Have you noticed your engagement dropping, follower count declining, or photos not showing up in hashtags? You might be the victim of the mysterious Instagram shadowban – and you wouldn't even know it.
There have been rumors whirling around the Internet – especially in the blogging world – about the Instagram shadowban. The infamous shadowban has been directing affecting the engagement of many popular accounts.
Many different theories have been thrown around, but few really understand what it really is. Have they really been affected by Instagram’s shadowban or have they just been struggling with low engagement?
What is the Instagram shadowban?
If you haven’t heard of it yet, a shadowban is when your hashtags become ‘invisible’ to your non-followers. This obviously reduces the reach of your account and making it harder to reach a new audience.
The length of an Instagram shadowban varies. It can last anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. For some, it can even last for a few months.
How do you know if you have been shadowbanned?
One popular why that people are checking to see if they have been shadowbanned is by visiting this popular website. However, it is not recommended that you use these types of websites because they can be unreliable.
Most people report a reduction in likes and comments on their posts. They will notice that those interacting with their posts are only those who are already following them.
Try this: Have a friend unfollow you and check the hashtag feed to see if your post shows up. If it’s not showing up in the feed, there is a chance that you have been shadowbanned.
What can cause a shadowban?
- Using bots, automated services, and buying likes and/or followers.
- Repeatedly using the same hashtags.
- Following, unfollowing, and/or liking quickly in a short period of time.
- Using ‘broken hashtags’ (example: #petite could be full of posts that are NSFW)
How do I remove an Instagram shadowban?
Step 1: Sign out of Instagram for a couple of days.
This will serve as a “reset button” for your Instagram account. Most people have reported that their ban was lifted after waiting at least three days.
Step 2: Delete all hashtags from your recent posts.
This seems to have been the fastest way to remove the Instagram shadowban. People have also reported that not using the same hashtags over and over again helps. It signals to Instagram you are an active user and not a bot.
Step 3: Put your hashtags in the caption (not in the comments).
People have reported that when they put their hashtags in the comments, their post was shadowbanned after one to two hours. Putting hashtags in your caption can make it bulky. To keep the caption clean, use 5 or more bullet points or periods to separate your caption from your hashtags.
4. Don’t use too many hashtags.
Each hashtag is a chance to reach a new audience. Hashtags are free advertising. However, people have reported that their shadowbans have been lifted after they removed hashtags from their old posts, put hashtags in their captions for their new posts, and used less than 30 hashtags.
5. Contact Instagram.
Instagram is not easy to get in contact with. However, you can at least try. Here are four ways to contact Instagram:
- “Report a Problem” to Instagram through the app. Go to Settings > Report a Problem > Something Isn’t Working
- Go on Facebook and search for the Instagram app page. Select “Send a Message.”
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Some phones have the feature to report a problem by opening the Instagram app and shaking your phone.
Write: “My post isn’t being shown in the hashtags I’ve used.”
DO NOT write: “I’ve been shadowbanned.”
6. Do not switch to a business profile.
When you switch to a business profile, you signal to Instagram that you are a business. It’s only natural that Instagram will want you to pay to get more engagement. Many people have experienced a loss of engagement after switching to a business profile.
Note: When switching back to a personal profile, also unlink your Instagram profile from your Facebook page. The two go hand-in-hand.
If you have any experience with Instagram’s shadowban, we would love to hear more about it in the comments below.