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A Facebook employee walks past a sign at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook says it is running a "limited test" of video ads that autoplay, starting this week. (The Associated Press)

Some video ads will automatically start playing in your Facebook news feed starting this week.

Facebook announced today on its Facebook for Business blog that it is testing the "richer storytelling format for advertisers" starting this week, with a series of videos promoting the upcoming science fiction film Divergent.

The video ads will start playing as soon as they appear on screen, but the sound will not be turned on until a user clicks on it, Facebook said.

"This is an initial limited test," the post noted. "We will let you know if/when the product becomes more widely available."

Facebook said auto-playing video ads are intended to be a "premium" advertising format designed for "marketers who are looking to make a large-scale impact," but would not disclose pricing.

Since September, some videos that are not from advertisers, such as those from individuals or entertainers, have been auto-playing this way in users' feeds, and Facebook said that has boosted views, likes, shares and comments of those videos by more than 10 per cent.

For mobile users, Facebook noted that its software is designed to pre-download the videos while the smartphone or tablet is connected to WiFi, not cellular networks, so they will not incur data charges.