Reducing the Amount of Data You Use
In the midst of reading my Facebook timeline using the native app on my iPhone, I received a startling text from AT&T that read, “Your data usage has reached 3GB this month. Using more than 3GB in future billing cycles will result in reduced speeds. You can use Wi-Fi to help avoid reduced speeds. Visit www.att.com/datainfo or call 866-XXX-YYZZ for more info.”
I became quite concerned because I am not a heavy user of data on my cell phone. Or, so I thought. I called the (866) number and a very nice lady shared a tip with me that I believe was the culprit. I’d like to share it with you today and a few more that are partially related.
Did you know that when you open an app on your iPhone that it runs in the background until you shut it off? Even if you aren’t using it, it’s open and sucking up your monthly allotment of data usage. To stop this from happening, here’s a simple process to shut them down.
- Close out of any currently open apps you are using.
- Click your home button to return to your home screen
- Double click the home button. A row of app icons should appear at the bottom of your screen. The top of the screen will appear muted.
- Hold down any of the app icons until they all begin to wiggle and a red circle with a minus sign (-) appears. Click on this little red circle for each app.
- Once the app icons are all gone, click on your home button once again to return to the main page. You’ve successfully closed down all your apps and they will not continue to siphon off your data. Do this often, especially when you’re phone will be on, but you will not be using it for extended periods of time.
It dawned on me that I’ve had my iPhone for over a year and never shut down any apps. If we all shut down our apps on a regular basis, I wonder how much faster our connections would be? Here’s a nifty calculator to help you figure out your estimated monthly usage of data if you’re an AT&T subscriber. In addition, it significantly improved the length of time my battery held a charge!
Tip #2 – My colleague, friend, and an owner of KimberMedia, Tom Trabue, gets credit for this tip. When you upload photos into Facebook albums, especially as a business, don’t do this all at one time. You’ll flood all of your fan’s timelines with album after album, and annoy them. Not to mention, you’re missing out on an opportunity to stay in front of them on an extended basis. Here’s my recommendation how to proceed:
When taking photos of an event, think about the various aspects of the activity. Can you create multiple albums of similar photos from just one event? For example, I recently photographed 10 speakers at the TEDxMU event. Instead of bombarding my fans with one album containing hundreds of pictures, or multiple albums that get uploaded one after another, I’ve created an album for each presenter and share one per day. This gives me enough content for nearly 2 weeks of exposure. (Don’t forget to tag the photos if you are friends with the subjects and they are on Facebook.)
For SEO purposes, you can upload just a few, say 3-5 of your best photos, as a Facebook photo album and in the album description provide a link to your website where your fans can see all the pictures. It’s a great way to drive additional traffic to your website and boost your overall digital footprint in order to improve your position in search engine page results.
Finally, with regards to both pictures and data usage, be careful what size your pictures are when you email them or upload them to Facebook, other social sharing sites, and your website. This is an easy way to eat up your monthly data allotment and cause unnecessarily long load times. My suggestion is to always use a laptop/desktop system to upload photos. Find an app/plug-in for your browser that will let you resize the photos before you upload them. (Google the name of your browser and the term “image resizer” or look in your browser’s web store to find one.)
Instead of uploading 100 photos that are each 2.5MB in size, or 250 MB of data, you can reduce the size of each photo to about 90-100KB each, for a total of 10MB. You can upload 25x the total number of photos using the same amount of data allotment. If you upload a lot of photos each month, this is a definite must have, and it will help your pages load quicker, too. Why waste a bunch of time & data when a simple solution is readily available, right?
What tips do you have to share with us?