Stop Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat From Slurping Up Your Data

It’s a simple equation: More time in social media feeds + more video in them = Major mobile data drain.

Video is the biggest eater of your monthly mobile data allotment, yet Facebook and Twitter have new live video features. Snapchat is teeming with 10-second video clips from your friends. And Instagram pretty much just ripped off Snapchat.

So how do you protect your precious GBs? Sure, you can get an unlimited data plan, or jump on a Wi-Fi network, but you should also take advantage of these hidden settings in each of the social media apps, which limit video playback when your phone is using a cellular connection.

Facebook

Facebook allows you to turn off auto-playing videos when you’re not on a Wi-Fi network. In the iPhone app, tap the three lines in the bottom right corner, then select Settings > Account Settings > Videos and Photos > Autoplay > Autoplay On Wi-Fi Connections Only. On Android, tap the three lines in the upper right, then App Settings > Autoplay > On Wi-Fi Connections.

Instagram

Instagram’s setting will limit loading photos on mobile networks and won’t preload videos in its new Stories section. Enable it by tapping the person icon in the bottom right corner then hit the settings gear in the top right corner > Cellular Data Use > switch on Use Less Data.

Snapchat

Snapchat’s Travel Mode keeps its Stories from automatically loading on mobile data. You will need to tap to load them. To turn it on, tap the ghost on the top of the screen, tap the Settings gear icon in the upper right > Manage Preferences > switch on Travel Mode.

Twitter

Twitter also has an autoplay switch. Select the Me tab > then the gear icon > Settings > Data > Video autoplay > Use Wi-Fi only.

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