The word "Tag" as the tag
It is required for every artists to add tags when submitting their artwork in pixiv in order for users to find them using the search function. However, there are users who used "Tag" instead and those who do so may have their reasons. Currently, there are over 500 submitted illustrations in total that used "Tag" as their keyword.
Tag as a keyword search
Main Article : Search
Main Article : Feature
As mentioned in pixiv's website, pixiv tags play the most crucial role in forming the extensive database and all of its contents within the site itself. While the description mentioned "keyword for illustrations", users mainly treat them as a keyword search in order to search for illustrations they want instead of paying full attention to the system.
However, aside from keywords that are deeply connected, there are also Thoughts Tag which can be found in the List of Ranking Tags. These have nothing to do with keywords, but as community based tags that expressed their thoughts (agreed unanimously) using the tag system. Some of these tags are considered as keywords to a certain extent.
General Idea of Tagging.
The tagging system used in pixiv is in a way similar to the ones used in Nico Nico Douga, however, the rules in pixiv are a lot stricter.
While users have the absolute flexibility to attach any tags onto any illustration, all users except the artist who submitted the artwork have limited rights in attaching custom tags and editing tags that are already attached attached by other users except the artist.
For instance, let User A be the original artist, User B and C as other pixiv users.
User A submitted an illustration
|Edit tags (set by A)||O||X||X|
|Edit tags (attached custom tags, not by A, but B or C)||O||O||O|
|Cool down period||X||O||O|
In this case, all tags that were attached by User A would be marked with an asterisk (＊), while custom tags that are not set by User A would be those without an asterisk.
When User B or C conducted any tag edit (add or delete), there will be a brief cool down period where B or C could not edit anymore for a certain period of time. This is to prevent editing abuse that could potentially harm User A, the artist. User A however will not have these restriction applied. User A also has the right to lock any tags, including his/her own, or the custom tags that are attached by other users. The maximum amount of tags for every single illustrations found in the website is 10. Once the maximum number is reached, User B and C can no longer attach anymore custom tags on the illustration unless User A deletes a tag.
Due to these rules, there are several issues and problems pertaining the tag system :
1. It is common to see users engage themselves in a tagging battle in order to fill in all the necessary spaces. This happened especially on illustrations drawn by famous artists. Due to the maximum limit, sometimes users will initiate arguments on which tag should be suitable for the artwork at the artwork details page, particularly using the messaging system in order to settle the argument, which sometimes bother the artist who are not used to it.
2. It is also common to see artists using tags that are decided by the community, particular tags that indicate praises to tag their own illustrations, in hopes of boosting their own popularity. This is commonly known in Japan as "自演" (Self Act), which is better known in the west as "attention grabbing" or "attention whore". This is particularly a problem in pixiv, due to the high amount of users who actually conduct this act.
Users, especially artists are highly advised to be very careful when submitting their own illustrations. Please refer to "List of Ranking Tags" for more information regarding on the usage of such tags.
Timing and Method
To properly tag illustrations, one should pay attention to the following points:
- Use keywords that are highly related to the submitted artwork. For instance, if your work is about your own original character, then you may want to use オリジナル (Original), or 創作 (Creation) as tags in order to let other users have an easier understanding of your artworks. It is also advisable NOT to use your own nickname as tags.
- Tagging too much may also pose problems as well. The point is not to raise your view count, but using keywords properly so that it will make others search for your artworks easily. Tagging too much will disable custom tags, which may serve as a better chance to increase your popularity.
- Pair tags may also help searching for your artworks easier. This is especially useful for games with no official names for the main protagonist (notably protagonists where you give custom names instead of preset ones). For example： "DQ5 + Main Character」→ Main Character (DQ5)". However, it is not necessary for characters from a major or famous series (eg: Cloud Strife, Madoka Kaname, etc).
- As pixiv currently do not accept spaces (pixiv International however rectified the issue. See below for more details), it is also important to attach an underscore in order to link all letters. For example：仮面ライダーTHE_FIRST.
- Due to pixiv being a Japanese site, it is advised to use Japanese tags instead of English in order to make artworks easier to find. Please use pixiv Encyclopedia as a guide on which tags to use upon submission
Frequent Cases For Copyrighted Materials
There exist certain artworks that did not receive proper classifications. For example, Azusa Nakano is a girl with black hair Brunches or Ponytail. It is a common feature where everyone who knows about the character knew about her prominent features as well. Hence brunches or ponytail is never used for Azusa despite her hairstyle. Due to this, certain tags are not allowed to represent characters that has copyrights.
Currently the word limit for any tags is set at 30 characters. Tags will only display the first 30 if the tag itself went beyond the limit. For names that are beyond 30 characters, please refer here for more info.
View Tag Data
Starting February 4 2010, pixiv Encyclopedia implemented the view tag data section which allows users to view the total view count of all submitted illustrations of a certain specific tag.
After the renewal of pixiv Encyclopedia（pixpedia）, each article will show the view count for the article, which further determines the popularity of all created tags.
One interesting thing about the statistic is that the data will only count the total amount of views when the tag is attached. In other words, previous view counts BEFORE the tag is attached will not be added into the total.
Hence the data shown in the statistics may not be 100% accurate, due to the the reason stated above.
Tags in pixiv International
Main Article : pixiv Encyclopedia
The tags in pixiv.com (the recently announced pixiv International version of the website) featured a significant change onto the tag system. The new changes are as follows:
- Spaces for tags are now possible. The usage of underscore may be obsolete in the near future.
- All tags will be redirected to their respective language version of pixiv Encyclopedia when clicking on the logo located beside the tag. If the tags are in Japanese, you will be redirected here, and if English, here.
- All tags translated in English pixiv Encylopedia will need the original Japanese tag attached on the article in order to have the tags in pixiv.com to be replaced with the English equivalent of it. (Click on the main article for the link over method)
- If the tag has 2 English translations of it, the tag system will only detect the original Japanese tag located the first line of the article. For example : 博麗霊夢 translates to Reimu Hakurei (according to the western name order of the character), but it can also be Hakurei Reimu (following the original Japanese name order of the character). Hence, during the link over, depending on which Japanese tag is located on the top, the translation may change accordingly. Please be careful before linking them over.
Currently, pixiv.com is still at the alpha phrase. The full version is expected to be different from the list once it is completely rolled out.
List of Ranking Tags
pixiv Tag Graph
List of All Related Articles on Tags
Main Article : Database
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Related User Projects, Image Response and Materials
- ［pixiv］Help (JAPANESE) - Refer to the section「イラスト投稿について（→タグってなに？）」