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Via Product Hunt.

Product Hunt already helps people find the latest and greatest products. Now it is launching a tool to let people find products for their particular need.

The San Francisco-based startup today unveiled Ask Product Hunt, a new feature that taps into the site’s community braintrust to help users get advice for a product that fits a specific need.

The functionality is simple: You post a question on Ask Product Hunt the same way you’d ask a friend, and the site sends a signal to other users that follow you and the broader community, asking for recommendations. They can recommend any product on Amazon, Etsy, the App Store, or and the internet — not just items previously posted on Product Hunt.

The idea is similar to Quora or Jelly (acquired by Pinterest last month) — using crowdsourcing to help people ask and answer questions — but for products.

ProductHunt CEO Ryan Hoover (GeekWire Photo)

Founded in 2013, Product Hunt quickly gained name-recognition and popularity for its platform that allows users to post and up-vote their favorite tech-related products. The site, which received its lead investment from former Microsoft executive and Andreessen board partner Steven Sinofsky, was acquired last year by AngelList, a San Francisco-based company that helps startups connect with investors and potential employees. Product Hunt remains an independent company.

Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover told GeekWire that Ask Product Hunt is “the biggest change we’ve introduced since the AngelList acquisition late last year.” He described it as “a community-powered product search engine.”

“As with many things we’ve built, the idea was inspired by the community,” Hoover added, noting how people ask for product advice on social media and often are directed to Product Hunt’s Twitter page.

Last year, Product Hunt partnered with Amazon to launch a Product Hunt section on the Amazon Launchpad site and “Featured on Product Hunt” badges to selected products on the e-commerce portal. It also last year launched a marketplace for direct sales of products through the site, but shut that down after being acquired.

Product Hunt also recently released a book about the company’s formation.

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