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Submitted on
August 26
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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.

Add a Comment:
SFLiminality Featured By Owner 11 hours ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Seriously. Who thought this visible tags thing was a good idea? And the word merging? Wat? We could figure out what words people were using to tag things by simply searching for a word. If a lot of deviations showed up for that word, then a lot of people were using it. Simple.
kurobelly Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Artist
Bayuna Featured By Owner 1 day ago
"Improving" :airquotes: 
I really miss the old days when Deviantart was unique. I don't want my keywords or hashtags to be shown publicly, seems I have to give up on that now. What a shame.
Pazumii Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist
I don't like it that much that the tags are shown to everyone. There should at least be an option to make them transparent again...
Granitoons Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Professional Traditional Artist
Bloody hate hashtags. Get rid. Or allow us the CHOICE. It's what we're paying for.
Lolita-Ragdoll Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I see DeviantARt is following the "facebook, myspace" pushing things we didn't agree to or want into our faces trend.
SweetBlackberry Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
If you wanna go with the tags do it, I don't mind it. But making them imperatively "publicly visible" for everyone, without any possible way to change it? That's bullshit.
Just look at the comments, everyone's complaining. So please, give us a way to hide them if we want to. Give us choice, don't just go on imposing useless updates that nobody asked for.
Granitoons Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Professional Traditional Artist
The publicly visible thing I feel is an invasion of privacy.
FayTales Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  New member
"Tags will soon be publicly visible on deviation pages." 
No, please we should be able to hide them because this is getting really awkward. 
Ecchi-Senshi Featured By Owner 11 hours ago
I just noticed the publicly visible thing myself. Awkward is definitely the word.
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