Sunday, March 22, 2015

SnapChat is Killing Your Family Data Plan

I posted this on Facebook and it blew up a bit so I thought I would do a quick blog post as well to continue to get the word out and expand on what I found. If you, or anyone in your family, has SnapChat on your mobile device, you probably went over your data allowance last month and this month and you have no idea why. We started having issues with a family member and their iPhone right after this rolled out and it would appear others are as well. We struggled to figure this out and had issues with our data plan the last two months. We did the following below and everything immediately went back to normal.

The super smart folks over at SnapChat decided to implement a new feature called Discover. It sounds great except for one little unknown "feature", it downloads MASSIVE amounts of data in the background, even when you are on cellular networks and has been draining peoples data plans left and right. There is NO option to turn it off in the app (at least on the IOS version).

If anyone in your family has SnapChat, go disable background updates for this app immediately. I have no idea if it breaks Discover and I don't really care, they should know better than to do this. Here's how to stop this behavior on iPhone/iPad. There is also a link at the bottom for Android folks as well.

On your device go to:
  • Launch Settings -> Choose General
  • General -> Choose Background App Refresh
  • From Background App Refresh you can choose to disable all applications or just SnapChat
If you want to check how much cellular data SnapChat has been using on your device (assuming you have reset your usage counters recently), do the following.

On your device go to:
  • Launch Settings -> Choose Cellular
  • Scroll down to the section "Use Cellular Data For"
  • Scroll down to SnapChat, you will see the amount of data used since you last reset your counters right below SnapChat. It will probably say something like XXXX MB or XX.X GB. To give you an example, we had one iPhone that consumed 3.8GB of cellular data on SnapShat in 3 DAYS!
  • If you want to track it, scroll all the way to the bottom and hit the Button "Reset Statistics". This will reset everything to zero and you can check it again in a few days
Links that get credit for discovering this:

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