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Facebook's autoplay video feature is destroying cellphone bills

By By James O'Toole
Published On: Sep 03 2014 11:29:11 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 03 2014 11:32:58 AM CDT
Facebook homepage 2

John Sanders/CNN

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -

Want to save money on your phone bill? Make sure you turn off the "autoplay" setting on Facebook videos.

Smartphone users are at risk of maxing out their data plans if they don't change this default setting in the Facebook app, which otherwise will automatically start streaming videos in the News Feed window.

The issue was flagged by consumer finance site MoneySavingExpert.com, which said it had "seen many complaints from people who have been stung with data bills after exceeding their monthly allowance and who believe it to be because of Facebook autoplaying videos."

Fortunately, the fix is an easy one. If you're an iPhone user, tap your "Settings" button and then scroll down and click "Facebook." From there, click "Settings," "Auto-play," and then choose "Wi-Fi only" or "Off."

On Android, bring up the Facebook app and go to your account settings. Click "App Settings," and then choose 'Auto-play only on Wi-Fi' or 'Off.'

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. If you think you've been hit with unfair data charges, contact your wireless carrier.

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