Have you noticed that your engagement rate is going down, amount of followers is decreasing or content is not appearing for certain hashtags? If your answer is yes, then it most probably means that your Instagram account is shadowbanned. However, you may not even know about it.
Actually, Instagram shadowban is a common issue that many users have been facing, but they don’t understand exactly what it is and how to discover whether their Instagram growth and reach are impacted by the shadowban or not.
Would you like to know more about Instagram shadowban? Keep reading and in this article you will learn everything you need to know about Instagram shadowban, its meaning, purpose and the ways to avoid it.
Let’s dive right into it!
What is Instagram shadowban?
Instagram shadowban is a hidden ban on your account’s content in such way that you are unaware that it is happening. It is a kind of prohibition, which restricts the visibility of your Instagram posts in the hashtag section and the Explore page.
More specifically, if you are shadowbanned and add hashtags to your Instagram post, then only you and your present followers will be able to see this image when they search for the hashtags you used. It means that if Instagram users who are not your followers search for one of those hashtags, your post will not be shown to them.
This actually defeats the whole purpose of applying hashtags in order to grow your Instagram audience. Knowing how vital hashtags are for your discovery and engagement on Instagram, receiving a shadowban can be a really huge problem.
In this case, you will not be able to reach an audience who doesn’t already follow you that, consequently, will most likely cause a huge drop in followers count and engagement of your Instagram account. What is more, if you use Instagram for your brand, shadowban can mean fewer amount of customers and revenue.
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How to know if you have been hit with Instagram shadowban?
In most cases, an enormous decrease in likes and comments on your posts reports that your Instagram account may be shadowbanned.
However, keep in mind that Instagram will only shadowban you for a reason. If you didn’t notice any colossal changes to your Instagram profile, then it doesn’t mean that a shadowban can be the reason for your low engagement rate.
So, it is advised not to rush to conclusions and check it thoroughly first.
The first method how you can figure out whether your Instagram account is shadowbanned or not, is to take a look at your Instagram Insights. If you see a sudden reduction in your Instagram profile’s reach and it remains low for several days, then it means that you have been shadowbanned.
The second way how you can understand if you are shadowbanned is to ask another Instagram user, who is not your follower, to check whether they are able to see your post on the particular hashtag section or not. If your image is not showing up under the hashtag you used, there are big chances that you are shadowbanned.
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How long does Instagram shadowban last?
Although, you may hear other users saying that they have been shadowbanned for several weeks or even months, but it is absolutely not true.
Remember, Instagram shadowban lasts exactly 14 days. Therefore, check your Instagram Insights where you will notice two weeks of consistently low reach & engagement and after that normal reach of your account.
Why Instagram uses shadowbans?
Undoubtedly, Instagram shadowbans can make users feel confused and helpless.
However, from Instagram’s perspective, shadowbanning makes sense. It helps Instagram to prevent content that doesn’t comply with the terms and conditions.
In this way, Instagram encourages its users to play by the rules, namely post relevant, engaging and informative content, which gets real interactions from the audience.
As some accounts, in violation of the terms, use unfair measures in order to expand their followers’ amount, increase their visibility and engagement level, so, Instagram shadowbans their content trying to ensure that the platform doesn’t lose its credibility.
What is more, behavior as innocent as frequently using the same hashtag or adding too many hashtags can be a red flag for Instagram. In this case, Instagram perceives your actions as spammy and, consequently, you risk being shadowbanned.
Overall, keep in mind that by applying shadowbans on accounts, Instagram attempts to show only authentic posts on its platform.
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How to avoid Instagram shadowban?
Actually, an Instagram shadowban doesn’t happen out of the blue and from nowhere. You need to have done something that violates Instagram’s terms in order to be shadowbanned.
If you don’t know what behavior can lead to getting an Instagram shadowban, then don’t worry, because bellow you will be presented with 4 main rules that you have to follow in order to avoid being shadowbanned in the future.
1. Don’t exceed daily/monthly limits
Most probably, you know that Instagram, like other social media platforms, has its own limits on different users’ actions. If users exceed these limitations, their Instagram accounts will be banned.
So, don’t click the “Like” button, leave comments under posts, follow and unfollow users’ profiles at a fast speed and over the set limits, and you will be able to reduce the risk of your Instagram account being shadowbanned.
Moreover, in order to avoid a shadowban, it is advised to reset a system by taking a break for 48 hours from using Instagram. Think of it like a temporary social media cleanse and spend your time on other important projects.
2. Don’t use banned, repetitive or too many hashtags
If you haven’t heard about this fact before, then now be aware that some Instagram hashtags can be banned.
You might be thinking, why hashtags are banned, isn’t it?
For the reason that some hashtags are misused or contain spammy, inappropriate content that is against the terms, Instagram limits or completely bans the usage of these hashtags. Therefore, if you add a banned hashtag in your post, then Instagram will notice it and stop your content from appearing on any of the other hashtags you used.
Before inserting hashtags into your Instagram posts, better check and make sure that they are not included in the list of banned hashtags. In this case, you will put the efforts to make your account not to be flagged by Instagram.
Furthermore, it is discovered that constantly using a huge amount of same hashtags for a long period of time can signal Instagram that your actions are too spammy and, consequently, you will receive a shadowban. Although you are allowed to add up to 30 hashtags in your Instagram post, but it doesn’t mean that you have to use so many tags.
So, in order to avoid being shadowbanned, it is advised to keep your hashtags fresh and include only allowed ones.
3. Don’t use bots or other automated Instagram growth tools
In fact, Instagram doesn’t accept any bots and other automated services that like, comment or follow instead of you.
However, if you are having posts with thousands of likes and comments by users without a profile image, no followers and posts or you are using another kind of automation to help your account grow, then there is a big chance that Instagram will shadowban you.
To avoid being shadowbanned by Instagram, check the list of your followers and remove all bots profiles. Remember, it is more beneficial to have 100 followers who are your customers and interact with your Instagram content, than 10000 followers who don’t even interested in you.
Moreover, if you are using a scheduler to post your content on Instagram account, you need to ensure that it complies with Instagram’s terms and conditions. Otherwise, you also can be shadowbanned.
4. Don’t provoke audience to report your account
The last reason why you may get an Instagram shadowban is that you are reported by other users.
Unfortunately, you can’t know other users’ motives for reporting your Instagram account. They can report your Instagram account due to various reasons, such as, spamming, abusing their beliefs or interests, violating the terms or just because they hate you.
In this case, in order not to encourage your audience to report, try to ensure that the content, which you upload on your Instagram account is relevant, authentic and attractive.
Wrapping everything up, hashtags are one of the best ways to boost their account’s visibility and drive engagement.
However, sometimes happens that due to their inappropriate behavior they get Instagram shadowbans. In this way, knowing the actions that can lead to being penalized can help you a lot.
So, follow the tips presented earlier and you will be on the safe side noticing that your Instagram account’s engagement level and followers’ count is growing.
Do you still have any questions regarding Instagram shadowban? Or have you ever got shadowbanned on Instagram? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!