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Among many recent changes to the mobile Facebook experience, we've seen the introduction of automatic video play. In this article, I'll show you how to stop videos from auto-playing  on your smartphone when you're using data.

Suspicions were raised in July when there were rumors of Facebook  introducing video advertising, a new feature to go hand-in-hand with automatic video playing. Sure enough, after a few weeks, suspicions was confirmed, with an update of the mobile app where Facebook introduced auto-play of videos.

For some, it'll be convenient not having to press play on a video to watch it, but that doesn't mean that video auto-play won't be problematic for others. Above all, we don't want all of our data consumed.

Luckily, there's a way to stop auto-play when you're using the data connection on your phone, whether you have an Android, an iPhone, or an iPad.

Block auto-play on 3G on Android

1. To stop auto-play on your Facebook timeline on Android, open the application and click on the icon with the three lines in the top left corner.

Facebook Android

2. In the side menu that opens, scroll down to find App Settings and tap it.

Facebook Android

3. Make sure the box is checked for Auto-play videos on WiFi only, and that underneath it says "On".

Facebook Android

Block auto-play on 3G on iPhone and iPad

1. From the home screen of your device, go to Settings and then scroll down and tap Facebook.

Facebook iOS

2. Once you've clicked on it, below the Facebook icon, you'll see Settings. Tap here.

Facebook iOS

3. In the Photo and Video section, you'll find the item Auto-play videos on WiFi only. Make sure that the switch is moved to the right and is green, just like in the image below.

Facebook iOS

Facebook has said that video advertising will play automatically as well. In this case, we'll have to wait and see, once video advertising auto-play is introduced, if the same trick will stop ads from auto-playing, or if the social network will decide to prohibit the ability to stop auto-play to increase advertising revenue.

Could video auto-play be the ninth reason for opting out of Facebook forever?

Commented

25/10/14
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