A new Facebook feature - Mentions - may help users see how many people are discussing brands, and businesses may like the visibility this offers them in news feeds.

Marketers are excited about the prospect of social mentions, with recent reports indicating that the majority of Millennials heed the advice of friends when making purchase decisions. Now, a new Facebook feature – Mentions – may help users see how many people are discussing brands, and businesses may like the visibility this offers them in news feeds.

Forbes reported earlier this week that some users are seeing a new Mention feature crop up in their homepages. When two or more friends share an article about the same subject or make a comment referring to the same person or brand, a post appears on users' feeds indicating these "mentions" and linking to the celebrity or business' public page.

The feature was confirmed by Facebook officials in an interview with Mashable. Officials explained that Facebook Mentions, "looks for certain phrases in the text of feed stories and combines them into one story if it finds matches. It's currently being tested with a very small percentage of people." Businesses should consider how they can generate content for social sites that might merit mentions among social users.

This is just the latest tool from Facebook that marketers may like. Last week, the site announced new Deals, which may help neighborhood businesses get noticed on the site. The tool allows users to find discounted offers for nearby stores and share this insight with friends.  

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.