What doesn’t Pete Cashmore do? The latest and greatest from the Mashable founder is a customizable social layer that have some people calling it “a hybrid of a news source and a social network.” Mashable Follow is a new social layer that lets you follow the topics that interest you, create a profile on the site, share stories to your multiple social networks in a single click, connect with friends and much more.

Launched in February 2011, Mashable Follow gives users a customizable experience by allowing them to choose the topics, stories, and people that are relevant to them. Readers simply click the “Follow” button accompanying each article or list of topics. The news feed and reading list is unique to that individual and that “stream” is then public for other users to follow.

Earn hilarious badges, such as the Dramatic Chipmunk badge, for commenting on articles, sharing stories, and following topics.

Why use Mashable Follow?

Simplify – We are all short on time  and the last thing we want is to spend time sifting through boring stories and articles that mean nothing to us. Mashable Follow curbs information overload by organizing and filtering the most relevant topics to you. Your news stream only includes the topics and stories that you follow. Topics can be as general as social media or as specific as HootSuite.

Networking – Mashable Follow allows you to curate the news for your own networks of influence. Follow other power users to see what they are reading and what interests them. Mashable Follow has the potential to be a powerful tool for building brand equity and for individuals to develop themselves as media influencers.

“People already use Mashable’s comment page to build their brand and respect and I think Follow will enable them to build themselves even more,” Cashmore states.

Sharing – Each article comes with a super simple Share button. Click on the green M and a box pops up that allows you to post the link to any of your selected social media channels in one click of a button.  When creating your profile, make sure to connect it to all of your social profiles including Google Buzz, Digg, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Mashable Follow by the numbers

From Mashable Follow:

3, 400,000+ = Followers across social platforms

40,000+ = Daily retweets of articles on Twitter

40,000+ = Facebook shares of articles per week

12,000,000+ = Unique monthly visitors

Mashable Follow features

Once logged in, each user’s header has links to Top Stories, My Stories, Topics, People and Activity.

Top Stories – These are the top shared stories in the Mashable Follow community. You can view them from today, the past week, past month, and even the past year.

My Stories – Your unique news stream based on the topics and stories that you follow. Each article is accompanied with a number which shows how many times it has been shared, as well as a breakdown of shares by social profile.

Topics – The complete list of content present in Mashable. You can view it according to Top Topics, Trending Topics and My Topics (the ones that you follow).

People – This is the list of Mashable users that are similar to you. It informs you about their activities. You can view recommended users, find friends through the services that you are connected to (such as Facebook), and view the list of users you follow.

Activity – Here you can view your friends’ activity and your own activity. Your friends’ activity updates anytime one of your friends comments on or shares articles, as well as when they earn badges. Your activity is your profile page – view any of your comments, shares, and earned badges, as well as your list of followers and users following you.