Hashtag Recommendation for Photo Sharing Services

  • Suwei Zhang Nanjing University
  • Yuan Yao Nanjing University
  • Feng Xu Nanjing University
  • Hanghang Tong Arizona State University
  • Xiaohui Yan Huawei Technologies
  • Jian Lu Nanjing University


Hashtags can greatly facilitate content navigation and improve user engagement in social media. Meaningful as it might be, recommending hashtags for photo sharing services such as Instagram and Pinterest remains a daunting task due to the following two reasons. On the endogenous side, posts in photo sharing services often contain both images and text, which are likely to be correlated with each other. Therefore, it is crucial to coherently model both image and text as well as the interaction between them. On the exogenous side, hashtags are generated by users and different users might come up with different tags for similar posts, due to their different preference and/or community effect. Therefore, it is highly desirable to characterize the users’ tagging habits. In this paper, we propose an integral and effective hashtag recommendation approach for photo sharing services. In particular, the proposed approach considers both the endogenous and exogenous effects by a content modeling module and a habit modeling module, respectively. For the content modeling module, we adopt the parallel co-attention mechanism to coherently model both image and text as well as the interaction between them; for the habit modeling module, we introduce an external memory unit to characterize the historical tagging habit of each user. The overall hashtag recommendations are generated on the basis of both the post features from the content modeling module and the habit influences from the habit modeling module. We evaluate the proposed approach on real Instagram data. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach significantly outperforms the state-of-theart methods in terms of recommendation accuracy, and that both content modeling and habit modeling contribute significantly to the overall recommendation accuracy.

AAAI Technical Track: Machine Learning