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Facebook Launches Video Ads

new facebook layoutLONDON (CNNMoney)– Facebook is rolling out a feature December 17 that will allow advertisers to play videos in users’ news feeds.

The feature offers companies a new way to promote movies and products on smartphones and computers, and is being tested with a small group of Facebook users.

“Rather than having to click or tap to play, videos will begin to play as they appear onscreen — without sound,” Facebook (FBFortune 500) said in a statement. When users tap the videos, the sound will turn on and the video will play in full-screen mode.

Investors cheered the news. Shares of Facebook (FBFortune 500) gained nearly 2% in early trading and hit a new all-time high on hopes that the new video ads will boost the company’s revenues.

Related: Instagram launches direct messaging

Analysts at Oppenheimer estimate Facebook could gain as much as $8.4 billion per year in revenue once the program is fully rolled out.

But don’t expect a flood of video to start clogging up your online experience just yet.

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