From Media Post:

To help marketers boost their reach on Facebook, the company has added an option that lets companies advertise to friends of their brand fans on the social network.

The new “Friends of Connections” targeting feature allows you to “expand your audience reach by delivering your ads to the friends of people already connected with your Page, Application, Group or Event,” according to a a post on the Facebook Ads Page. So when someone sees the ad, they will see which of their friends is a fan.

Previously, advertisers could only target people who “fanned” their pages, used their applications, or signed up to any company groups or events via the site.

The new targeting capability “should lead to increased conversion on Facebook Ads (Facebook’s performance advertising system), because users will find the social context and implied endorsement more interesting,” according to the Inside Facebook blog. That’s the idea, anyway.

While the company has allowed marketers to include social actions in ads before, this is the first time they can specifically target just friends of connections. If users don’t want their Facebook actions in the ads that friends see, they can use the site’s ad privacy setting to turn off that feature.