Snapchat Drains Excessive Amount of Background Data

Snapchat Drains Excessive Amount of Background Data

On the 27th of January, Snapchat updated their application to include a “Discover” tab, this page displays icons from various sources such as: National Geographic, MTV and Cosmopolitan. Selecting one of these icons opens up a related news feed, featuring: videos, images and text. As with any major update to an app, reviews were very mixed with many people saying that the update was the cause of a series of problems such as: excessive battery consumption, frequent crashes and now it seems users are noticing excessive background data consumption.

Early today, Reddit user rabbit00010 took to the popular social news site with an alarming screenshot. The data usage page of his mobile displayed background data consumption for Snapchat at 0.25 GB over the course of just seven days. Minutes later, other users started checking their settings and posting their own troubling results. One user even reported background data consumption of a whopping 20.3 GB, starting on the day of the update. While this was an extreme case, many other users have since noticed their mobile data has reached its contract cap or is alarmingly high.

Checking data usage for Snapchat yourself is quite simple: from your Android device navigate to “System Settings > Data Usage or Mobile Data > Snapchat” (exact navigation may differ between Android versions). This should display options for time-scale, foreground and background data. If you find your background data to be excessive, you can stop this by selecting the “Restrict Background data” box at the bottom of this page. This may stop the app from using background data, but by doing so you will also no longer be able to receive notifications or snaps without first opening it. Other options Reddit users are suggesting are to use the popular app “Greenify” to hibernate Snapchat when not in use, or to uninstall the app and reinstall a version from before the update.

Snapchat has been subject to a lot of media attention since its inception in 2011, unfortunately not much of this has been positive, with such headlines as:
Child Pornography Among Thousands of Snapchat Images Released Online” (ibtimes, 2014),
Father of Teen Indicted in ‘Snapchat’ Rape Case Arrested” (Boston, 2014),
and most recently “Teen Allegedly Killed Classmate And Took A Snapchat Selfie With Body” (Forbes, 2015).

So far these stories have seemed far removed from the majority of our daily lives, and have more than likely not affected usage of the app. However, with last year’s news that 4.6 million users phone numbers had been leaked due to a security flaw, and now this background data issue, Snapchat may be negatively affecting more and more of our daily lives. This in turn could see an almost self-inflicted drop in users, that the media attention never had, with figures from last August showing just how much it has grown over the last few years.

Play Store Reviews since the update: 

Sucking data Since the update my data usage skyrocketed and the number one cause (per data charts) is Snapchat, using a 1/3 of a gig since the update. Please fix

Privacy policy improved, battery life destroyed I’ve begun using Snapchat again after their privacy policy was drastically improved. Thank you. And it was working great since, but the newest update that brought Discoveries is draining my Galaxy S4 battery, resulting in over 25% of my mostly idle phone battery going to the app.

Battery and Data issues since update… Since update, app has been draining battery dry in a couple hours and sucking up data. Before update never had a probelm. I will be uninstalling until this is fixed. Too bad, it is a fun app.”

Have you noticed excessive data usage from Snapchat? Take a look and leave us a comment below!

About author

Mathew Bloomer
Mathew Bloomer

He fell in love with Android after buying a T-mobile G1 in 2008 and hasn't looked back since. He firmly believes the future of technology lies within bio-hacking and is an NFC implantee.