Data tip: Disabling video auto-play on Facebook and other sites

Save on data by opting out of the video auto-play feature

Whether you think online videos that begin playing automatically are cool, an annoyance or just a part of online life, they can eat into your Exede Internet data allowance without your realizing it. Here’s a look at how this happens and what you can do about it.

Facebook joined many other sites when it enabled video auto-play late last year. Supported by most major browsers – Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari — auto-play enables all videos on a site to automatically download and play once the user has landed on the page. Other major websites that have implemented the auto-play feature include Tumblr, WordPress, and just about any ad-centric site.

While video auto-play may keep sites more entertaining, the data required to load the videos may vary: Some pages may have just one video; others may have a dozen. The current auto-play feature in Facebook will automatically load every video on the page. When scrolling through your newsfeed, these videos begin to play silently by default — even once you’ve scrolled past them. Auto-play may also cause webpages to load more slowly and consume more data.

The good news: Facebook has a setting that allows users to turn off the auto-play feature, as do many other sites that use auto-play.

Be aware of what devices you’re using with your Exede service, and consider switching the auto-play feature to ‘Off.’ Here’s the catch: you must separately disable the auto-play feature for each web browser you use and each web browser account you have. You must also disable the auto-play on each individual device, too — smartphone, tablet, desktop, etc. While the in-motion newsfeed may be a cool and entertaining feature, we recommend opting out to maximize your Exede Internet data allowance.

PRO TIP: Disabling auto-play won’t prevent you from watching videos. You can simply click on any video you want to watch and it will start playing almost immediately.

 

In order to disable and/or limit the auto-play feature on any device, navigate to the ‘Settings→ Video’ for the relevant application, such as Facebook. See below for how to turn off the video auto-play feature on desktop computers:

 

Here’s an article on how to disable auto-play on popular browsers.

Here’s Facebook’s post on the topic.

 

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