How Do You Get Featured on Product Hunt's Homepage?

updated on 09 May 2024

Not getting featured on Product Hunt's homepage is the single worst thing that can happen to your launch.

I should know, because it happened to my launch.

What promised to be an opportunity to be seen by Product Hunt's large userbase turned into a disappointing flop.

The mental anguish from this was painful.

I really don't want this to happen again. I have a plan and I'm sharing it here.

What does it mean to be featured on Product Hunt?

Being featured means two crucial things:

As you can see, missing out on getting featured absolutely kills your exposure.

Most launches are hidden from the homepage

I haven't crunched the numbers myself but according to one founder who has, only 30% of launches on Product Hunt get featured.

That's a whopping 70% of launches that are condemned into quarantine!

So, why does Product Hunt hide launches?

My guess is:

  • Product Hunt only wants high quality submissions to appear on their homepage, and
  • Their "unfeature algorithm" detects false positives far too often

Four critical hours

(Skip ahead to the next section if you're familiar with how Product Hunt works.)

As you may already know, Product Hunt pits launches against each other in a daily race.

You want to be in the top 5 early on, so you can benefit from the exposure-> upvotes->exposure virtuous cycle.

Which brings us to an important Product Hunt quirk: the first 4 hours of each day is special.

During this period Product Hunt picks 10 random launches to be shown on the homepage, without revealing their vote count (to prevent "sheep bias").

This is your chance to compete fairly.

Once the votes are revealed, the top 5 launches get a massive unfair advantage in terms of visibility.

See the massive visibility gulf between #5 and #6 in the screenshot below?

Product Hunt's homepage layout draws people's attention to the top 5 launches. Lower launches get much less exposure.
Product Hunt's homepage layout draws people's attention to the top 5 launches. Lower launches get much less exposure.

How I will get my launch featured next time

It is rumored that Product Hunt frowns upon non-product submissions.

Newsletters, courses, forums, and directories are less likely to show up on the homepage, supposedly.

I only make B2B SaaS products, so it won't be an issue for me.

Therefore, if my launch fails to appear on Product Hunt's homepage, it'll only be due to its algorithm detecting a false positive.

Unlike my last launch - where I waited until after the first 4 hours had elapsed -next time I will email Product Hunt's support ASAP.

Within the first 5 minutes, ideally.

As I explained earlier, messing up the first 4 hours can irreparably damage your launch.

Product Hunt's support is actually responsive and reasonable if your request is legit.

So, there's absolutely no reason to be passive and slow.

Finally, you should use Upperhunt to help you grow your Product Hunt, LinkedIn, and 𝕏 connections.

This way, you'll have an army of followers to support you on launch day.

Update: now you can find out if you're being featured ahead of time

Thanks to a recent Product Hunt change, you can now see on your dashboard if your future launch will be featured.

No need to keep refreshing the homepage on launch day to find out.

(Thanks to Umar Saleem for supplying the screenshot.)

The yellow banner at the top tells you ahead of time if you're schedule to be featured
The yellow banner at the top tells you ahead of time if you're schedule to be featured
Make your website with
Unicorn Platform Badge icon