Whether you use Tik Tok, Periscope, Snapchat or whatever, have you any idea how much data they use? Remember the Meerkat app and how much data that used to go through in a single session? If you’re on a capped data plan, you need to be careful otherwise you could be in for a nasty shock!
These apps are designed to be used on the move. They stream video, either as part of video chat or as a video uploaded to a platform for others to see. While Meerkat may no longer be with us, other newer apps have taken over. Twitter owns Periscope and the app has done extremely well for itself. Tik Tok took over from Music.ly and is something of a phenomenon. Both like to use up mobile data if you don’t remember to switch on your WiFi.
Add in streaming services like Netflix or Hulu and the demand for data increases!
Video is taking over from chat with video chat being the new thing for the cool kids to do. Combine a couple of hours of video chat with a TV show or two from Netflix and your data will soon mount up.
For example, an HD quality video stream at 720p will use 900MB per hour and a 1080p stream will use up to 1.5GB per hour. Spotify and streaming audio is a little less hungry with a 96Kbps audio stream using only 40MB per hour or a 160kbps stream using 70MB per hour.
Given that most of us have data caps on our mobile contracts, we have to be mindful of using WiFi wherever possible. I used to burn through most of my data allowance in a day or two with Meerkat and still have to monitor it now.
Both iOS and Android can monitor data usage and remind you when you run close to your limit. If you’re a live streamer or consumer of streaming services, it will be well worth your while using such a monitor!