Have you noticed a sudden drop in your Instagram engagement? Are you losing followers or not getting as many likes, comments or story views as you used to? You may be using a shadowbanned Instagram account. You’re not alone, though — it’s an issue people face on the platform, and a number of actions can set it off. Luckily, there are ways to avoid or lift it.
What Is a Shadowban?
First, it’s important to break down what an Instagram shadowban actually means.
A shadowban on Instagram means that the platform has blocked your content in ways that limit your overall visibility on the app. Further, it does this ban in a way that you don’t know about — until you start to notice a drop in engagement, that is.
You may not be getting the same amount of likes or comments as you used to. On your followers’ feeds, too, your posts may not be showing up as frequently. Then, your posts may not show up at all on the pages of the hashtags you use.
Instagram’s choice to shadowban may seem unfair. In actuality, it’s unclear whether shadowbans exist. The CEO, Adam Mosseri, said in an interview that Instagram shadowbans are not real.
However, the platform released a statement in 2017 that seemingly hinted at the existence of bans. Their policies also say that they have the right to reduce visibility of inappropriate posts. Plus, a ban is the best way to describe what happens to an account.
Whether or not shadowbanning is real, though, doesn’t necessarily matter. A weird phenomenon is still limiting your visibility and engagement.
Why Does Instagram Shadowban?
Instagram’s policies dictate that using bots or spamming activity violates its terms. So, when people use bots or third-party platforms to buy or gain followers and likes, it throws off the dynamics of the platform. Something like using all 30 hashtags on each of your posts is something Instagram may see as spam-like.
Additionally, if users click on “Don’t Show for This Hashtag” — a way for users to personalize their content — then your posts might now show up in searches.
Regardless, if you’re not being a spammer, a shadowbanned Instagram account is annoying — especially when you want to connect with friends and family or grow your business.
Has Instagram Shadowbanned Your Account?
The first sign that Instagram has shadowbanned your account is a drop in engagement. If your likes, comments, views and overall engagement decrease, then there’s a chance you’re dealing with a shadowban.
Keep in mind, though, that Instagram does change around its algorithms frequently. With a simple switch, your content might not show up as much in someone else’s feed. However, there are two main ways to check for a shadowban.
First, conduct an experiment. Make a post using a few hashtags — try some uncommon tags where your post won’t instantly get lost. Then, get a few friends on different devices to click on the hashtags and check for your post. If it doesn’t show up, it’s a shadowban.
Second, you can use tools like Triberr to analyze your posts and your account. This site checks to see which hashtags you use that Instagram might ban or consider spam. It helps you see which posts may not be showing up due to the tags.
How to Avoid or Lift a Shadowban
If you need to reverse a shadowban or you just want to avoid it altogether, you can follow these tips:
- Don’t use bots or any third-party platforms to boost engagement of any sort — likes, followers, comments or views.
- Don’t use banned hashtags. You can use Tribber to find out which tags you’ve used that you should start avoiding.
- Don’t use all 30 hashtags. Five to six tags usually keep the engagement going, with 11 being the max some people add.
- Try to stand out as much as possible. Make your content unique and not generic.
- Post consistently, but not all the time. A balance is best for keeping a steady pace.
- Try switching from a business account to a personal one. Sometimes a shadowban affects accounts different. Remember, though, a personal account doesn’t have the features of a business one.
- Don’t be a spam account. Engaging immediately at all times is suspicious to Instagram. Keep a more casual approach. Don’t be a robot!
- Take a breather. A two to three-day break can act as a reset of some sort.
- Last, if all else fails, you can try contacting Instagram to look into the problem.
With these tips in mind, you can keep your account safe from a ban or lift an existing one.
As you use Instagram, for business or personal use, it should be fun and engaging. A shadowban slows down your momentum and keeps you from connecting. Instead, work around the ban with this knowledge. Then, you’ll be set to use Instagram, completely free of a ban.
Follow Us On
Get the latest tech stories and news in seconds!
Sign up for our newsletter below to receive updates about technology trends