Is Instagram Shadowban Killing Your Engagement? Here’s How to Fix It!
Have you noticed an unusual dropdown in your Instagram account's engagements, that your posts and photos are not showing up in the relevant hashtag? Probably you have become a victim of Instagram shadowban. Here in this blog, you are going to read about the reasons that can make your account shadowbanned and the methods that can be used to recover an account after being shadowbanned. Let's start!
Undoubtedly Instagram is one of the strongest and fastest social media platforms to improve the reach & engagement of businesses across the world.
You might or might not have heard of the Instagram Shadowban. Or maybe you’ve observed the dozens of posts or content not appearing on the Explore Page! And a lot of complaints keep burbling onto social media regarding the dip in engagement due to shadowban.
You must be curious to know what this Instagram shadowban nightmare is all about; read on!
This article is going to answer your Instagram shadowban queries, taking a look at what ‘shadowbanning’ actually means, and what you can do if you’re worried your account has been shadowbanned.
So what exactly Instagram shadowban is?
Instagram shadowban, there seem to be more theories, rumors, and stories about the shadowban floating around out.
An Instagram shadowban refers to limiting your content reach by constraining visibility, which is indicated by the non-appearance of your hashtagged content on Explore pages to anyone else apart from your followers.
This is quite frustrating for all business accounts, personal accounts and creator accounts when it comes to their Instagram growth! Shadowbanning is pretty similar to Twitter account suspension which is quite known among social media users.
Why did I get shadowbanned on Instagram?
It is no more secret how hard Instagram is working to get rid of sexual and inappropriate content. Instagram has discussed openly the community guidelines violations which prohibits posting the following content:
- Lack of authenticity in your post (i.e., it’s been “copied or collected from the internet”)
- Impersonating another person online and misusing the information
- Posting nudity
- Posting content that glorifies breaking the law
- Content depicting violence
- Graphic or shocking content
- Sexually suggestive content
- Posts with misinformation or false information
- Spam messages
- Harassment, threats, or hate speech
Any Instagram user who violates these guidelines is subject to being shadowbanned by Instagram. Shadowbanning of accounts is not limited to guidelines mentioned above, there may be other reasons for shadowbanning, like paid bot services, crossing daily hourly actions limit, reported by others.
However, most commonly you are shadowbanned because of the use of abused or broken hashtags.
You can easily know whether a hashtag has been banned, by doing the following:
- Click on the hashtag.
- If only the “Top Post” section appears, it’s been banned.
So, it is quite clear shadowban is for those who do not stick to guidelines. And if you are also shadowbanned then we have some tricks and tips on how you can overcome the trap of Instagram. Don’t worry anymore, and scroll down to this article to find the answer to your question.
How to Find if You’re Shadowbanned
You may witness a drastic fall in engagement on your posts—or that your follower growth has suddenly leveled off as Instagram doesn’t directly inform you regarding your shadowban.
So, here is how you can know that
There are only a couple of ways to know for sure:
Use someone else’s account
- Find someone who doesn’t follow you on Instagram
- Post on Instagram with your usual hashtags
- Ask your Instagram non-follower to check the feed of hashtags that you used for your post.
In case if your post doesn’t appear the first time, you should not panic; try to check again after 3–5 minutes as sometimes due to connectivity issues it might take longer than usual for an updated hashtag feed.
Use the hashtag
The best and the simplest way to find out if you’ve been shadowbanned is to check if your posts appear in hashtag searches by using the hashtag which you used while posting on Instagram.
To do this, you should create a new post on Instagram with 2-3 unpopular hashtags in the caption & the first comment.
How to Avoid the Instagram Shadowban?
Many of the Instagram marketing experts have shared their views on Instagram shadowban and how to overcome it. So here it is to avoid the shadowban in the future.
Completely avoid using fitful & banned hashtags on your posts
Instagram has over 700 million active monthly users, and it’s pretty obvious to face difficulty to completely control what people share and what hashtags they use.
It often happens, an entirely absolved hashtag can become invaded with incompatible content and end up getting banned by Instagram because too many users use it on posts that violate Instagram’s community guidelines.
When Instagram notices something like this happening, without waiting for long they’ll immediately either block the hashtag outright, or they’ll restrict its usage.
But the creepy part of shadowban is, it appears that even if you use just a single broken or banned hashtag in your post, resulting in blocking your post from appearing on any of the hashtags you use to stay with the trend.
Use the software that does not violate Instagram’s terms of service
To get tougher on the bots including the bots that auto-like, auto-comment, and escalate your followers, Instagram recently updated its algorithm. There is a good chance of getting trapped and ending up shadowbanned if using any sort of automation or bot-like software on your account.
Furthermore, if you are posting on your Instagram automatically with the help of software without getting notified when it’s time to post, you could be violating Instagram’s terms of service and could be at high risk of not only getting shadowbanned but getting your entire Instagram account banned.
Stick to Terms of Service of Instagram
Cheap tactics to increase engagement on Instagram pods for likes, comments, and followers can get you shadowbanned easily. But, it’s better to play it safe and avoid these dungeon tricks to avoid an account ban which can be 24-48 hours at least or may lead to a complete shut-down.
Getting reported by other users should be avoided anyhow
If some other users report you then you might get on the Instagram shadowban radar. But it’s quite noticeable that your account will not get shadowbanned only because of the reporting, Instagram will take action against your account only if they determine that you violated their terms of service.
However, you may also end up getting completely banned or shadowbanned if Instagram does determine that you’re at fault.
Say No to big surges in your Instagram activity
Instagram is bounded with certain limits on how many photos you can like, comments, and accounts you can follow or unfollow to crack down on bots.
There are a lot of factors that Instagram considers to determine the limits for your account. In any case, it is advisable not to go past 150-200 likes, 50-60 comments, and 50-60 follows/unfollows per hour!
In case if you suddenly start following more than 50 accounts in an hour, make sure to immediately unfollow 25 of them, as Instagram might interpret this as “bot activity” and you might end up shadowbanned.
Switch from a business account to a personal account
Instagram users can switch from a business account to a personal account to get helped to lift their Instagram shadowban.
This is quite logical since Facebook acquired Instagram can make more money by monetizing Instagram for business purposes by limiting the reach and engagement of business accounts forcing them to purchase ads.
Notably, Instagram is clamping down on business accounts as they are more likely to use the hashtags to increase their engagement, and getting shadowbanned will compel them to buy ads on Instagram. So switching to a personal account might take you out of Instagram’s radar.
What to do if you already shadowbanned?
Don’t worry if you think your account has been shadowbanned. In addition to cleaning up your page, there are a couple of other things you can do to free your account from its virtual chains and use it again
You can reduce your Instagram activity significantly to lift a ban. In fact, in many cases when the users who signed off for three days after a shadowban were back to normal when they returned.
You can even try to remove hashtags from recent posts of yours or remove hashtags from a comment under your post to overcome shadowban. Keeping the hashtags in caption and changing up hashtags also seems to help lift many shadowbans.
So if you are done with all the tricks but none of it worked then what else can you do?
You must be thinking of resolving this by contacting Instagram customer support, in an ideal world. They would find some way to verify your identity, and lift your ban as soon as possible and then you would live happily ever after.
Oh, hold on…
Instagram doesn’t have any customer support or any phone number to call or an email address to write to.
You can still report issues through the app, but there is a 90% chance that your request will go unanswered
This makes it even worse to cope with a shadowban. You can report your account as hacked though, here is how can you do so;
Report Your Account as Hacked
You are more likely to get an in-app response from Instagram if you claim your account has been hacked. And this is how you can then prove your identity to them, to bring back your account to normal.
Many users who have been shadowbanned earlier found that after reporting their problem repeatedly, Instagram eventually lifted the shadowban.
Create a New Account
If you are not having a lot of followers then it is suggested to create a new account and start from scratch again, but keep in mind not to link it with the original account.
Take a Break
Many people overcame their bans after they signed off their Instagram for a week or more which means no posting, no liking, no commenting.
Just Act Normal
Just keep doing your things that you used to do normally while using Instagram including the hashtag strategy, the IG algorithms might figure out you’re not a spammer and lift your ban.
Now you know what Shadowbanning is, how you can check it, what the main causes of shadowban are, and how you can fix them — now it’s up to you to make all the necessary changes. So, stop worrying about getting shadowbanned, and enjoy your social life.
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