Facebook autoplay videos could be to blame for high cell phone bills

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(CNNMoney) — Want to save money on your phone bill? Make sure you turn off the “autoplay” setting on Facebook videos.

Smartphone users are at risk of maxing out their data plans if they don’t change this default setting in the Facebook app, which otherwise will automatically start streaming videos in the News Feed window.

The issue was flagged by consumer finance site MoneySavingExpert.com, which said it had “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.”

Fortunately, the fix is an easy one. If you’re an iPhone user, tap your “Settings” button and then scroll down and click “Facebook.” From there, click “Settings,” “Auto-play,” and then choose “Wi-Fi only” or “Off.”

On Android, bring up the Facebook app and go to your account settings. Click “App Settings,” and then choose ‘Auto-play only on Wi-Fi’ or ‘Off.’

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. If you think you’ve been hit with unfair data charges, contact your wireless carrier.

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

6 comments

  • Tony

    Ok CNN, you indicate correctly that this auto play feature is a Facebook setting that must be changed to avoid high data usage. Then, why the f…k do you tell your readers to contact their wireless carrier? This is so irresponsible on your part you clearly identify the culprit (Facebook), and yet you direct people to contact a totally different party (wireless carrier). Be consistent with your story and your recommendations or don’t post anything at all!

  • Randy

    This is more nonsense and misinformation to scare people about big bad facebook. The default setting for the mobile app is for video to play over Wifi only. It never defaults to always always on. So annoying.

  • mattruefer

    Those are valid data usage charges. I would suggest you do not call your cell phone provider because they will say no on adjustments.

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