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What is an Instagram shadowban and does it matter?
Do you feel like your Instagram posts are suddenly receiving fewer likes and comments? You might have been shadowbanned. So, what exactly is a shadowban and how can you avoid it happening to you?
What is a shadowban?
While ‘shadowban’ isn’t an official Instagram term, the platform does have the power to deprioritise accounts, by hiding or restricting posts. Sometimes when this happens, the user is none the wiser. Essentially, shadowbanning allows Instagram to filter out accounts that don’t comply with their terms. Sometimes, this practice makes sense, like when Instagram hides content from accounts that use shady practices to grow their following, such as buying followers or using hundreds of irrelevant hashtags.
Getting shadowbanned can result in a huge drop in reach and engagement, which is not ideal for creators and business owners trying to grow their communities and engage new audiences. If you think you may have been shadowbanned, take a look at your Instagram Insights. If you notice a sudden and sustained drop in engagement, it’s possible you have indeed been shadowbanned.
What causes a shadowban?
There are a few actions that can increase the likelihood of being penalised with a shadowban:
- • Using bots or other automated growth tools, like paying for likes, comments or followers
- • Engaging in spammy activity like using over 30 hashtags in a single post
- • Your account is often reported, which indicates to Instagram that you are posting inappropriate content or violating their terms of service
- • Commenting, liking or following too many accounts in a short amount of time
How do you remove a shadowban?
If you’ve engaged in spammy behaviour like using bots or other automated services, stop what you are doing immediately! While it may be tempting for some users to use automated services to grow their following quickly, it’s just not worth it. It’s better to have 100 loyal followers who engage with your content and purchase your products rather than 10,000 followers who have never interacted with your content or even visited your website.
For those users who have been guilty of overdoing it with hashtags, it’s a good idea to do some research on banned hashtags. In the future, it’s important to be selective with your hashtags, ensuring they are relevant to your content.
Some users have reported that after taking a 48-hour break from Instagram, their accounts have been reset, so it could be time to do a little social media detox if you’ve been shadowbanned.
If you’ve followed all the rules and still think you’ve been shadowbanned, you can also report it to Instagram.
How to avoid being shadowbanned
The easiest way to avoid being shadowbanned is to ensure you are only posting valuable, authentic content and abide by best practices when posting and engaging with your audience. If in doubt, it’s a good idea to review Instagram’s community guidelines. Avoid big surges in activity and other spammy activity like following and unfollowing accounts or copying and pasting the same comment or DM.
At Zib Digital, we work with all types of businesses to increase reach and engagement rates on social media through cleverly designed, targeted and tested content and adverts. Every day, we help our clients improve communication with their followers on social media and convert them to loyal customers. Get in touch to book your free consultation today.