When it comes to growing a following on Instagram, you rely on Explore and hashtag pages to broaden your audience and reach. So it might be disheartening when it appears that your information is no longer being displayed anywhere.
You’ve most likely heard about the Instagram Shadowban. Alternatively, you may have seen an array of posts about Instagram accounts losing reach and visibility.
Every day, despite Instagram’s denial of its existence, new claims, inferences, and suspicions flood social media.
If you notice that your posts are suddenly receiving fewer likes and comments, or that they aren’t visible for particular hashtags or on the Explore tab, you may have been shadowbanned.
Every Instagram marketer’s biggest nightmare is experiencing a dramatic reduction in engagement or losing followers overnight. Consider what might happen if your photos did not appear in hashtag search results. Doesn’t that seem terrifying?
While Instagram does not publicly confess to shadowbanning, they did issue a statement on their Facebook business page in February 2019 addressing the issue of users’ content not showing up for particular hashtags.
Their answer at least validates the existence of the hashtag quandary — but many speculate that it is Instagram’s way of admitting to shadowbanning without actually admitting it.
What is the Instagram Shadowban?
What exactly is an Instagram shadowban? There appear to be more ideas and stories circulating around regarding the shadowban than actual facts.
An Instagram shadowban, in essence, refers to the platform limiting your material reach via limiting exposure.
The key “indicator” of a shadowban is that your hashtagged content is not shown on Explore sites for anybody other than your followers. Another consequence is that your post’s reach and exposure are severely restricted.
This is infuriating for personal accounts, creator accounts, and company accounts attempting to expand on Instagram.
Shadowbanning refers to the process of blocking a user’s social media content while they are unaware of it.
So, if you’re shadowbanned on Instagram, chances are you won’t even realize it. Unless someone follows your profile, your post will not appear in their Instagram feeds. If your followers program your posts, those images will be shadowbanned as well.
If you are hit by a shadowban, your visibility will be greatly decreased and your engagement rate will get affected. Overall, it may result in a slowing of your Instagram growth. It can even lead your growth rate to be negative in rare situations.
Now that isn’t a way to create an amazing digital marketing campaign, right?
Although “Shadowban” is not an official Instagram term, we do know that Instagram has the ability to deprioritize accounts on the app. Posts can be concealed or filtered without the user’s awareness.
This can render your content (or account) inaccessible through hashtags and the Explore page. In some situations, the content may be completely deleted.
And, with so many unknowns surrounding Instagram shadowbans, it can be unsettling for creators and e-commerce business owners looking to expand their communities and attract new audiences.
Instagram’s team stated in 2018 that “Shadowbanning is not a real thing,” and that they do not conceal people’s material for using too many hashtags or other behaviors.
However, Instagram announced a year later that posts deemed “inappropriate for our international community” would not be published on the Instagram Explore Page — even if they are in accordance with Instagram’s Community Guidelines.
What Causes an Instagram Shadowban?
The motives for shadowbanning accounts are as hazy and difficult to confirm as the conduct itself. The following are some of the most typical causes of a shadowban:
- You infringed on one of Instagram’s Community Guidelines.
- You’re using hashtags that are either banned or broken.
- You’re behaving in a way that the system deems spam, such as buying followers or constantly using the same hashtags.
- You’ve achieved the daily activity limit on Instagram.
- Your account is being reported on a regular basis.
These practises may help you easily gain a following, but they will not help you connect with the relevant people, which is why you’re on Instagram in the first place. Furthermore, these activities are likely to result in a shadowban, which significantly limits your visibility to a new audience.
How To Avoid the Instagram Shadowban?
Stop Using Bots
The Instagram algorithm is extremely complex, and the days of pretending we could outwit it are gone.
On Instagram, do not use bots. Examine your follower list and deactivate all bot accounts. To protect your credibility, you must remove yourself from all questionable accounts.
Using an Instagram scheduler to automatically post on Instagram is a fantastic way to save time.
However, if you use one that isn’t an official Instagram partner, you risk being added to the Instagram shadowban list.
Going forward, the only long-term option on Instagram is to follow their Terms of Service and start expanding your account the right way, without trying to use shortcuts.
Examine your hashtags
Using a banned hashtag will almost certainly result in you being shadowbanned on Instagram.
Examine your hashtags and look for them on Instagram.
Instagram will occasionally leave a short statement on the Hashtag Page noting that posts have been hidden for failing to satisfy community guidelines.
If a hashtag that you commonly use is suddenly banned, remove it from your posts.
However, you should be aware of using trending hashtags that are abruptly banned on the platform after a large number of people use them.
If you use irrelevant hashtags, or if you use the same hashtags in several posts, you will be subjected to the Instagram Shadowban.
Make sure to use only hashtags in your caption. Hashtags in comments cannot be edited. If you receive a shadowban, you must delete your entire comment, which deletes any hashtags that may still appear when you search for those hashtags.
You can simply delete the hashtags for which you’ve been shadowbanned by making your hashtags solely in your caption.
Take A Break From Social Media
Taking a break from the platform has appeared to enable some people to get around the Instagram shadowban. Remove the app from your phone for at least two days and enjoy your time away. Consider picking up a book or going for a walk around your neighborhood.
But don’t forget to interact with everyone on a one-on-one basis. It may take a little more time and effort, but it shows Instagram that you’re following their Terms of Service.
By engaging with content in this manner, you will be able to stay beneath Instagram’s radar and, ideally, your shadowban will be lifted.
Instagram enables only 500 activities each day. Following, unfollowing, and liking a post are all examples of actions. Attempting to execute more than 500 tasks may cause the algorithm to flag your high-volume activity as suspected spam.
It should go without saying, but if you’ve been paying for likes or employing any other sort of automated Instagram interaction, discontinuing will help you remove a shadowban from your account.
Get in touch with Instagram
After you have removed any potentially dubious third-party software that may have gained access to your account, you must contact Instagram via the IG app.
Your followers cannot view your posts or locate you on the Explore page? You must contact Instagram Support to see if they can look into it.
Don’t mention a shadowban; simply inform them that your followers are unable to see your posts, which is having a bad impact on your business.
You can report your shadowban in two ways:
You can use the new “Account Status” function to see if a post has been removed and then request a review right from the page.
Use the Instagram app’s native “Report a Problem” feature. Go to your Instagram Settings, tap Help, and then pick “Report a Problem.” A window with a few options will appear. Select “Something Isn’t Working,” and then type a message outlining your problem.
Do not imply that you believe in Shadowbox, simply outline what is happening and explain how this bug is harming your brand/business.
Final Thoughts on Instagram Shadowban
While the 5Ps of marketing is necessary, you need to pay attention to a lot of things in the digital marketing world.
The days of using inauthentic ways to develop your account are long gone. If you want to win on Instagram (and avoid being shadowbanned), you’ll have to follow the platform’s rules.
Posting helpful, authentic material and adhering to proper practises when increasing your audience are the easiest ways to avoid being shadowbanned on Instagram. It will take longer, but perseverance wins the race – and avoids being shadowbanned.
Shadowbans on Instagram can have a major impact on your profile’s engagement and exposure. It has the capacity to completely destroy your potential and growth.
You should have no problems if you follow Instagram’s terms and conditions.
Shadowban is real or not, there is no clear answer but taking protective measures is always preferable to dealing with the repercussions of an Instagram shadowban or risking the growth of your account.