Instagram Shadowban: What Is It and How Do I Avoid It?

Dealing with an unexpected decrease in engagement or losing followers in a flash is every Instagram marketer's biggest fear. Or think about what would happen if your photos are not showing up in hashtag search results. One of the reasons for these strange changes is that the users are impacted by an Instagram shadowban. If you are not sure what that means, I urge you to read on!

What Is An Instagram Shadowban?

In general, shadowbanning pertains to blocking a user's social media content in such a way that they are completely oblivious to it occurring. 

So, if you get shadowbanned on Instagram, you most likely will not know about it. Your content will not be visible in anybody’s Instagram feeds except if they follow your profile. If your followers repost your Instagrams, those posts will experience the effects of the shadowban as well.

If you are affected by a shadowban, your visibility will be lessened drastically. This, in turn, can decrease your engagement rate.

All in all, it can lead to a lack of progress when it comes to Instagram growth. In some instances, it can even result in a negative growth rate.

You can consider a shadowban to be a secret ban. So, even if Instagram blocks your content, you probably will not be informed about it.

Why Are Instagram Shadowbans Necessary?

Instagram shadowbans can be complex. They can leave marketers feeling confused and powerless. If you view it from Instagram’s position, shadowbans make a ton of sense. It lets them eliminate accounts that do not stick to their terms and conditions.

A lot of marketers utilize bots on Instagram to increase their follower amount and to improve their visibility and engagement. It is a direct violation of their terms; although, some marketers still utilize such unfair methods to improve their Instagram accounts. 

By shadowbanning these accounts, Instagram can make sure that the platform does not lose its integrity. 

How To Know If You Have Been Instagram Shadowbanned

If you have seen a considerable decrease in your engagement lately, it may be a sign that you have been impacted by an Instagram shadowban; but, it is not always the only reason.

Instagram changes its algorithm frequently. Therefore, those can also be the explanation as to why you are not getting a sufficient amount of engagement. 

But if you have a feeling that a shadowban has a role to play, there are a couple of courses of action to take to confirm it. Here is what you can do to determine if your Instagram account has suffered from a shadowban:

Hashtag Search

This is the most basic way to check for a shadowban on Instagram. First, you have to post a picture on Instagram. Use a hashtag that is not usually used in your post. If you utilize hashtags that have thousands of photos in the search results, you will have a difficult time searching for your post.

After posting the photo, ask five of your friends (who do not follow the account from which it is posted) to search for that hashtag. If your post does not become visible in their search results, your account has probably been shadowbanned.

Utilize Tools To Test For A Shadowban

Tools such as Triberr and The Heist can examine your posts and help you work out if you have to be concerned about a shadowban. Utilizing these tools, you can even figure out which hashtags your account has been shadowbanned for. 

Utilize Instagram Analytics

Another way of searching for a shadowban is via Instagram analytics. You can examine the number of profile visits, impressions, and other metrics to see if your engagement rate is immediately decreasing. 

Even though it may not be any indication, it could give an idea that something does not make sense.

Tips On How To Steer Clear Of An Instagram Shadowban

There are a lot of different explanations as to why your account can get shadowbanned. If you wish to put a stop to an Instagram shadowban, here are a couple of things you have to deal with:

  • Do not utilize bots on Instagram. Examine your follower list and do not allow bot accounts to follow you. It is crucial to separate yourself from every suspicious account to keep your integrity. 
  • Do not utilize any hashtags that are included in the list of prohibited hashtags on Instagram. If you notice a similar message to this one, “Recent posts from #xyz are currently hidden … " it shows that the hashtag you used is not in use anymore. 
  • Utilize relevant hashtags in your posts moderately. Although Instagram lets you use 30 hashtags per post, it is not wise to use that many. Do not use more than 5-6 hashtags per post. 
  • Write authentic comments on Instagram posts. If you write general comments, you might get flagged after being mistaken as a bot. 
  • Do not buy followers on Instagram. Not only is it wrong, but it will not do a lot to improve your engagement rate.

For more tips, advice, and strategies on all things marketing and branding, check out the rest of Power Move Marketing's blogs.




Author: Cristen Mahoney