At InkHouse, we always strive to have one foot in the future and remain knowledgeable about up and coming platforms, tools and trends - and if you haven’t heard already, Product Hunt has definitely been making a splash. This site is a self-described “place for product-loving enthusiasts to share and geek out about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations.” It’s an online community where you can share products, books, podcasts, or games which can then be upvoted and discussed. In some ways it functions like Reddit, but there is also an influence from the Product Hunt team as to whose posts get the most visibility. To get an idea of how fast this company is growing, the company had 2,000 active users just 20 days after launching in 2013. As of February 1, 2016, Product Hunt had 71,842 upvotes, 4,007 products listed, 15,795 comments, and 29,021 subscribers from around the world.
So how does it work?
Once you register, you have the ability to upvote, participate in live chats, and create collections (by bookmarking and curating posts and products that interest you). In order to submit a post or comment, you must be nominated by someone in the Product Hunt community. For those who are nominated, invites are given out each week based on engagement and other factors that Product Hunt does not reveal. Occasionally the site directly hands out invites based your participation with the site and relevant Twitter activity. Once you receive an invite, you are free to submit a product, book, podcast, or game. If you are first to submit a product, you will be crowned (drum roll please)… “the hunter” for that product.
So you might wonder, with hundreds of things being submitted to Product Hunt every day, how does your post get visibility? This is where the upvoting comes into play. Posts that have high numbers of “credible” upvotes from the Product Hunt community have a better chance of being featured on the homepage. Things that are submitted to the tech category begin in the “upcoming feed” and can then be upvoted to the homepage in 48 hours.
Why does it matter?
As PR professionals, Product Hunt can provide great visibility for consumer-facing products. It signals to reporters and investors what’s new in tech and has been described as “the go-to place for those in the tech and venture capital space to discover what people are buzzing about, whether it's a new app, startup, service, or device.” In fact, Product Hunt dabbles in product launch exclusives - definitely something to keep in mind when planning a product launch.
Product Hunt is also an opportunity to actively engage and contribute to the discussion. Once your submission has been featured, you and your community can participate in the conversation around the post and help shape its messaging and image. The site also offers live Q & A sessions with celebrities and experts.
Product Hunt has grown quickly from a small email list to being considered a must-read site in just three years. With the ever changing PR landscape, it will definitely be worth keeping an eye on. I have no doubt that we will be on the hunt for whatever genius idea the Product Hunt team cooks up next.
Kaley Carpenter is an assistant account executive at InkHouse and since joining the team in 2014, she has fully immersed herself in agency life and the world of PR and communications. Along with focusing on media relations and content development across her accounts, she helps her teams stay organized and up to date on the latest trends. Before joining InkHouse, Kaley was a marketing intern at Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports USA and Children’s Specialized Hospital.