With the amount of image and video content posted daily on the internet, it's not hard to see how it can cause problems for users on data plans with limited data caps. In an effort to provide a solution and not be a part of the problem, Facebook is testing out a new feature that lets users cut down its mobile messenger app's data consumption.
The Menlo Park, California-based company has added the Data Saver option in the settings menu of Facebook Messenger Beta on Android. Once turned on, the Data Saver will filter messages and will hide data-consuming content. These images and videos can still be viewed, but users need to tap them individually so that they can come out of hiding.
A data counter was also added to show users the amount of data saved every time the Data Saver feature is turned on. Users have the option to reset the counter.
Bear in mind that this feature only works on a mobile connection. Transferring to a Wi-Fi connection turns it off and Facebook Messenger will automatically show images and videos in the messages. This can be pretty useful for group chat boxes where several users are likely to share images and videos.
Save Data While Using The Facebook Mobile App
In June, Facebook released a feature of the same name for its main mobile app, which can be found under Help and Settings on the Menu tab. However, it worked differently. Rather than hide images and videos, activating the feature reduces the image size and disables autoplay for videos, which is quite helpful considering the number of videos posted on Facebook each day.
The Facebook mobile app has another data usage control feature. This one, however, gives three options: Less, Normal and More. With Less, no photos will be shown by the app. Using normal, photos will be visible but with low quality, while opting for More will have the photos in high quality.
To activate this feature on the Facebook mobile app, go to Settings and Privacy. Once there, tap/click on General and proceed to edit the data usage settings. Select from one of the three mentioned options and then save.
Other Ways To Save Data While On Mobile
For those who do not want to use any of Facebook's apps, there's always the good old browser and ad blocker combo.
The Opera Max mobile app may also offer some relief since it can be used to monitor data usage, block apps that consume data while running in the background and automatically shrink videos and images on other mobile apps for less data consumption. Albeit, you may want to an earlier version and skip the update to the latest one since users reporting a number of problems with it.