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Hulu adds tagging for movies, TV shows

Hulu gives users a way to tag videos, letting them give the site a whole new layer of organization.

Movie and TV show streaming service Hulu on Monday added tagging to the mix, allowing users to add up to 30 tags to each piece of content for the sake of organization. These tags also work site-wide, which means that users can see all types of related content regardless of whether it's a TV show or feature-length film.

Users have two choices for tagging: one is creating an all-new tag, while the other is to vote up a tag someone else has made. Each time a user does this it adds to the number, giving certain tags more validity, although unlike size-based systems it's not as immediately clear which tags are more popular or common. Users can also delete tags, but only their own--meaning that if there is a bad tag placed by another user there's no way to report it.

Hulu's new tagging system is part public, part private and works on all content. CNET

Tags are made public and can be seen by other users immediately, although they do not yet appear to be an integrated part of Hulu's search engine. Instead, users can search for a specific tag within the tag section of each video. It's also worth noting that some content on Hulu has an expiration date, so you can spend all the time in the world tagging videos, but something you tagged a few months ago might not be able to be watched at a later date.

One thing Hulu could do with tags (but probably won't) is add timing to the mix. Recently-launched (although still in private beta) AnyClip organizes movie clips by what's happening in them. Hulu could do the same thing with its content by giving users a way to tag by time the way video host Viddler does. Though again, this wouldn't be nearly as useful as AnyClip due to Hulu's frequent content expirations.

Worth noting is that competitor YouTube has long had tags for its hosted movies and TV shows. However, it does not let users add them.