With Facebook being one of the most popular social media platforms to date, it can be accessed by different devices. In fact, Facebook has its own app—a shrunken down, pocket-sized version that condenses its features into a single app that fits tiny screens. Naturally, this is for handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets, which means it can be accessed with the use of mobile data.
And that begs the question: how much data does Facebook use? Not as much as you would think. Let’s take a look.
How Much Data Does Facebook Use?
Since the inception of the Facebook app, it has only gotten better. However, that has come at a cost of more data usage. But how much? Even by today’s standards, Facebook still doesn’t use a lot of data.
Most of the data you’ll be spending is from the act of browsing your news feed. Images load in high quality, videos will autoplay, and jumping between profiles all contribute. Scrolling through your news feed is going to cost you about 1.5MB every minute. That’s not too bad. Videos will suck up 2.6MB every minute, so not much farther, but more than images—to be expected as videos are more involved in terms of file size.
Due to Facebook being widely used by many, there’s a few tricks you can take advantage of to lower the amount of data Facebook uses.
How to Reduce the Amount of Data Facebook Uses
The amount of data Facebook uses is, in the grand scheme of things, relatively negligible. That pitiful 1.5MB every minute is comparable to a 5-minute call using WhatsApp. At those rates, the end of the month you’ll expect to use around 2GB of data. For someone with an unlimited plan, that’s actually pretty good and easily managed. For someone without, like a 2GB plan, then you’d be hurting for more data.
Naturally, cutting that down to something you can manage easier is an option. Cutting it down is easy enough.
1. Adjust Your News Feed Settings
As you scroll through your news feed, you are seeing flashes of whatever images people chose to share. When they load, those images actively siphon your data. You can change the way photos behave in the news feed.
By visiting your Settings & Privacy page > General > Edit > Data Usage. You can choose between Less, Normal, and More. To completely remove photos from appearing, choose Less. To show photos, but keep them low quality, choose Normal. For high quality, nothing loss, choose More.
2. Disable Autoplay Videos
On the other side of the coin are videos. As you scroll through your news feed, videos can and will automatically play. And when they do, your data is being drained. Stop this by visiting your Settings.
Upon opening Settings, choose App Settings > Autoplay. Disable the option altogether or you can choose to only allow autoplay when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. For the sake of saving data, turning it off altogether.
3. Use Facebook Lite or Facebook in a Browser
What about Facebook Lite? Don’t know what that is? Facebook Lite is a stripped down version of Facebook—offered by Facebook—that greatly reduces the amount of data it uses. It’s designed for slow connections, too! It won’t load images in your news feed, nor will it autoplay videos.
Comparing the two, Facebook Lite is less bubbly. It’s interface is simpler, more streamlined than Facebook’s bubbly interface. Unfortunately, it’s only available for Android. Sorry, iOS users, but there’s also an option for you, too. You can use less data by using Facebook through your browser application.
4. Change Your Social Media Habits
Obviously, one of the best ways to lessen the amount of data you spend is by changing your social media habits. How often are you using it? Is it worth checking? Can it wait until you get home where Wi-Fi is available? These are all questions you should be asking when you’re ready to whip out your phone for some news feed browsing.
It might not be much, but no amount of optimizing is going to stop you from racking up hundreds of megabytes if you’re using it most of the day.
Facebook may not use a lot of data when it’s sitting still or when you’re browsing your news feed, it’s images downloading and videos autoplaying that really disturb the wasp’s nest. When you deal with that probably, you should see a completely different amount of data used in the month—a lower amount. But, again, your habits should also be taken into consideration.