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Instagram Shadowbanning: The Low Down On Social Media Giant's Controversial Feature

Instagram Shadowbanning: The Low Down On Social Media Giant’s Controversial Feature
November 22, 2017 Carly

Have you noticed a dramatic reduction in likes, comments and general engagement? Sounds like you may have been affected by Instagram’s shadowban.

What is shadowbanning?

The idea that Instagram was imposing ‘shadowbans’ first surfaced in the middle of this year.

Shadowbanning means that you will not appear in anyone’s explore section, hashtag feeds or many other searches. For all intents and purposes, you only exist to those that have already followed you and no one else. This is essentially where your Instagram profile engagement and growth goes to die.

Why does Instagram shadowban you?

According to Plann, if you are using any of the following tactics then you are very likely to be shadowbanned…

  • Bots or automated services
  • Buying followers
  • Same hashtags for months on end
  • Surges of activities (following or liking by the mass)
  • Broken tags’ (e.g. #petite has attracted a lot of R18/inappropriate content so Instagram has ‘broken the hashtag’)

You will also find yourself shadowbanned if you have breached any of Instagram’s terms of use – so we recommend familiarising yourself with those ASAP.

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How do you know if you have been affected?

Have you noticed a sudden drop in likes, comments, impressions and reach? By paying close attention to your account you should be able to detect a shadow ban early on.

Note: All of this data is readily available in the ‘Insights’ part of your profile (available for business profiles only).

If you suspect a shadow ban, search a hashtag you have very recently used. Does your picture appear? Uh oh, looks like you may have been shadowbanned…

How do you remove the shadowban?

Generally speaking, if you settle down/stop using that Instagram account for 72 hrs, the shadowban should lift itself. It is like a timeout in the naughty corner.

A key step to take to avoid being shadowbanned:

Harness the power of social media in an authentic, engaging way.

Do you feel in over your head with the ever-changing world of social media? We offer social media strategy and management to help you maximise your business’s potential. Get in touch with us today.