Posted on July 26, 2016
3 tips for limiting Facebook data usage
Mobile data puts the world at your fingertips. But overage charges? Not so great. Luckily, there are ways to limit data consumption by apps like Facebook, which is one of hungrier apps on your phone. In fact, casual Facebook browsing on your phone consumes almost 2MB of data per minute. Spend 40 minutes a day at the site (the U.S. average back in 2014) and you’re using 2.4 GB of data per month on Facebook alone. And that’s not counting the data that Facebook uses while it runs in the background.
Here’s how to learn exactly how much data your Facebook app is using. On your Android device, open Settings and select Data usage. You’ll see a graph that shows your monthly data usage, below the graph, data usage by Facebook and other apps. On your iPhone or iPad, open Settings and select Cellular. Scroll down to view your data usage and scroll down a bit more to see data usage by Facebook and other apps.
If you’d like to limit the data your Facebook app uses, here are three steps you can take to put Facebook on a diet of smaller bytes.
1. Stop videos from playing automatically in your News Feed
You can adjust your Facebook app’s auto-play settings to On, WiFi only or Off. If you choose WiFi only or Off, you’ll use less data.
To adjust the auto-play settings on your Android device:
Open your Facebook app > Tap this icon > Scroll down and tap App settings > Tap Autoplay > Choose the option you prefer.
(If you don’t see the Video autoplay setting on your Android device, log out of the Facebook app. When you log back in, Video autoplay should be visible in App settings.)
To adjust the auto-play settings on your iPhone or iPad:
Open your Facebook app > Tap this icon > Scroll down and tap Settings > Tap Account Settings > Videos and Photos > Autoplay > Choose the option you prefer.
(If you don’t see Videos in your iPhone or iPad’s Facebook app settings, try updating the Facebook app.)
2. Use the Facebook Lite app
Facebook Lite is now the fastest-growing version of Facebook. The lightweight app was developed to provide a more data-efficient Facebook experience and uses considerably less data than the full-fledged app.
You can download Facebook Lite to your Android device from the Google Play Store. There is not yet a version for iPhone or iPad.
3. Use WiFi whenever possible
This advice applies regardless of the app you’re using. Using WiFi rather instead of mobile data will…save you a lot of mobile data. That’s pretty self-evident. Just go to Settings, tap WiFi and turn it on.