Tags are the new Keywords

7 min read

Deviation Actions

Heidi's avatar
By Heidi

Keywords on deviations were built to be an important tool to help discover artwork. But as deviantART grows and strives to create new ways to discover great content, we’ve found that keywords as we currently use them have become underutilized.  We think we can do better -- and can make a better experience for the community -- by making some changes.

In the coming month, keywords will transition into tags, and we’ll be improving the way they work. Tags will better surface artwork, allow deviants to form communities around topics, make it easier to find other artists and art appreciators, and increase discoverability.  

For example, if you're a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles it can be difficult to know what to search for: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ninja Turtles, TMNT, Donatello, etc.  Public tags provide visibility to see how others are tagging their deviations, which will allow you to align your behavior to the norm, or choose to be deviant!

Getting Started

You’ll hear more about tags in the coming month, but to prepare for the upcoming release now, we wanted to let you know that:

  1. Keywords are changing to tags.

  2. Tags will soon be publicly visible on deviation pages.

  3. Our system will automatically transition some of your keywords to the appropriate tags for better discoverability when tags fully launches (for example, common keyword phrases such as “lord of the rings” will become “#lordoftherings”).

As a reminder, tags on deviations can be edited at any time.  If you’d like to update your deviations before any changes are released, now’s the time to do so!  (Simply visit any of your deviations and click the "Edit" button.  You don't need to add a hashtag before a tag, but you can!)

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of my new deviation tags look weird.  What gives?

The old keyword field was unstructured, while new tags are all single words.  In the keyword to tag conversion process, we had to do a bit of guesstimation regarding the translation.  A keyword field for "my little pony" might mean “#mylittlepony,” while "sunset australia watercolor" might intend "#sunset #australia #watercolor."  In the event you see a tag that doesn't apply to your deviation, simply remove anything not appropriate.

I can only enter 64 tags to describe my deviation, but I was previously able to enter as many keywords as I wanted.  What gives?

Public tags provide visibility around seeing how others are tagging their deviations.  One of the problems with keywords was that everyone had to invent their own terms or guess what others were using.  There would be many keywords around the same topic -- my little pony, mlp, mplfim, mylittlepony, my_little_pony, fim, friendshipismagic, and so forth.  By making tags public, you'll be able to discover tags that the community is using in a more predictable way.  Having 10 or 20 relevant tags will enable more people to see your art than having 100 irrelevant ones.

Your Feedback

We’re excited to show you what we’re working on, and will be updating you more about the power of tags in the coming month.  
For now, we’d love to hear your feedback:

  • Do you add keywords to all of your deviations? Roughly how many do you typically add?

  • Do you base your keywords on medium, subject matter, or other things?

  • What keywords do you commonly search for?

Let us know how you’re currently using keywords, so we can make the new tags as powerful and as useful as possible.

© 2014 - 2021 Heidi
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TheWilliamOwens's avatar
How do you make your tags go from this:
#lol #heya #hi
To this:
#heya #hi
people can still do it in 2019, and I’m getting tilted by this lack of knowledge.
(also like you was able to do above)
Crimson--Hound's avatar
K0rvid's avatar
:/ Please add an option to hide the tags, they look ugly underneath someone's hard work. I don't want to see their search criteria when I'm already looking at the art.
DryKid12's avatar
How do you tag in journals
TheLunerlad's avatar
 How do we tag our journal itself?
xdarkwingY's avatar
i would love to turn out the tag ''anthro'' by my browse-site.. how to do that? im not into that furry... not rly ..eh-eh ..nope.avi so cna i change that i dont see imagies including that tag?
joeyv7's avatar
While I appreciate dA evolving and keeping pace with social media, I think there should be an option to keep keywords private and not featured publicly on the deviation page.  Any chance of this in future? :hmm:
5mb's avatar
I second this. I think tags detract from the art when I have to tag it #black #woman . Seriously, it makes my art a lot uglier than it already is
joeyv7's avatar
:laughing:  I'm just glad they didn't make the keywords public for older deviations . . . the things I used to put in there. :phew: 
Vee-Freak's avatar
I've tried to like it, but I don't and it's made my life worse. Please change it or take it away.
TheUnawareThing's avatar
Can you make it so that we can search other deviants' galleries with tags?
SlayersStronghold's avatar
You can! 
But sadly many people do not tag their stuff :/
Zerna's avatar
Is there any way to remove content from just certain artists whose art pops up in the "More Like This" section?
V--R's avatar
There really should be an option at least to hide them.
Crimson-Kaizer's avatar
I just want to be able to block content I don't like/want to see. If you guys can do that, I'm golden.
RetSamys's avatar
Right now, the only way you can do that is in the search: add a "-" before a keyword (and yes, I mean keyword, since the search doesn't only look for the tags) and it will be filtered out in the results. Example: www.deviantart.com/browse/all/… vs. www.deviantart.com/browse/all/…
This is usefut, but not perfect, as you can see, even with something that isn't as synonymous as flying islands and floating islands.
Crimson-Kaizer's avatar
So...if i'm looking for a certain pairing, but I don't want to see anti work of it, I would need to add;

NaruSaku-Anti NaruSaku

RetSamys's avatar
You want NaruSaku. And you don't want Anti NaruSaku. In that case, you should write NaruSaku -"Anti NaruSaku" - that should work, but only if
  1. NaruSaku is a term the search will find and
  2. Anti NaruSaku is a term that the search will find - and if it is written in this order

You need a space between two search terms.
Crimson-Kaizer's avatar
Ok. It works. Thank you.
saracaindica's avatar
I would like to see old and good DA again.
ChaoLoo's avatar
Ohaithere, Tumblr! When did you get here?
Meikomaedamore's avatar
this website has turned into a huge tumblr rip off
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