Instagram Shadowban: what it is, how to prevent it and how to remove it

Instagram Shadowban: what it is, how to prevent it and how to remove it
Instagram’s shadowban spells bad news for your social media presence. Find out why!

Instagram’s shadowban spells bad news for your social media presence. Find out why!

You’re likely familiar with Instagram shadowban by now. When it comes to managing and producing content for Instagram, the term has come up quite a lot in recent years.

It’s a kind of penalty that has become a massive concern for users because it negatively affects the success of a profile, including reach and engagement. But do you know what causes shadowbanning?

In this article, we’ve compiled what you need to know about Instagram shadowban and what you can do to prevent it. Let’s check it out?

What is Instagram shadowban?

The term shadowban sets off warning bells for Instagram content creators. That’s because it’s Instagram’s way of punishing accounts for inappropriate Instagram use.  

The idea is to place an invisible temporary block on the user’s account, hindering the reach of their posts and profile as a whole. And to make matters worse, Instagram won’t notify you after banning your profile.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean followers will lose access to the profile’s content. But it does make it hard to reach and engage other users. Posts will vanish from the Explore tab, hashtag search pages, etc.

What causes a shadowban?

After learning about Instagram’s shadowban, you may wonder about the minor infractions that can bring it about. 

The first step in figuring out what leads to shadowbanning is understanding what Instagram is all about: the goal is to provide the best possible user experience.

So anything that could potentially harm user interaction is looked down on. Here are three of the main things you should be looking out for:

  1. Inappropriate use of hashtags. That means using excessive or repetitive hashtags in captions and comments or hashtags unrelated to content to increase reach. That also goes for banned hashtags on Instagram, like those with a sexual connotation or promote forced engagement (#followforfollow). 
  2. Using bots and buying followers. Buying or using bots to boost your followers and interaction for posts leads to a temporary block because it promotes false engagement and questionable results.  
  3. Reports by other users. If other users have been reporting your content as inappropriate, that can result in a shadowban.

How can you tell your account is shadowbanned if you don’t get any notifications from Instagram? There are two ways: 

  • Check if your reach and engagement metrics have dropped; 
  • Check whether your posts show up when you search for your primary hashtags. If they do not, your account may be temporarily shadowbanned. 

How long does an Instagram shadowban last?

There is no established timeframe for a shadowban. Temporary bans can last anywhere from 24 hours to a couple of weeks. It depends on when you stop using inappropriate hashtags, bots, or other items listed above.

Can a shadowban be removed?

The good news is that you can get out of a shadowban in less time. Besides cutting out minor Instagram policy infractions immediately, you can also: 

  • Avoid posting anything at all for at least 24 hours. After this period, reduce your number of daily posts (if you were used to posting several times a day). 
  • Remove any questionable third-party apps, especially any having to do with bot activity. Just tap Edit Profile, select Authorized Apps, and tap Revoke Access. 
  • Review your feed and delete any banned hashtags or hashtags not directly related to your content.  
  • Have you noticed your account is still banned after taking these measures? The best thing to do is get in touch with Instagram support and let them know. To do this, tap Settings and click Report a problem.

Here’s how to prevent an Instagram shadowban

After removing a shadowban from your Instagram profile, there are some things you can do to prevent it from happening again. Check them out below: 

  • Check the list of banned hashtags and avoid using them at all. Use hashtags relevant to your audience, and try not to overdo them.  
  • Steer clear of using bots for more followers or interaction. The purpose of Instagram is for content quality to promote engagement and not misleading metrics.  
  • Be mindful of what you post. Inappropriate content may be reported by other users or tracked by Instagram (for example, through hashtags you use). Common sense and respect for other Instagram users should always prevail. 
  • Try to avoid excessive interaction (posting too many comments, for example), which Instagram may link to bot activity.  

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