After the success of its social listening apps, Facebook is now testing a new feature that will highlight social reader articles within News Feeds.

Some members are noticing a “Trending Articles” section inside their News Feeds — separated from other content by a gray bar — which features headlines, thumbnail images, and the first 130 characters of a news story.

It’s still unclear what qualifies a story as trending. Although the links don’t feature users’ photos, it does include the name of the friend that read the story.

According to Inside Facebook, the current version being tested doesn’t warn members that clicking on an article might lead to that activity being shared on Timeline.

Yesterday, the company added a “Listen” button directly to musicians’ Facebook Pages, which enables fans to tune in without leaving the site. This will help keep members on the site longer, as well as create more awareness for bands and artists.

It’s possible that “Trending Articles” will help publishers gain more exposure and engagement on the social network; however, the current iteration of this feature feels a bit out of place.

[Via: Inside Facebook, Image credit: Helen K]