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As we know, a question with an attached bounty will most of the time get a visibility boost, mainly for two reasons:

  1. Users will be attracted by the potential reputation gain and will check the question to see if they are able to provide an answer,
  2. Questions with an active bounty get their own tab - so anyone can quickly access them and see what is available at the moment

But is this "all"? Let me explain a little better.
Here on Meta Stack Exchange, we get a ton of and questions, and it is not rare at all for those questions to not get an official staff answer (especially for feature requests). Often, someone offer a bounty on one of those questions to increase its visibility.

This made me wonder. I admit that I almost ignore the "featured question" tab here on this site, because I know that some questions may only get an actual answer from a staff member. Thinking about this, I was asking myself if giving a bounty has any other effect on top of getting a question "featured". For example, do bounties have any weight on the likelihood of a question to get in the "hot network questions" list? Is there some other hidden feature that will make the question more visible?

PS: notice - I am not suggesting any change in the current way bounties work, I just want to know if there is something I am missing to see in the current rules.

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    @ShadowWizard , as always you are far better than my spell-checking tools. I think I should start calling you Spike :P – SPArchaeologist Jan 3 '16 at 20:24
  • Be my guest - and as always, my pleasure fixing those small things. :) – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jan 3 '16 at 20:27
  • Are you talking about bounties on just Meta Stack Exchange? – HDE 226868 Jan 3 '16 at 21:54
  • @HDE226868 Actually, the question came to me because of the different reason bounties are used here on Meta Stack Exchange, but there is no reason it should be specific to this site. I want to know if there is any other way a bounty influences the question visibility, network-wide. – SPArchaeologist Jan 4 '16 at 13:17
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For example, do bounties have any weight on the likelihood of a question to get in the "hot network questions" list?

Well, not on Meta Stack Exchange; this site is excluded from the Hot Network Questions. Even if it weren't, questions need to have an answer to appear on the HNQ list, which is usually not the case in the situations you describe.

Also, in general, a question needs to be at least 48 hours old to put a bounty on it; I've done some data gathering regarding Hot Network Questions in the recent past and only 20% of the questions there are at least 48 hours old. It probably has an effect (I might include that in my research at some point) but only for a small part of the questions.

Is there some other hidden feature that will make the question more visible?

The homepage of the site has a few tabs 'hot', 'week' and 'month' (which might or might not have existed at the moment you were asking this question). Since those contain (according to their title) "questions with the most views, answers and votes" over a certain time period, the increased visibility because of the bounty will likely increase the chance that they appear on those tabs.

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    I'd say the effect is rather low (for the reasons I mentioned) but I need more data, so I can't give a definitive answer yet. I've reopened and given an (affirmative) answer to the question you linked to. – Glorfindel Nov 11 '18 at 12:20

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