As we know, a question with an attached bounty will most of the time get a visibility boost, mainly for two reasons:
- Users will be attracted by the potential reputation gain and will check the question to see if they are able to provide an answer,
- 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 feature-request and bug 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.