Social media is increasingly changing the way individuals discover and consume the news. From Facebook to Twitter, some find that following what their friends and colleagues are liking and tweeting is more than enough to stay informed.

Professional social network LinkedIn has in many ways largely been absent from this shift in news discovery and consumption. But that changed yesterday when the soon-to-be publicly traded company launched LinkedIn Today.

LinkedIn Today “delivers the day’s top news, tailored to you based on what your connections and
industry peers are reading and sharing
.” To surface news that’s most relevant, LinkedIn is taking a three-layered approach.

It can personalize news based on what an individual’s connections are sharing, what’s being shared by folks in the same industry, and what’s popular in other industries.

Not content with simply developing a content aggregation/curation service, LinkedIn is also trying to add context to shared content:

Within any story that’s being shared, you can drill down to see who’s shared a given headline.  We’ll show you the professional identity of the users who shared the story, along with what they are saying to get a sense of the conversation happening around a given article.  

You can even narrow your results with filters like industry and company.  Only LinkedIn gives you this layer of professional identity and search capability on who’s sharing or tweeting an article.

If users find LinkedIn Today to be useful, it could boost engagement on the site. While the professional social network is one of social media’s biggest success stories, it isn’t nearly as ‘sticky‘ as popular services like Facebook and Twitter.

That’s to be expected, of course, given the nature of the network, and it’s not necessarily a problem. But when it comes to content, there may be a larger role for LinkedIn to play in the content sharing universe.

This, of course, has implications for both publishers and marketers, many of whom already use Facebook and Twitter to drive meaningful traffic.

As Mike Volpe at HubSpot notes, LinkedIn Today creates new opportunities for publishers and marketers. If you run a finance website, for instance, or are responsible for marketing a B2B company, LinkedIn could be an ideal platform worth investing in.

Late last year, LinkedIn rolled out its own share button, which may be an appropriate addition to a professional or business-oriented blog, and marketers may want to consider whether it deserves a little attention alongside Facebook and Twitter.