What's with these Facebook video ads?!

How to disable this annoying -- and potentially costly -- feature

Been on Facebook lately? Notice anything different?

The world's biggest social media site has not only launched video ads on your News Feed and wall, but they start playing automatically -- opposed to you clicking or tapping on them to start.

As such, many users are frustrated with this new "feature."

Yes, on one hand Facebook is free, and so many of us have put up with more advertisements over the years, but auto-play video brings it to a whole new level.

At least there’s no sound for the video unless you click or tap on it.

Here's the real problem: if you use your smartphone to access Facebook, auto-play videos can eat up your cellular data.

OK, so if you want to stop these videos altogether, the following are a couple of suggestions.

Smartphones and tablets:

If you’re on an iOS device – such as an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch – go to Settings, then Facebook and finally Settings again. Simply enable the option “Auto-play on Wi-Fi only.” Now, these videos won’t load when you’re using cellular connectivity – but they will when you’re using Wi-Fi. This should also help consume less data.

Similarly, for Android, open the Facebook app and tap the Options/Settings tab (for Samsung products, it’s to the left of the Home button at the bottom of your device). While it should be on by default, make sure the box is ticked where it says “Auto-play videos on Wi-Fi only.”

Laptops and desktops:

While it’s trickier to pull it off on a computer, you can stop these video ads altogether. You’ll need a “Flash blocker” for your web browser, as these Facebook video ads use Flash to play automatically.

Those who use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Opera might consider AdBlock Plus, while Safari users can try extensions such as ClickToFlash or ClickToPlugin. Firefox and Chrome also have a built-in feature you can enable called “Click To Play (under “Plug-ins”) and Internet Explorer can enable “ActiveX filtering” (“Tools”>”Safety”) to disable auto-play.

Regardless of what software or feature you use, you’ll see a greyed out window where the video is supposed, or perhaps a small icon or a still image of the first frame of the video.

It’s doubtful Facebook will let users disable auto-play video ads altogether, so these are your best bets for now.

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