Did you recently experience a drop in engagement in your posts, and your followers declining all of a sudden? This may be because of an Instagram shadowban, seemingly affecting thousands of Instagram accounts and causing outrage across social media. But what is Instagram shadow ban? After all, a steadily growing engagement and follower count is the bread and butter for social media influencers.
This also goes for businesses striving to expand their reach as well. But what is a shadowban, and why did you get shadowbanned in the first place? Continue to read this article to learn all about Instagram policies and the mysterious Instagram shadowban.
Instagram Shadow Ban Explained
As the name suggests, shadowban means limiting your visibility for a period of time without any notification. When you get shadowbanned, Instagram will hide your posts on hashtag search and explore pages so that only you and your current followers can see them, which restricts your reach significantly. While Instagram didn’t officially admit using shadowbanning, there is a consensus that it is a measure to filter out inappropriate content and spammy behavior that doesn’t comply with their community guidelines. Here are some things Instagram marketing expert Alex Tooby suggests to look out for.
Be Careful Not to Use Banned Hashtags on Your Posts
With 995 photos uploaded every second on Instagram, controlling what people share and categorizing them is a constant effort. This can sometimes flood innocent-looking hashtags with inappropriate content. When this happens, Instagram will either outright remove the hashtag immediately or limit its usage. But here is the catch! Even if you use a single banned or broken hashtag in a post with several other hashtags, your post won’t be visible in any hashtags feed. To prevent this from happening, check the hashtags you use regularly.
Don’t Use Any Third-Party Apps or Software Bots for Automation
Instagram prevents any inauthentic growth on the platform by regularly updating its algorithm to detect bot use. If you use any software or app that auto-like, auto-comment, auto-post, or grow your followers, Instagram is likely to detect this activity and shadow ban you. While some third-party apps can be beneficial in schedulings posts or send notifications, make sure that the app in question abides by Instagram’s terms. It’s also important to note that if you have several Instagram accounts and use automation for one of them, your other accounts may get banned as well.
Watch Out for Reports
Getting continually reported will get Instagram’s attention and make them aware of any violations of your account like spamming, infringing copyright, etc. Even if you are not at fault, you may face a short time of shadow banning until Instagram figures out the situation.
Keep Your Instagram Activity in Moderation
According to the age of your Instagram account and other variables, there are some limits. How many actions you can perform on Instagram daily to prevent bot use is also pre-determined. These actions include liking, commenting, following, and unfollowing. The thumb rule is not to exceed 150 to 200 likes, 60 comments, and 60 follows or unfollows per hour. An unusual surge in activity outside the mentioned limits can alert Instagram and cause a shadowban.
How to Fix Shadow Ban on Instagram
Although there is no one definite solution to fix an Instagram shadowban, you may try the following steps to shorten the ban or reverse the damage.
- Identify any banned or broken hashtags you were using and remove them from your posts.
- Stop using any unapproved third-party app or software for automation.
- Take a 2-3 day break from Instagram.
- Try switching your business account to a personal account.
FAQ on Instagram Shadow Ban
A shadowban usually lasts for 14 days, although some users reported that their ban lasted for weeks and even months.
To check if you have been shadowbanned by Instagram, find 3 to 5 users who are not following you, and ask them if your posts appear under the feeds of the hashtags that you used in your posts.
As we have mentioned in the article, there is no known cure for this problem. However, there are some alternative ways that might solve it. To learn more about them refer to the the section above.
To check if a hashtag is banned on Instagram, open the Instagram app, and type in the hashtag in the search bar. If the hashtag does not appear, it can be temporarily or permanently banned. If the hashtag does appear, click on it to confirm it is not banned. Sometimes even though the hashtag appears, there might be a message saying that the particular hashtag posts are currently hidden.
If you don’t see your posts in the hashtag feed that you use, you might be shadowbanned, or there might be a temporary glitch that prevents your posts from appearing in the hashtag feed. If you are sure that you didn’t violate any of Instagram’s terms, give it some time, check if your app is updated and if your internet connection is working.
Conclusion on Instagram Shadow Ban
Some actions like using automation software, posting with banned hashtags, or too much spammy activity. Keep in mind that getting reported can get you shadowbanned by Instagram. While a shadow ban is usually temporary, it can cause a significant drop in engagement, affecting growing your account. Get yourself unbanned by identifying the reason for the shadowban. Also, make sure to take reverse action together with reporting your problem to Instagram. However, your problem might be stemming from another issue. To learn about the other possibilities, check out how to fix it “unfortunately Instagram has stopped” error.