By now, you’ve most likely heard about the Instagram Shadowban. Perhaps you’ve seen dozens of posts about Instagram accounts losing their reach and visibility. Every day, more claims, speculations, and concerns flood social media, despite Instagram’s denial of its existence.
Is this a cover-up, or is there a far more straightforward explanation? We believe there is a simple explanation based on statements and articles from the past years. Also included are some suggestions for what to do if you get shadowbanned. Let’s get ready to take a look under the hood!
So, What Exactly Is a Shadowban?
In simple terms, an Instagram shadowban refers to the platform’s restriction of your content’s visibility. Your hashtagged content not appearing on Explore pages to anyone other than your followers is the key “indicator” of a shadowban. Another consequence is that your reach and exposure for posts are severely limited.
This is aggravating for personal, creator, and corporate accounts trying to expand their Instagram following. What is the first key clue we have? The word “shadowbanning” comes from similar conduct on Twitter. It’s not an official term, but it’s one that’s often used on social media.
Instagram Borderline Content: What Is it?
On Instagram, borderline material is content that is offensive but does not violate Instagram’s terms of service or Community Guidelines. In 2019, Instagram published a short essay in the Help Center. However it doesn’t properly specify what is considered questionable content.
However, here are some things that we know for sure you should avoid to stay on the safe side:
- Violence-themed content
- Graphic or frightening content
- Sexually provocative content
- Posts containing incorrect information
- Spam messages
How to Check for Shadowbans
There’s no way to know for sure if you’ve been shadowbanned. But there are a few tests you can do to get a good idea:
Put Your Posts to the Test
Send a fresh live post with a well-known hashtag. Test the material under the hashtag with a few folks who aren’t following you to check if your post appears. If it doesn’t, you should dig a little deeper.
Examine Your Hashtags
One thing Instagram has confirmed is that there are specific problematic hashtags that have been hidden. You may have used one of these selected hashtags if you notice a message under that hashtag that is being hidden.
Delve Into Your Analytics
Though this isn’t as simple as adjusting your LinkedIn banner size, there’s a significant probability you’ve been shadowbanned if you’re suddenly witnessing a huge decline in impressions interaction outside of your follower base.
Removing a Shadowban
Unfortunately, no one knows how long a shadowban will have an adverse effect on your account. Several people have stated that it will take two weeks, while others believe it will take longer. Here are some steps you may do to hopefully get your account back on track as quickly as possible.
Stop Doing Anything That Violates the Terms of Service
One example is using low-cost engagement strategies like Instagram pods for likes, comments, and followers. Alternatively, you can use any Instagram bot activity to automate engagement. It’s difficult to deceive the Instagram algorithm. Any apps that have managed to avoid the bot crackdown will not be able to do so for much longer.
There’s no proof that this kind of behavior gets you shadowbanned. However, it is preferable to be cautious. Your account could be locked for 24-48 hours at the very least or fully shut down.
Say No to Third-Party Apps
Numerous apps require access to your Instagram account to function. Do you use an app to keep track of your followers and unfollowers, search for hashtags, or automate your engagement? The bad news is that all of these are significant no-nos.
Only allow permissions from Instagram’s approved and trusted partners who have permission to access the Instagram API.
Avoid Using Restricted or Banned Hashtags
Using hashtags that are banned can limit your engagement. Using these hashtags repeatedly may result in your Instagram account being suspended. Always double-check your hashtags. Make it a practice to search for new hashtags before adding them to your mix to ensure they aren’t limited. If you do use a restricted hashtag, you can go back into your post and remove it.
Contact Instagram’s Customer Service
Your feed posts aren’t visible to your followers, and you’re not listed on the Explore page? It’s worth contacting Instagram Support to see if they can look into it. Don’t mention a shadowban; simply inform them that your followers can’t see your posts, which is having a bad impact on your business.
There you have it, folks. That is all there is to know about Instagram Shadowbanning – or is there even such a thing? You’ll never know, but at least now you know how to avoid it and get around it. Good luck!