Social Media Accessibility: Turning Off Autoplay (2020)

Overview of autoplay and video accessibility in social media

Autoplay is a serious accessibility issue. We tested whether videos autoplayed on social media, as well as whether it was possible to turn off this feature. In addition, we tested whether the video could be paused by the mouse, keyboard and touch.

No autoplay on default viewing

FacebookInstagramLinkedInPinterestTwitterYouTube
DesktopFailPassFailFailFailFail
iOSFailFailFailFailFailFail
AndroidFailFailFailFailFailFail

Can you turn off autoplay in settings?

FacebookInstagramLinkedInPinterestTwitterYouTube
DesktopPassFailPassPassPassFail
iOSPassFailPassPassPassFail
AndroidPassFailPassPassPassFail

Can the video be paused?

FacebookInstagramLinkedInPinterestTwitterYouTube
Mouse on desktopPassPassPassPassPassPass
Keyboard on desktopPassFailPassFailPassPass
Touch on iOSPassFailPassPassPassPass
Touch on AndroidPassFailPassPassPassPass

Turning off autoplay – Desktop

Facebook

  • Arrow in top right-hand corner
  • Select “Settings & Privacy”
  • Select “Settings”
  • Select “Videos” in the left-hand side
  • “AutoPlay Videos” (default, on and off)

Instagram – Unable to turn off autoplay on desktop

LinkedIn

  • Select profile icon
  • Select “Settings & Privacy” under “Account”
  • Open the “Account” tab at the top
  • Select the “Site preferences” option on the left-hand side
  • “Autoplay videos”

Pinterest

  • Select the drop-down arrow to the right of your profile icon
  • Select “Settings”
  • Select “Privacy and data” on the left
  • Unselect “Autoplay videos on desktop”

Twitter

  • Select “More” in the left hand navigation
  • Select “Settings and privacy”
  • Select “Accessibility” under “General”
  • Select “Autoplay”
  • Select “On cellular or Wi-Fi” or “Never”

YouTube (can only turn off autoplaying another video on finishing the first video)

  • Choose a video
  • To the right of the video there is a toggle to turn off autoplay

Turning off autoplay – iOS

Facebook

  • Hamburger menu in bottom right
  • Select “Settings & Privacy”
  • Select “Settings”
  • Select “Videos & Photos” (under “Media and Contacts”)
  • Select “On Mobile Data and Wi-Fi Connections”, “On Wi-Fi Connections Only” or “Never Autoplay Videos”

Instagram – Unable to turn off autoplay on iOS

LinkedIn

  • Select the Profile icon
  • Select the “Settings” link
  • Under “Account” there is the option “Autoplay videos”

Pinterest

  • Go to the Profile page
  • Select the hexagonal icon in the top right
  • Select “Privacy & data”
  • Unselect “Autoplay videos on cellular data” and/or “Autoplay videos on Wi-Fi”

Twitter

  • Select the Profile icon in the top left-hand corner
  • Select “Settings and privacy”
  • Select “Accessibility”
  • Select “Autoplay”
  • Select “On cellular or Wi-Fi”, “Only on Wi-Fi” or “Never”

YouTube (can only turn off autoplaying another video on finishing the first video)

  • Select the Profile icon in top-right
  • Select “Settings”
  • Under the “Autoplay” heading you can unselect “Autoplay next video”

Turning off autoplay – Android

Facebook

  • Hamburger menu in top right
  • Select “Settings”
  • Select “Media & Contacts”
  • Select “AutoPlay”
  • Select “On Mobile Data and Wi-Fi Connections”, “On Wi-Fi Connections Only” or “Never Autoplay Videos”

Instagram – Unable to turn off autoplay on Android

LinkedIn

  • Select the Profile icon
  • Select the “Settings” link
  • Under “Account” there select the option “Autoplay videos”
  • Select “Never Autoplay Videos”, “Wi-Fi Connections Only” or “On Mobile Data and Wi-Fi Connections”

Pinterest

  • Go to the Profile page
  • Select the hexagonal icon in the top right
  • Select “Privacy & data”
  • Unselect “Autoplay videos on cellular data” and/or “Autoplay videos on Wi-Fi”

Twitter

  • Select the Profile icon in the top left-hand corner
  • Select “Settings and privacy”
  • Select “Accessibility”
  • Select “Video Autoplay”
  • Select “Mobile data & Wi-Fi”, “Wi-Fi only” or “Never”

YouTube (can only turn off autoplaying another video on finishing the first video)

  • Select the Profile icon in top-right
  • Select “Settings”
  • Under the “Autoplay” heading you can unselect “Autoplay next video”

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