Ever so sneaky, Facebook’s Instagram product rolled out an update that will make turning off autoplay on iOS devices impossible. All videos will play if you’re on WiFi. They’ll play if you’re on a cellular connection as well unless you change the default. Android changes are likely coming as well.
Instagram announced earlier this month that it will begin serving in-feed advertising before the end of the year, and the Facebook-owned photo and video app has made a subtle, but important, change after it removed the option to switch off auto-play for videos on iOS. (The Android app retains an option to disable auto-play entirely, for now.)
The option is taken out by a seemingly minor update to the app that covers “performance updates and other improvements,” but lists no specific changes. Following the update, users who did not allow videos to pre-load in their feed are left only with a choice to always allow pre-play or restrict it to when they are on Wi-Fi connections only — presumably because of the data charges/usage that auto-playing videos can incur.