Getting Robbed by Smartphones & AutoPlay Videos


Smartphones and AutoPlay Videos

Smart phones are finding their way into the mainstream of many new countries and communities. With this new technology comes many new potholes that people should be kept aware of. One of the biggest tripwires for new smart phone customers is the way that billing actually occurs. There are many misconceptions that people who are new to smart phones may not understand.

– AutoPlay Videos

One of the convenience features that many websites offer is the ability to autoplay videos. Auto playing videos means that the video that is on a site begins to play immediately upon page load. The site visitor does not have to click a button or start anything – the video will just start from the beginning, and in some cases, from other points in the video if it has been watched before.

– The Problem With AutoPlay Videos

Even though they are very convenient to some people, there is one major problem with autoplay videos. The video begins to use the data on a phone as soon as it plays. This means that a smart phone user is being charged from the minute that the page loads, even if that user never wanted to see any video in the first place.

This is especially annoying when off screen ads are on the site and set to autoplay. In this case, the smart phone user is actually paying to watch an ad that may not even be seen onscreen. Many people are simply going to their favorite websites, not knowing that their bills are racking up by the second until they receive that bill in the mail weeks later. Because these bills are not separated by line item, the smart phone user may never figure out what is going on.

Another huge problem comes into play when a smart phone user moves to a site like Facebook with a timeline feature that can have many videos playing at once. Although Facebook has attempted to deal with this by cutting off videos as they are scrolled off of the screen, the technology is far from perfect, especially on the mobile platform. Many other sites have not even considered doing this for their visitors, providing no buffer for the huge amounts of autoplay videos that may be present on a social media page at any one time.

– How to Deal With AutoPlay Videos and Ads

The first step in dealing with this problem is to simply turn off the autoplay feature. However, this is much easier said than done. There is no way to turn off autoplay in total; it must usually be done on every website individually. This means that the user must find the autoplay feature on social media and turn it off from there. There are some apps in development that are trying to accomplish this automatically for smart phone users; however, no industry standard solution has been introduced at the time of this writing.

There is, however, an industry standard solution for many ad types. Ads can be turned off so that the code that places them on the page is blocked from showing at all. This is a great way to keep from viewing unsolicited ads; however, some advertisers are finding a way around this technology even as it is updated.

– Demanding Better Data Plans

A great deal of the fault for high bills comes from the telecommunications companies themselves. Because many of those companies are in business with social media, they are fully aware of the autoplay phenomenon. However, the biggest providers of Internet service have done very little to collaborate with social media companies to find a solution to the problem. The telecommunications companies just continue to send out huge bills, only refunding them when they become a huge news item.

Aside from the apps that can be applied and the manual labor of turning off autoplay for every site, people should demand better service from their telecommunications providers. Negative media attention has historically been one of the best ways to get the larger Internet provider companies to back away from their more exploitative plans.

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