January 16, 2018 Lucie Towndrow

Are You The Unknowing Victim of an Instagram Shadowban?

Your Account May Have Been Shadowbanned Without You Knowing

Over the past few months, many content creators and bloggers on Instagram have reported a dip in engagement. If you’re receiving fewer likes and comments than you previously were, there could be a reason. Instagram, in a bid to stop people spamming their photos with hashtags or using automated bots, have slyly introduced shadowbans. A shadowban is a type of ban that the user doesn’t usually know about. In this case, Instagram “bans” certain users posts from appearing under hashtags. If the photos aren’t appearing under hashtags, lower engagement with the content will take place.

Many people, especially those who rely on Instagram for either blogging or content creation, aren’t happy. Using hashtags can be a great way to tell certain Instagram communities what your content is about, and allow those communities to see it. People spend time crafting the list of hashtags that they use so they are relevant to the content. However, there are people that use hashtags that are not relevant to their content – this is spam. Spam is exactly what Instagram is trying to cut down on by introducing shadowbans.

Instagram Shadowban

Hashtags are important for follower growth and engagement rate. If your posts aren’t appearing, it could lead these to stagnate or decline. Not good if you’re trying to build a business or brand. Shadowbanning makes complete sense if people are implementing black-hat strategies such as bots or auto-posting software. It doesn’t make sense for people using the same set of hashtags over and over. That just means you’re engaging with your Instagram community.

If you suspect you’ve been shadowbanned, there are a few things you can do.

Stop using broken or banned hashtags

Look through the hashtags that you use and make sure none of them are banned by Instagram. Simply search for the hashtag on Instagram. If the top posts section appears but nothing else, it’s likely that the hashtag has been banned. If any of them have been banned, stop using them! If you keep using banned hashtags, you could receive an Instagram Shadowban.

Instagram Shadowban

Stop using bots or auto-post software

Automatic post schedulers sound like a great way to save time, however, they also violate Instagram’s terms of service. Using a bot is one of the quickest ways to end up with a shadowban. So, although it may seem appealing, you could easily be banned. If you’ve ever used a bot before, log in to your Instagram on a computer and select “authorized applications”. From here you can see if there are any suspicious apps associated with your account.

Take a break from Instagram

Some users have reported that taking a 2-3 day break from the app has lifted their Instagram shadowban. If you’re a business this might be slightly harder to do but it’s worth trying! During your break, refrain from even logging into the app. Then after 2-3 days, log back in and start posting and engaging with your audience normally and manually.

Report your ban

Instagram can be hard to get in touch with, so the best way to report your shadowban is as follows. “Report a problem” on your Instagram account, and select the “something isn’t working” option. Try and briefly describe what your problem is, stating that your posts are no longer appearing under the hashtags you use.

To see if you’ve been shadowbanned, use this handy website.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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