The Shadowban Apocalypse is Here

What is Shadowbanning? Many power users have recently complained about suffering from a sudden drop in engagement while everything looks normal from their end. Followers simply won’t see the posts pop up in home or hashtags feeds. They’re essentially invisible. Eeek!

Not sure if you’re affected?

One way to check if you’ve been affected is ask a friend to unfollow you and have them try to find a recent pic you’ve posted through one of the hashtag feeds. Another way is to use the simple app Instagram Shadowban Tester by providing your Instagram account username and photo URL link.

Worried you might be affected? Here’s 4 things that might be causing your account to be shadowbanned and how to fix it.

Using banned Hashtags

It goes without saying that spammy and rude hashtags will get your account in hot water. But you may not know that the seemingly innocent hashtags you’re using could be affected. Nick Drewe over at The Data Pack shared a pretty comprehensive list (NSFW warning) last year of these so called ‘banned’ hashtags and some might come as a surprise. #women, #snapchat and #desk are three of the seemingly innocent tags suffering from a soft ban, which prevents some images from appearing in a hashtag feed.
Our tip: check if a hashtag has been banned by tapping on it; if there’s no top posts section or you can’t scroll past the first page then removing this hashtag from your photos is a must.

Using the same Hashtags

While we’re on the topic of hashtags, it’s also important to mix things up. If you’re repeatedly using the same set of hashtags day in day out, Instagram might see it as a little spammy.
Our tip: Keep ‘em fresh and change it up every few posts.  

Using bots or automated services

Playing the system by rapidly following and unfollowing accounts, using bots to comment on your behalf or automatic posting services are all no-no’s in Instagram’s book and directly violates their Terms of Use.
Our tip: Just don’t use bots. If you’re struggling to get organised with your account, there’s plenty of services out there like Plann (our personal favourite) or Hootsuite that pre-plan your posts and send you a notification when to post all the while still adhering to Instagram’s rules.

Having too much activity

Although the link to shadowbanning is yet to be proven, it’s important to note your daily and hourly limits on how much you can post, comment and like on Instagram. In most cases, you shouldn’t exceed 150 likes, 60 comments and 60 follows/unfollows per hour.
Our tip: Limit your activity for 24-48 hours if you think your actions have resulted in a shadowban. And for the future, keep in mind your limits and space out your social sessions throughout the day.

Even if you’ve actually been shadowbanned, or just suffering a low period, we think it’s always best play by Instagram’s rules, be true to your followers and continually give them engaging content.