So, I've noticed that in some instances, a heavily desired feature or description of an implementation will, here in meta.stackoverflow, be awarded bounties. Presumably, the desire is to communicate to the Stack Overflow development team (and/or the community managers who lobby on our behalf) the importance of said feature to the users' well-being and happiness.
My question is simple: Does it work?
And by "work" I mean, does it actually change the prioritization of a feature request.
I am not interested in the "rightness" or "wrongness" of the practice. I am curious about its effectiveness. From a process perspective, is there any feedback mechanism that alerts devs to bounties awarded on feature requests.
Obviously, there is overlap between the readers of this site and the devs. But:
Are the developers actually influenced by the bounties?
Is there any correlation between a bounty and the attention which those features are given?
Are developers even notified when a bounty is awarded on a feature request, or are the devs just responsible for checking it when they get around to it?
NOTE: This differs from Does the SE development team regularly check the bounty board? in that I am asking (a) if it is effective an (b) if there is a formal process in place for it.