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Facebook Cellphones Networking Social Networks The Almighty Buck

Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone 131

colinneagle writes "Consumer site MoneySavingExpert.com reported today that it has seen "many complaints" from users who believe a recent increase in data-related charges on their cellphone bills are the result of Facebook's auto-play feature. The default setting for the auto-play feature launches and continues to play videos silently until the user either scrolls past it or clicks on it; if the user does the latter, the video then goes full-screen and activates audio. The silent auto-play occurs regardless of whether users are connected to Wi-Fi, LTE, or 3G.

However, it's likely that Facebook isn't entirely to blame for this kind of trend, but rather, with the debut of its auto-play feature, threw gas on an already growing fire of video-sharing services. Auto-play for video is a default setting on Instagram's app, although the company refers to it as "preload." Instagram only introduced video last summer, after the Vine app, a Twitter-backed app that auto-plays and loops six-second videos, started to see significant growth.
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Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

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  • by johanw ( 1001493 ) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @05:02AM (#47823549)

    Welcome to the world of rooted Android phones. With AfWall+ you can set on a per-application basis wether it can dial out on mobile data, roaming mobile data, WiFi (split into general WiFi and LAN if you want to enable this), and allow VPN connections only if you want. Each option's availability can be selected so if you don't do anything with VPN's you wdon't have to select it.

  • by scrib ( 1277042 ) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @05:16AM (#47823583)

    I started a shared data pool plan for my family and my brother's usage was estimated at about 2GB per month. A couple weeks into the billing cycle I checked usage and my brother had used MORE data than the other FIVE of us combined, and was on track to use over 5GB! We talked about it and it turned out he had the new facebook app installed and complained that the videos had started autoplaying. He found it annoying. We did a quick search and found that the DEFAULT setting is to autoplay videos as you scroll past them, regardless of the connection type.

    We changed the setting to "Wi-Fi Only" (or never) and nothing else about his usage. His average daily bandwidh went from 150MB to 50MB.

    Facebook's new, annoying, default setting was on track to add 3GB PER MONTH of data usage! (30 days * 100MB)

    We were lucky to be on a new plan with 6 people that I was monitoring to make sure we had the right data plan. An extra 3GB of data sent to a casual users ought to earn Facebook some kickbacks from cellphone providers!

  • News At 11... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @06:15AM (#47823675)

    Idiots who use Facebook are having their idiot wallets emptied. No change there.

    Anyone who uses Facebook is retarded. Slashdot articles on Facebook are retarded.

    Pro tip for the utterly clueless: Stop using Farcebook.

Variables don't; constants aren't.