So, here you are, sitting on your bed with your smartphone in hand trying to post a reel that you created after 2 hours of creating and editing, only to realize that you are shadowbanned on the social media platforms. Sounds frustrating, right? Well, you aren’t the only victim of this issue because hundreds and thousands of users are getting shadowbanned for the right and sometimes for the wrong reasons.
However, the concept is quite new to some IG users and they must be sitting here thinking, “Am I shadowbanned?” Well, you are just in the right place then.
We are here to guide you through the meaning of a shadowban, what it entails for your Instagram growth and outreach and how you can prevent it from happening in the future.
What is an Instagram Shadowban?
Well, remember when you did something naughty or disrespectful in your childhood and your parents sent you time out? Shadowban is Instagram’s way of giving you a timeout for violating some of their rules and regulations.
When your account is found to violate any of their community guidelines, you will be shadowbanned, meaning that your content won’t reach any new followers and won’t pop up in Instagram’s hashtag explore pages.
Shadowbanning certain accounts help Instagram filter out the correct content to serve their consumers. However, despite this happening, Instagram has never openly accepted implementing shadowban on any of the content on their platforms.
While the process is pretty harsh, Instagram primarily does shadowban the accounts that tend to use unnecessary hashtags in their posts that aren’t relevant or they end up buying followers that aren’t authentic.
Am I shadowbanned on Instagram?
More often than not, you wouldn’t understand if you are shadowbanned on Instagram since people don’t get an official notification stating the same as it happens on Twitter.
The best way to check whether you are shadowbanned or not is to follow the steps:
- Start by creating a new post and use a hashtag that has low engagement and posts.
- Once done, post that image on your account.
- Ask 3-5 people who don’t follow you on IG to check that specific hashtag.
- If your posted content doesn’t show up on that hashtag, chances are that you are shadowbanned.
If that isn’t enough to give you an idea of whether you are shadowbanned or not, there is another hack that you can try out. Navigate to your IG profile and then check the engagements and the insights. If you notice a substantial drop in the insights and engagement, it is likely due to you being shadowbanned on IG.
What are the reasons behind Instagram shadowban?
9 out of 10 times, the IG shadowban is justified. So, if you think that the developers behind Instagram are being unfair to you, that is not the case at all. If you are still confused and unsure why you got shadowbanned, don’t worry, we have a few pointers lined up for you.
Following are some of the most common reasons why you are shadowbanned on IG.
Excess usage of bots or automation tools
Automation and AI have made our lives easier but if you are solely relying on them to run your Instagram account, you are going to get shadowbanned. IG algorithm and developers can sense when bots are being used and when a user puts in their efforts and hard work into growing on the platform authentically. If you aren’t doing the latter, chances are that your account will get seized and restricted. Using bots is considered a form of scam, something that you don’t want to preach at all.
Getting reports from users
If your account is getting reported by users quite often, it is a sign that something is wrong with the content that you are producing. Instagram will assume that your content is not suiting the likes of the people, thereby putting the platform at risk of getting banned or restricted. So, try to avoid posting violating content or something that the public won’t like watching on their feed.
Using broken hashtags
You might think that Instagram doesn’t pay any close attention to hashtags. However, that isn’t the case at all. Usage or unnecessary and broken hashtags often end up making your posts seem spammy and not suited to Instagram’s algorithm. Often what happens is that people, in turn, to get visibility on their post, try to use popular hashtags that have no relation to their actual content. This makes it difficult for your other hashtags to rank.
You are being too desperate
Yes, you heard that right. Instagram times constraints on your engagement. If you are being too in the face with the content and engagement, chances are that you are trying too much. Avoid doing that. Instead, take your time after you have posted something and let people engage and interact with your post. Once it has been a substantial time, you can then go onto the comments and check for ones that need answering and respond to them accordingly.
How to Get Un-Shadowbanned?
Now that you have been shadowbanned and your outreach has reduced drastically, it is time to find some constructive ways to up your outreach. You must be sitting here wondering, how do I achieve that?
Well, we have some easy ways to share.
Stop using automated services
As we said before, one of the key markers behind your IG account getting shadowbanned is the excessive usage of bots and automated services. In such cases, you need to stop using and integrating them into your account immediately. What you can do instead is switch to manual means or hire someone who can take care of your social media posts for you so you don’t have to solely rely on the automated services.
You can do so by visiting your “Edit Profile” tab and then to “Apps and Websites” and remove the authorization.
Avoid banned hashtags
If you are randomly posting on Instagram without any strategy, you won’t see any growth. What you need to do instead is put aside time to research and then get into creating your posts. One of the key importance in that is to check the kind of hashtags you are using. Make sure that you avoid putting banned hashtags and the ones that have no connection to the post you are making.
You can look up the lists of banned hashtags that are available on several websites and ensure that you don’t put them in your post. Also, try to limit your hashtags to only the important ones. The last thing you want is to overstuff your post.
Take a break
Sometimes, all you need to do is take a step back and watch things sizzle down. If your community guideline violations aren’t very severe, you will likely be un-shadowbanned within 2-3 days automatically and you can get back to a normal posting schedule.
So, taking a temporary break from the social media platform is all that it takes to get rid of the risks and issues for good.
Your aim with Instagram is to stay authentic to your audience and with the kind of posts that you are creating. Not only should you avoid violating the community guidelines, but you also need to be mindful of the fact that you only share content that you own or have permission to share.
Also, avoid posting content that isn’t fact-checked and verified from sources. Sometimes, posting misleading content is considered spammy and in violation of the normal content that Instagram wants its customers to see. Also, you need to realize that there are underage and adult users on Instagram. So, be assured of the content you are sharing and prevent yourself from sharing racy pictures that won’t be suitable for every user.
Getting shadowbanned on Instagram is a business account’s worst nightmare. If you don’t want it to happen, we’d recommend practicing caution with the posts that you are making. The last thing you want is for your reach to get reduced drastically, even when you are putting in all your efforts to create content for the audience. Also, try taking things one day at a time instead of being too over the top.
Is shadowban on Instagram a real thing?
Yes, it is a real thing. People whose accounts are shadowbanned get limited with their outreach and have a hard time getting that same exposure back on their accounts.
Will my IG account stay shadowbanned forever?
Sometimes, the shadowban is reversible, meaning that you can get back to normal usage and outreach after a few days or a week. However, in most cases, it can a maximum of 14 days to revert to the normal outreach.
How to tell if I am shadowbanned on Instagram?
If your account is shadowbanned on Instagram, your posts won’t show up on the hashtag search results and not reach new accounts anymore.