Independent of personal takes on the user benefits of autoplay videos, the least that the developers can do is provide a simple straightforward way of turning off the feature completely.
While most of its competitors allow users to completely disable autoplay videos, Instagram doesn't. The most you can do is to make sure that videos are not pre-loaded when you're on a data connection. Unfortunately, even this limited action lays hidden in the settings menu.
In what follows, we'll show you how to disable autoplay videos on Instagram on both Android and iOS devices:
Step 1. Open Instagram, then go to your profile page by tapping the silhouette icon.
Step 2. You now have to enter the settings screen. To do this, tap the three vertical dots (the hamburger menu) on Android. On the iPhone, tap the cogwheel.
Step 3. In the settings screen, scroll down to the 'Cellular Data Use' section.
Step 4. Choose 'Use Less Data' to stop Instagram videos from pre-loading when you're on your data connection, which may cause bumps in the overall performance of the app. Note that the videos and the photos will still pre-load over a Wi-Fi connection.
This setting will also stop images from pre-loading when you open Instagram. More granular control over how Instagram uses your data would be nice to have, but that's all we can do for the time being.
Feel free to rant about how Instagram makes it impossible to turn off autoplay videos altogether in the comment section below!