Product Hunt, the popular and growing community focused on finding the best new products, has today rolled out an improved version of its Chrome extension, which allows you to hunt, interact with and search for new products right from your web browser. The update offers a different way to interact with Product Hunt’s service, allowing you to both passively keep track of products through its takeover of your “new tab” page, as well as more actively search, submit, vote and bookmark products you find around the web.
The original extension was first launched a year ago by Andreas Klinger, notes Product Hunt’s founder Ryan Hoover in a post today about the new extension, adding that Klinger has since joined the company.
While I’m personally hesitant to install extensions that take over my new tab page in Chrome, preferring Chrome’s default experience, the page is definitely an interesting and more visual way to explore the top products trending on the service. While the Product Hunt site favors a list format, on the new tab page you get to see the product’s title, description and thumbnail. I found I preferred this sort of Pinterest-like browsing experience, and only wished that I could enable it as an option on the Product Hunt website.
Hoover says that the company has been exploring what a more visual version of Product Hunt would look like, however, but many users prefer that the current site is so easy to scan as it stands today. Though they had designed a version of the site that included a toggle that changed the layout, it was never released because it took away from the site’s simplicity.
That said, he adds that the company is continuing to explore concepts that incorporate images into the feed now.
After installing the extension, from the new tab page in Chrome, you can vote on products as well as view and leave comments, much like on the Product Hunt website.
The extension also includes a setting that would allow you to disable Product Hunt’s takeover of Chrome’s new tab page, but at launch, this turns that page blank, unfortunately. Hoover confirmed this is a bug, however, and it will be addressed in an upcoming release.
The extension also pops a small “P” icon into your Chrome browser bar, allowing you to search for both products and people with just a click. Search, notes Hoover in announcing the release, is becoming an increasingly common use case for his service – even more common than posting products. “We wanted to make it one click away,” he writes, “but we may change this use flow as we add additional functionality, like an activity feed.”
The new extension is a free install from the Chrome Web Store here. The company already has a number of other apps that extend its service to different platforms, including also an official iPhone app as well as several more built by community users.