplay is one of the main things that drove me away from SMH/The Age/etc. Knowing FB they won’t give you a way to stop it from auto-playing, which means I’ll definitely stop visiting if I can’t get any plugins to stop it on my mobile.

  • Whilst I don’t support the auto-play feature, it might be worth noting that some (many?) telco plans come with free social media data allowance so maybe it won’t be a problem on that front.
    But as @tim mentioned earlier, FB is slow as it is and autoplay is just going to slow it down even further.

    • I think most telco plans are trying to back off of free social media, and i dont think it applied to the App only the website when accessed via a certain url.

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