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Playing Tag

November 23rd, 2009 by Varun Narang Director, Product

Today we’re launching tags across Hulu. Those of you who are heavy users of the web are likely already familiar with the benefits of tags as both a classification system and a discovery tool. With the web sprouting up in random directions so quickly, you could say that a bottoms-up classification system like tags was made for the web (and in large part, it was). It doesn’t depend on any single authority to function, yet from the varied activity of millions of users, an organic, flexible, and useful order emerges.

Our video catalog has grown to a size where tags will prove extremely useful. Tagging on Hulu is quick and easy. On each video or show page on our site, you’ll find a list of tags near the bottom of the main page or in the Tags tab to the right of the Discussions tab. Simply check the box next to any tags you think are appropriate to that video or show, or use the Add Tags entry box to add your own.

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Click on any tag or enter a term such as “comedy” in the “Search with tags” box to discover other videos with that tag on Hulu. Narrow your search results by adding related tags — for instance, add “satire” to your comedy tag search to find videos tagged both “comedy and satire“.

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Click on Your Tags to see all videos that you’ve tagged. Filter the list of all your tagged videos by selecting one or more of your tags listed in the left column. Using this feature you can create custom collections of videos.

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One last note: while the beauty of tags is that there are no rules, we do have a preference for separating first and last names with a space, like “tina fey” instead of “tinafey”. That has to do with how we see people searching for names, though again, it’s not a requirement. We’ll also filter out any profanity and normalize your tags to lower case.

That’s it. Tag away! And do send any feedback our way — we’d love to hear from you.

Varun Narang ()
Product Manager

Last comment: about 10 hours ago 11 Comments
  • AngelaBee says:

    I don’t agree with one of the comments that said tags on sites aren’t useful (as in on Flickr) – I have found that they ARE unbelievably valuable on YouTube, Flickr and now on Hulu, I hope they’ll be just as handy. This is a fantastic addition! I will be marking tags on the shows I watch and if we all pitch in, the searches will only become more refined and accurate! (No, I don’t work for Hulu. ;) Great job, Hulu.com staffers..bravo! Your site has won me over from some “other” tv sites.

  • Nathan says:

    I never found tags to be worth much in getting accurate content. It doesn’t work too well for Flickr or YouTube. However it’s a start. It would be more helpful to search through the synopsis of the episode, rather than tags.

  • randy says:

    great job hulu i watch it all the time you cant get them fast enough for me i just love comedys

  • D. Fadden says:

    No idea what this can do for me but I am jumping in to learn.

  • Cat says:

    Hulu is awesome i love the shows you guys offer but i agree that in movie sense it is not as good as i wish it would be. keep up the good work i am sure you guys will get more movies for hulu viewers :)

  • Rovnok says:

    Hulu is fantastic, it doesn’t need anything more than it already has now, but hey, why not add a few more strawberries to the cheesecake? Great shows, but in movie sense, its somewhat lacking in high ratings. Keep up the good work Hulu staff.

  • I first discovered this with Netflix.
    It’s a great system.
    Netflix also does this with “ratings” of movies. As you rate certain movies, they narrow your search for related movies by your individual ratings.

    Thanks hulu,
    u r great!

  • m suryan says:

    TAGS STINK ! listing the content in an organized manner is much more apealing then a clump words I defantly dont like this idea trying to use a tag system to find anything specfic is very very annoying its not fun its stupid ..

  • Cameron says:

    Not a fan of the tags. I moused over something and the tags came up and some of the words revealed and even ruined the plot/story. This is what descriptions used to do also until you switched that to hidden. You need to make tags default to hidden unless people want to see it. Please always make the best decision for the content – that will make the users/viewers happy.

  • […] Although Hulu’s search function is generally pretty solid, finding specific content if you don’t know an episode title or discovering new content can sometimes be difficult. Today, Hulu is going to make finding and discovering that much easier by adding support for site-wide tags. […]

  • […] Today, HuluHulu is going to make finding and discovering that much easier by adding support for site-wide tags. Tagging systems are pretty common across the web (and increasingly computer applications in […]

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