Last Updated: December 2022

If you have landed on this article, then you have probably heard of the words “Instagram Shadowban” in your Facebook Groups or Instagram Engagement Pods.

However, did you know that the Instagram Shadowban could be limiting your growth, engagement, and overall reach on Instagram?

Shadowban is a viral term that gained momentum in the early stages of Instagram. This banning has caused massive influencers to become invisible practically overnight. The reason is that the Instagram Explore Page Algorithm can no longer detect them.

Do you want to learn more about how your account is affected by Instagram shadowban?
Are you worried that your Instagram account might get shadowbanned?
Do you need to remove the Instagram Shadowban from your account?

If you said yes, to any of the previous questions, you are in luck! This article will cover all and more about the infamous Instagram Shadowban.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway:

Instagram shadowban is a form of censorship in which a user’s content is still visible to them but not to their followers or the general public. It can be caused by using inappropriate hashtags, posting spammy content, or engaging in suspicious activity. It can significantly limit a user’s reach and engagement on the platform.

To avoid being shadowbanned, it’s important to follow all of Instagram’s policies and guidelines and avoid engaging in any activity that could potentially violate these policies.

Suppose you suspect your account has been shadowbanned. In that case, you can appeal to the shadowban through the Instagram Help Center and follow best practices going forward to avoid getting shadowbanned again.

Other Helpful Resources


Is the Instagram Shadowban Killing Your Engagement?

Have you noticed that your posts are receiving fewer likes, not showing up for hashtags, and overall account reaching significantly fewer people? If all the above is true, you could be a victim of the mysterious Instagram Shadowban.

 Have you noticed a similar drop in engagement on LinkedIn? Learn more about the LinkedIn shadow ban.

Instagram Shadowbanning is having users & influencers go crazy! Dropping engagement, by making newly available posts invisible to non-followers. The Instagram shadowban is causing growth to come to a screeching halt for affected accounts.

Curious about how to grow your Instagram fast, clean and without the use of bots? Take a look at Socialisers growth services

What is Instagram Shadowban?

Instagram Shadowban is the act of blocking a user from an online community in such a way that they don’t realize that they’ve been banned.

In our case, shadowbanning on Instagram involves hiding your posts from users who don’t follow you. This is detrimental to the growth of an account!

Shadowbanning is not a new term in the social media space. It has been around since the early days of Twitter, where certain tweets were “harder to find” for certain accounts. However, Twitter quickly stated that there is no Shadowbanning on its platform.

Simply, the Twitter Algorithm for post relevancy had a defect that caused this issue. So it wasn’t an intentional shadowban, but the result of an algorithm change on the platform.

Instagram has been implementing new explore page algorithms updates since June of 2016. While these new updates do provide great upgrades for the platform.

There have been an increasing number of issues in terms of engagement and reach as a result. Many accounts have seen a significant drop in engagement after updates. Some influencer accounts have dropped as low as 50% in engagement!

Now, this doesn’t mean that if your account has been decreasing in engagement, that it’s been shadowbanned. Instagram stated the following:

remove instagram shadowban

All this talk of losing engagement could simply be an issue Instagram is trying to resolve with its hashtag algorithm. This would be reminiscent of the Twitter Shadowbanning fiasco we discussed previously.

However, Alex Tooby believes this could be Instagram’s way of disguising the announcement of the so-called “shadowban“.

Instagram’s Focus on Content Creation

This blanket statement from Instagram is something that is to be expected. We cannot forget that the reason Instagram started was to be a photo-sharing app between friends. The platform’s focus is almost entirely on creating unique and creative content.

However, as the monthly user base grows by the millions almost every single month. Brands, businesses, and even influencers are starting to take advantage of the exposure and reach attained on the platform.

With so many accounts hoping on the social platform and striving to be the fastest-growing account on Instagram. It seems Instagram is subtly telling account owners that this type of growth strategy is not going to work in the long run for your brand or business. Instagram wants to account owners to focus more on content with value for their followers instead of focusing on growing their follower count.

Understand that hashtags are a major gateway to organic target audiences. Having an account shadowbanned could lead to a huge decrease in followers and leads!

How Does the Instagram Shadowban Work?

Instagram uses algorithms to monitor and regulate content on its platform. The user’s account may be shadowbanned if the algorithm detects that a user’s content violates Instagram’s policies. This can happen for various reasons, including using inappropriate hashtags, posting spammy content, or engaging in suspicious activity.

Why Might Instagram Shadowban a User’s Account?

There are a few possible reasons why Instagram might shadowban a user’s account. These include using inappropriate hashtags, posting spammy content, or engaging in suspicious activity. It’s important to note that Instagram has very strict policies to protect its platform’s integrity, and it takes any violations of these policies very seriously.


How to Avoid Instagram Shadowban

To avoid being shadowbanned on Instagram, it’s important to follow best practices and avoid engaging in any activity that could potentially violate Instagram’s policies. Some tips for preventing shadowbanning include:


Only use appropriate hashtags:

Instagram has a list of banned hashtags that are not allowed on the platform. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this list and avoid using these hashtags in your posts.

Don’t post spammy content:

Instagram has a zero-tolerance policy for spammy content, so avoid posting anything that could be perceived as spammy. This includes posts that are overly promotional or contain many external links.

Don’t engage in the suspicious activity:

If Instagram’s algorithms detect that you’re engaging in suspicious activity, your account may be shadowbanned. To avoid this, follow all of Instagram’s policies and guidelines.


What to Do if You Think Your Account Has Been Shadowbanned

If you suspect that your account has been shadowbanned, there are a few steps you can take to try and get it reinstated. These include:

Contact Instagram:

If you think your account has been shadowbanned, the first thing you should do is contact Instagram. You can do this through the app’s in-app support or the Instagram Help Center.

Appeal the shadowban:

If you believe your account has been shadowbanned in error, you can appeal the shadowban through the Instagram Help Center.

Follow best practices:

If you can get your account reinstated, follow all of Instagram’s policies and guidelines from now on to avoid getting shadowbanned again. This includes using appropriate hashtags, avoiding posting spammy content, and not engaging in suspicious activity.


4 Reasons Why Your Instagram Account is Shadowbanned?

Instagram has yet to put out a formal statement as to the cause of shadowbanning. However, we have some possible causes for the infamous “Instagram Shadowban.”

1. Your Using Software that Violates Instagram’s Terms of Service:

This includes but is not limited to fake follower websites, auto-posting websites(not to be confused with push notifications like Buffer), fake likes websites, and many others. Instagram has been cracking down on this and has even caused MassPlanner and Instagress to be shut down.


2. You’re Exceeding your Daily/Hourly Limits:

You have a limit on how much you can engage within a given time frame. This engagement extends from likes to follows. Each engagement method is given a max amount per time period that cannot be exceeded. However, a 3-month growth process enables your account to earn higher engagement rates as time progresses. Depending on the age of your account, you receive 150 likes, 60 comments, and 60 follows/unfollow per hour.

3. You’re using a broken or abused hashtag:

Instagram has millions of users to keep track of. Monitoring each one on a daily basis is next to impossible. However, Instagram can monitor hashtags. As of last year, innocent hashtags such as #elevator can become overrun with nudity, spam, and racially insensitive material. When Instagram realizes that a hashtag has been “broken” they either ban or limits its use. Utilizing any broken hashtag on your post can stop you from ranking for that hashtag and others. Preventing you from ranking at all!

4. Your account is continually being reported:

Violating the terms of service or Community Guidelines (copyright, spam, infringement, etc.) is the fastest way to get on Instagram’s radar. Instagram may fully disable your account or give you a lengthy shadowban to put your account in timeout.


How Do I Know If I Have Been Shadowbanned?

To determine if your account is a victim of shadowbanning. Gather 4-5 users that do not follow you (your friends can unfollow temporarily for this). Have them check to see if your most recent post is visible for a specific hashtag. Use a small hashtag that is not used by millions to discover your post quickly. For example, #yourbrandsname. That way, only your brand’s images will appear.

If no one can see your post, it’s possible you have been banished to the shadow realm. If some of the users see your post, it’s more likely that your engagement has simply dropped on your account (click here for solutions).

In addition, software systems will detect if your account has been shadowbanned. But use them wisely, if they ask for login credentials it’s possible that the site is a squeeze page to steal accounts.

If your account has been shadowbanned, fear not we have some ways to remove the instagram shadowban!

remove instagram shadowban

How Do I Remove Instagram Shadowban?

Instagram has yet to release a full statement giving insight to the remedy of the shadowban virus. However, through extensive research, we have compiled some of the top solutions users have utilized to remove Instagram Shadowban.

Here are 8 Ways to Remove Instagram Shadowban:

1. Go cold turkey.

Reduce your activity significantly. Try to post and engage the bare minimum. Some users have gone 3 days,
others for 2 weeks before the ban is lifted. The lack of activity appears to be a reset button for your account.

2. Delete Hashtags from a recent post. 

Instagram claims to have a “hashtag glitch”. Utilizing “broken hashtags” in your post may be infecting your other hashtags. Essentially, “breaking” all of them in the process.

3. Remove hashtags from a recent post. 

This trick helps many people and appears to be the fastest way to remove the Instagram shadowban. In addition, users have reported changing up hashtags keeps your account somewhat protected. It signifies to Instagram that you are an active user, not a bot.

4. Place Hashtags in the Caption.

Placing hashtags in the comments allows your post to appear clean and concise. However, users have reported that putting hashtags in the comments has gotten their posts shadowbanned in 1-2 hrs. Place your hashtags in the caption. To keep your post clean and concise, utilize bullet points or hyphens to push the hashtags further down.

Summer days are the best!

#summer #summerfun #yrcharisma #apexpack 

5. Don’t Overload with hashtags. 

I firmly believe in utilizing all 30 hashtags; each hashtag is an opportunity to reach a different spectrum of your target audience. Limiting your hashtags limits your growth. However, some users have reported the ban being lifted after they:

    • Remove hashtags from an old post
    • Post hashtags in the caption
    • Use less than 30 hashtags

6. “Report a Problem” to Instagram through the app:

This is the simplest and most effective way to contact Instagram.

A few people are diligent enough to report the issue continuously until it is fixed.

      • Go in the Instagram Settings
      • Select “Report a Problem”
      • Select “Something isn’t working”.
        Go on Facebook and search for Instagram (App page) and select “Send a Message.”
        Send an email to [email protected].


7. Do not switch to a business profile. 

When you switch to a business profile, you signal to Instagram that you are a business. Instagram generates much of its revenue off paid ads from businesses and brands. Remember in 2007 when Facebook made pages’ organic search nonexistent?
Well, hello. Facebook owns Instagram. So it makes sense that they would cross-pollinate their strategies. It is only natural that Instagram will make businesses pay more for reach, engagement, and followers. Those handy tools that accompany a business account are not free.

8. Switch back to a personal account.

But remember to unlink your Instagram profile from your Facebook page. The two go hand in hand. Since Facebook Pages are the advertising platform for both Facebook and Instagram.

The New Instagram Recommendation Feature 

Instagram has recently introduced a new recommendation feature that gives users insights into whether their content is eligible to be shown in places like Explore, Reels, or Feed recommendations.

This feature is designed to help users understand why their content may or may not be appearing in these platform areas and to guide them on improving their chances of being recommended.

To access the recommendation feature, users simply need to go to their profile and click on the “Insights” tab. From there, they can click on the “Recommendations” tab to see a breakdown of their content’s eligibility for different platform areas.

The recommendation feature provides users with a variety of information, including:

  1. The percentage of their content eligible for Explore, Reels, or Feed recommendations.
  2. The factors impacting their content’s eligibility, such as the content’s quality or inappropriate hashtags’ use.
  3. Tips for improving their content’s eligibility, such as using relevant hashtags or enhancing the quality of their content.

One of the key benefits of the recommendation feature is that it gives users a better understanding of why their content may not appear in certain areas of the platform, which may likely mean that the user has been shadowbanned.

This can help users identify any issues with their content and take steps to correct them, ultimately improving their chances of being recommended.

In addition to helping users improve their content, the recommendation feature can also be useful for businesses and influencers who rely on Instagram to promote their products or services. Understanding why their content may have been shadowbanned or not appearing in certain areas of the platform can help users make strategic changes to their content to improve its visibility and reach.

Overall, the Instagram recommendation feature is a valuable resource for users who want to understand why their content may or may not be appearing in certain areas of the platform and to take steps to improve its visibility. Users can increase their chances of being recommended and boost their engagement on the platform if they use this feature and follow the tips provided.

Sum Up:

1. Go Cold Turkey
2. Delete Hashtags from recent posts
3. Place Hashtags in Caption
4. Don’t Overload with hashtags.
5. Report a Problem
6. Do not switch to business profile
7. Switch back to a personal account

My Thoughts:

Is Instagram cracking down on black hat strategies? Yes! The Instagram Shadowban is just the beginning.

I believe that as Instagram continues to grow by the hundreds of millions every year, its algorithm, community guidelines, and other tools may change to restrict those abusing the power platform.

However, I find it overzealous to shadowban an account for using consistent hashtags. Hashtags are the bread and butter of organic growth. Simply because we have done our research and found the most effective hashtags for our industry does not warrant a shadowban.

But like Facebook, Instagram will soon adopt similar attributes to generate revenue from its users. Becoming a more brand-driven platform appears to be the direction that Instagram is heading for.

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