Have You Heard About The Instagram Shadowban?
Have you ever noticed changes in your Instagram activities and started wondering what was going on? Did you start noticing a major decrease in your followers, likes, comments etc.?
If you panicked, it’s ok! You're not alone, many other users had or have the same experience as you! You might have been a victim of Instagram Shadowban!
It’s not that you were doing something wrong, it’s that you were not aware that Instagram is implementing a strict program on hashtags.
What is Instagram Shadowban?
A shadowban is when Instagram programs find your posts using banned hashtags. When it sees banned hashtags being used, the post automatically becomes “un-discoverable” on the discover feeds.
Put simply, it means that your images won’t be showing up on the hashtag feeds of anyone who does not follow you. This may explain why you may have had a low engagement rate- because it makes it way harder to be found and to reach out to a new audience.
So now you must be thinking, "ok but how I am supposed to know about those 'banned hashtags' and what else causes this shadowban?"
First, it’s important to understand why Instagram started banning specific hashtags.
Instagram has been pushing harder on its community’s regulations. Instagram is completely against Automation tools such as Instagress and Mass Planner. If you are using a third-party platform such as Later to schedule your posts, you will notice that you still need to approve a post before posting. No automation. Going along with this, they are also paying more attention to the hashtags being used because of the number of pornographic images that were used and seen with obscene hashtags.
Here is a list of banned hashtags from 2017:
Some are a surprise, such as elevator, citycentre, dogofinstagram (a newly added one) ! Dogofinstagram is a famous one used for many dogs accounts but how many of users are actually aware of this hashtag being banned?!
Other Causes of Shadowban
1- Automation services
Instagram can spot when you are using automated platforms. It is pretty clear that using automated platforms is against its terms of service so, do your account a favor and do not try to use anything automated such as bots that comment, and like and follow others for you. We know it’s easier and more tempting but trust us, Instagram will find out and all that saved up time on trying to automate your Instagram activities will be spent on rebuilding your account.
2- Overuse of Hashtags
You might not do this on purpose or it might just make sense from what you are posting on a regular basis; we get it. However, be careful Instagram may consider this as spammy for which you may get penalized. Try to mix as much as you can so you do not get shadowban. A few months ago, Instagram posted about hashtags and how users should not make this an obsession (see below).
If your account has been reported, Instagram has the power to shut down your account or make it invisible to others -which is pretty much the same. Always be mindful of what you post and comment to avoid negative results. If, however, someone reports you for the wrong reasons, you can appeal Instagram’s decision and fight for your account to get back on track.
- Do not engage in posting obscene posts or using obscene hashtags
- Print the list of banned hashtags so you can always refer to (especially for your business accounts)
- Pick your hashtags wisely
- Mix your hashtags so you avoid the spam feeling
- Do not pay for using automated services that are against Instagram’s terms of service
- Forget about using bots to grow your followers or to automate your engagement
In one word: Keep it ORGANIC and HEALTHY!