How to opt-out of auto-play videos in Facebook

If you hadn’t heard, Auto-play ads videos in the Facebook mobile app (and desktop) are on their way.

Facebook Videos - DEATH

Good? Bad? Annoying? All three? Yeah, maybe. But look, here’s the bad news: on mobile, you can’t actually switch them off. What you can do however is prevent them from playing over your mobile network. In other words, make the videos only download over Wi-Fi only, and ostensibly opt-out of letting them auto-play on your handset.

Here’s how that works.

  • On iOS
    Go to Settings -> Facebook -> Facebook Settings -> ‘Auto-Play videos on WiFi only’
  • On Android
    Go to Facebook -> swipe right to the options pane -> App Settings -> ‘Auto-play videos on WiFi only’

Switch off auto-play videos in Facebook mobile

The benefits of this are two fold:

  1. If you’re hardly ever connected to wi-fi, you can pretty much ‘opt out’ of this auto-play media completely.
  2. If you’re not on any kind of unlimited data plan with your network provider, this will prevent Facebook eating into that precious data.

 

Hat tip to he who spotted this, Charles Arthur.
Go give him a follow.

 

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5 thoughts on “How to opt-out of auto-play videos in Facebook”

  1. And if you have a limited data allowance on WiFi because you’re at a hotel – you’re screwed.
    Teathering your phone to a MiFi? Still gonna play.
    Only a few drops of battery life left and trying to send a quick message? Better find a charger.
    On a slow WiFi connection? This is gonna make it slower.

    The arrogance of some tech companies astounds me. Do they believe we live in a world saturated with free, fast WiFi and unlimited LTE plans?

    [Reply]

    James Whatley Reply:

    Yeah, that too.

    I guess if all else fails, there’s always the mobile website? Does 0.facebook still exist?

    [Reply]

    Terence Eden Reply:

    Interestingly, I mostly use the m.facebook site. It has all the functionality of the app – and none of the annoyance.

    You can visit the “bare bones” mobile Facebook at https://m.facebook.com/home.php?ref_component=mbasic_home_header

    I quite often use it at work, or when on crappy conference WiFi.

    [Reply]

  2. I find it’s best not to update any of the older mobile Facebook apps, so they’re blissfully ignorant of all advertising APIs. You sometimes have trouble with other functions where the API has moved on, but for basic status reporting and check-ins it still works fine. On the WP7 app for instance, you just have to roll it back to the manufacturers installed version and all ads go away.

    [Reply]

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