Facebook has rolled out a new feature that shows its users trending articles that their friends have read.

Facebook recently began inserting trending news articles into its users’ news feeds, which is the latest step in the company’s efforts at social content curation. Facebook has discussed in 2012. The articles appear like any other activity from a friend or business page, and the feature could give marketers the opportunity to have their popular content reach a broader, relevant social audience .

Based on a user’s activity, Facebook will insert content that is frequently shared on its platform in line with the type of content that the user reads and shares.

When users see the articles in their feeds, they have the option of hiding all content from the publisher, marking an article as spam or just hiding a particular article. (This sounds somewhat similar to how Google handles content it delivers, with searchers having the ability to block sites to customize results.) Perhaps the most compelling element of trending articles is that users can see which of their friends read the particular article, which may influence whether or not the link is clicked.

Companies using both social media marketing and content marketing campaigns have a new opportunity to maximize exposure of their content with Facebook’s trending articles. Sharing snippets of content with links to more in-depth website content or blog posts will encourage fans to click. From there, their friends are more likely to see the content with the trending articles. The feature has undeniable reach potential, as Brafton has previously reported that connecting to friends of fans helps brands get in front of exponentially larger audiences.

As Facebook continues to add new features that can help social media marketing campaigns, it becomes an even more attractive option for businesses. Brafton recently reported that the platform is already the most popular network for social media marketing with more than 90 percent of businesses active in the channel using the site.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.