Instagram is one of the most commonly used social media and image-sharing websites on the internet. To make posts on Instagram visible to a larger audience, Instagram provides the option to use trending hashtags. In case you’re trying to build up a large following on Instagram, you have to depend on using hashtags and the explore page.
If you’ve noticed sudden dips in the number of comments and likes on your posts, you may be the victim of Instagram shadowban. In this article, we will take a look at what Instagram shadowban is, how to prevent it, and finally, how to avoid getting shadowbanned.
What is Instagram Shadowban?
This term has not been officially coined by Instagram, but it is quite obvious that they have control over the visibility of posts and accounts on their service. When a user gets shadowbanned, their content is restricted and does not show up on the explore page or when users search for specific hashtags.
Getting shadowbanned decreases your reach and ultimately the number of followers you have on the social media website. Also, Instagram does not announce the shadowban to the targeted creators, and hence, it is quite hard to know if your account was affected.
How to Verify if Your Account Has Been Shadowbanned on Instagram?
Due to the nature of shadowbans, you don’t get any form of notification or email stating that your account was affected. It can be quite frustrating to see the number of your followers and your social media presence fading away without any reason for it.
But it is entirely possible that the decrease in followers and social media presence is not a result of any shadowban. Instagram has an algorithm to sort out the millions of posts by users and show only relevant content to the audience. Take a look at the methods listed below to check if you’ve been shadowbanned by Instagram.
Verify the Hashtags in Your Posts
It has been clarified by Instagram officials in the past that using banned or blacklisted hashtags on your posts can lead to a huge decrease in the visibility of your posts. This can also result in account-wide shadowbans.
To check if the hashtags you’ve used over the course of your last few posts are blacklisted or banned, check the hashtag search page. If the results page states that the posts are hidden for safety reasons, the hashtag can be a blacklisted one. If you have used any such hashtags, remove them from your current posts, and double-check before adding new hashtags to your posts.
Try Out Online Shadowban Tests
There are some tools on the internet that allow you to check if your Instagram account has been shadowbanned or not. These tools generally work by sorting the hashtags used by you and comparing them to a list of blocked and blacklisted hashtags prescribed by Instagram.
One of the tools that have consistently worked for many users is ‘The Heist’. You just need to enter your Instagram username, and the tools will automatically list all the statistics of your posts and account, and also check if your posts comply with the Instagram algorithm.
Ask Your Acquaintances to Check Your Posts
If you have one or more friends who don’t follow you on Instagram, you can use their help to check whether your account has been shadowbanned or not. Make a new post with the same hashtags that you have used over the course of your past few posts. Ask the person to now check the hashtag search page, and verify if your post is present under ‘recents’.
Try choosing a hashtag that is less popular, or your post will get overwhelmed by million of other posts when checking recent uses of the hashtag. If you don’t see your post even after waiting a while, then your account is most likely shadowbanned.
Main Reasons for Instagram Shadowbans
The problem with shadowbans is that they are quite difficult to diagnose, and the reasons for shadowbans have not been laid out clearly by Instagram officials. But, after gathering information about shadowbans from various posts around Instagram, the most probable causes are listed below.
- Violation of Instagram community guidelines.
- Usage of blacklisted or banned hashtags
- Abusing the Instagram algorithm by spamming or overuse of hashtags.
- A huge number of reports about your account by other users.
- Detection of a sudden rise in followers or comments.
How to Recover from Instagram Shadowbans?
Officially, there are no ways to report a shadowban on your account, and get support for it. Despite this, there are some ways in which you can try to get your account working normally again. Take a look at the steps that you can take to get started with the account recovery process.
Delete Banned or Blacklisted Hashtags from Your Posts
As clarified earlier, this is one of the most common ways in which you can get your account shadowbanned. To try and recover from shadowbans, delete all of the bad hashtags from previous posts and the comments under them, and refrain from using them in the future.
Reduce Instagram Activity
Another reason for Instagram shadowban can be linked to the overuse of Instagram features like likes, follows, and comments. Instagram generally allows up to 500 of these actions per day, which is way above what most users can achieve. These rules are generally enforced in order to reduce the number of spam and the usage of bots on the platform.
If you believe that you have used Instagram above the prescribed daily limit, then try to stop using it for about 48 hours. Also, using paid likes and followers is a guaranteed way of getting your account shadowbanned. You should remove these if you already have them connected to your account.
Report the Situation to Instagram
Sometimes, you can recover your account from this problem by reporting it to Instagram support. Make sure that you select the category ‘Something Isn’t Working’ while trying to file a support request. It can take a while for Instagram to reply back, but the chances of recovering your account using this method are quite high.