In 2011, about 29% of US customers had unlimited data. The resulting explosion in data use apparently caused carriers to reassess their policies and, by 2012, reporters rang mourning bells, claiming the “Unlimited Data Plan Dream is Dead”. New features like video autoplay threaten to creep into your data usage.
It’s now commonplace that all North American carriers offer tiered data plans that hammer users with overage charges if data caps are exceeded in a billing period.
Meanwhile, apps roll out data-hungry features and users are forced into a dangerous dance between things like streaming video auto play and their cellphone bills.
Recently, Facebook and Instragram both introduced auto-playing video, which is a feature that can really run through your data plan if left unchecked. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to rein in these apps to prevent them from consuming all of that precious, precious data.
Facebook video autoplay
First, let’s do Facebook. It’s slightly more annoying to fix than Instagram because you can turn off the Auto-play feature in Facebook’s mobile app, but not actually within the app itself. Sigh.
Start by heading into your iPhone’s Settings and scroll down until you see the Facebook bar. Now tap on “Settings” in this screen, and go to “Auto-play” under the Video section. You can either choose to allow videos to play automatically when you are on WiFi or you can just turn Auto-play off completely.
Instragram video autoplay
The Instagram app is a bit easier, just go to your own profile on Instagram and head into your Preferences (the gear icon on the top right). Click where it says “Preload” and select “Only on WiFi”. You’ll notice there isn’t an option to just disable Auto-play here.
Until something drastic happens and data caps are a thing of the past, it’s important to be mindful of which apps gulp up data. These are just some quick tips to help you stay within your monthly data allotment. If you guys have any tips or tricks that you find works for you, let us know in the comments or get in touch via Twitter, Facebook, or through email. We read and respond to everything!