Have you noticed that your photos are getting less likes than usual, despite the fact that they’re really great photos?
If so, you might be experiencing an Instagram Shadowban. Don’t worry if you don’t know what shadow banning means, I will be covering this first.
What does shadow banned mean?
Shadow Banning is a technique Instagram uses to hide your content from their search engine. This means your content will mostly reach people who follow you.
What happens to your Instagram account if you are shadow banned?
- People won’t be able to see your content on hashtags you use, unless they follow you.
- Your profile won’t appear on search, even if you add keywords.
- Your content won’t go to the explore tab, Instagram’s search engine.
- Your Reels won’t have too many video views.
- Your account won’t qualify to get monetized with Badges.
- You might get notified by Instagram about violation of community guidelines.
- In certain circumstances, your account won’t be able to perform some activities such as leave comments or follow new people.
- In the most extreme case, your account will be disabled.
Am I Shadowbanned? The Instagram Shadowban Test
There are multiple ways to know when your account has been shadowbanned. Unfortunately, Instagram won’t send you a notification saying exactly that you’re shadowbanned. However, recently, Instagram shared a lengthy article about their algorithm, and they explained:
People often accuse us of “shadowbanning” or silencing them. It’s a broad term that people use to describe many different experiences they have on Instagram. We recognize that we haven’t always done enough to explain why we take down content when we do, what is recommendable and what isn’t, and how Instagram works more broadly. As a result, we understand people are inevitably going to come to their own conclusions about why something happened, and that those conclusions may leave people feeling confused or victimized. That’s never our intention, and we’re working hard on improvements here. We also manage millions of reports a day, which means making a mistake on even a small percentage of those reports affects thousands of people.
In simple terms: Instagram can take your content out and is doing their best to let users know about it.
Causes Of Shadowban
1- Violation of Community Guidelines
The most common cause is a violation of Instagram’s Community Guidelines. Either your content got reported by someone or the algorithm picked a violation.
There are apps that allow you to repost content from another account. However, the original creator might report your activity as “spam” and this might result in a violation.
3- Unprecedented followers
Some people have way too many followers, in a short period of time. An example would be if someone has 10k followers and then they suddenly gain 200k in a week.
While this can happen, since the activity is unusual, it might be considered spam.
4- Using bots
Instagram can tell if you purchased your followers or likes. This will be considered as “spam” and may result in a Shadowban. (I don’t recommend this method, most of the time it doesn’t work, however, I won’t judge anyone who does this).
When you use a third party to schedule your posts, some users have reported a loss in reach. It makes sense because Instagram wants people to spend time on it.
5- Follow and unfollow
In the old days, “follow-unfollow” was a common practice. Nowadays, the algorithm will flag this activity as unauthentic, and you will be shadowbanned.
It’s ok to unfollow, just don’t do it in batches.
6- Banned hashtags
Using banned hashtags repeatedly will be considered spam.
The Shadowban Test
Shadowbanning could harm your brand tremendously, and if you’re being shadowbanned, it’s important you take the necessary measures to get your content seen and ultimately, to avoid getting your account disabled.
Check Instagram Insights
Looking at Instagram Insights, if you notice a sudden and sustained drop in engagement, then it’s possible you’ve been shadowbanned. One of the best metrics to look at is percent of accounts reached that weren’t following you.
We recently noticed a significant drop in our organic reach. As you can see, the difference is alarming.
Note: If your insights show a big drop, just know that posting more won’t fix your problem.
How can you see your violations on Instagram?
- Tap in the top right, then tap Settings.
- Tap Help.
- Tap Support Requests, then tap Violations.
You can appeal a violation. However, if your content is about public safety (such as the pandemic or vaccines) or in regards to elections, most likely, it violates their Community Guidelines.
If your account qualifies to get monetized with badges, go to the badges menu and see if you have an alert.
How to Fix Shadow Ban
Users report that Instagram shadowban can last anywhere from 14 to 30 days. The quicker you can get your profile back to be in compliance, the better.
- If you found violations, start by removing the content that was reported.
- Report a problem and be honest. If you violated the Community Guidelines, explain that it was an oversight and promise to use the platform correctly in the future.
- Advertise. This will give you access to the customer service for business and they might be able to assist you quicker.
- Be extremely careful about what you post. Especially with the hashtags you use. You don’t want to get more violations.
- Log out and change your password.
- Be sure you have the latest version of the App.
- Some users report that taking a break from the App for about 2 days have helped. It doesn’t hurt to try 🤷♀️.
The Easiest Way To Avoid the Instagram Shadowban
One of the best ways to avoid being shadowbanned is to maintain a natural follower base. Don’t buy followers, but rather connect with people in your industry and build a network gradually.
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