Display Purposes is a new online tool that could end your anxiety and solve your strife when choosing your next Instagram hashtags.
What on the surface sounds like the most trivial of first world problems is in actuality a decision of great importance for up-and-coming photographers posting their work online. To progress in their careers, they need to get their work seen by an audience that will appreciate the particular style in which they shoot in but how they tag it can affect whether it gets seen at all. Pick something too popular and your image will get lost in Instagram’s daily tidal wave of images, while choosing something too uncommon or irrelevant won’t get your image any traction.
This is where Display Purposes comes in handy. The brainchild of photographer/developer Fay Montage, this simple web tool will suggest a list of the best tags to use based on any base hashtag you give it. It will cross out awful overused spam tags like #Instagood or #PhotoOfTheDay and provide interesting relevant terms that are in current circulation.
Speaking with Petapixel, Montage said: “I’ve been programming since I was eight years old in Oslo, Norway, but now, 19 years later, and with repetitive strain injury causing me trouble, I’ve started transitioning my photography hobby into a vocation. Display Purposes is an engineer’s response to the annoyance of having to ‘play the game’ of social media as a working photographer.”
Using this system is simple and intuitive. For instance, let’s say you’ve taken a great sunset shot on the beach and are struggling to tag it? Enter the search terms #Beach and #Sunset into the dialogue box and hit enter. It will return simple clear phrases like #Sun, #Sea, and #Ocean but cancel out unhelpful terms like #Holiday, #Skyline or #Bikini. If there does happen to be someone in a bikini in your shot, adding that term to your search query will change the results.
Each returned hashtag has a rating as to its relevance and popularity but they are also weighted and ordered by other elements such as geographical location and language. If you want to ration your tags to avoid the cringey millennial cliche of a solid wall of catchphrases, you can use a slider to limit results to a smaller number of stronger terms.
In addition to the tag search, the Display Purposes site has an almost voyeuristic page that lets you see the most popular tags being used in your area on a map. There is also a rather hypnotic graph page that shows how different hashtags are used in tandem with each other in a web of connections.
Display Purposes is free to use; so even if you think you’re the master of hashtags, it’s worth giving a go just for the novelty (even if you know you’ll inevitably start typing rude words just to see what comes up).