Has Instagram banned your content without telling you?

Did you know there is a term called “shadowbanning” which is when a platform like Instagram blocks your content from showing up, without you knowing about it? Your content won’t appear on anyone’s feed unless they already follow you. Scary right!?

Has Instagram shadowbanned your account?

The term was coined in 2006 by Twitter, who used this as a way to temporarily block accounts who were posting inappropriate content. Fast forward to the present day and whilst they don’t admit it publicly, it is suspected that Instagram have implemented shadowbanning. You’ll only know its happened if you look closely at key indicators, such as your engagement dropping.

This was originally utilised to prevent spam comments and tasteless content. However, due to new algorithm updates meaning that this is no longer such a problem, shadowbanning could be impacting upon those who are trying to grow their accounts on Instagram. So, let’s talk about how you can avoid being shadowbanned on Instagram…

Switch up your hashtags

We all have our few select favourite hashtags that we automatically go for when uploading a new post. However, when the same ones are consistently being used, this is enough to be reported as spam. My solution for this is to keep an Instagram hashtag bank. You can constantly update it and this helps to make sure you’re switching up your hashtags.

And make sure the hashtags you are using aren’t broken or banned

It’s easy for hashtags to become oversaturated and this can lead to Instagram limiting the usage of them or disabling them all together. Take a simple hashtag such as #blogger; this one hashtag currently has 74.6 million posts and while some of those may just be bloggers sharing their latest posts and you know, doing what the hashtag is there for, many of these are likely to be inappropriate and spam content and this is what leads Instagram to pick up the hashtag and mark it as broken. It has also recently been suggested that using just one broken hashtag in your post can lead all of the other hashtags you’ve used in said post to be ineffective and thus, this stops you from ranking in any of them!

Avoid automated apps and websites

For a number of years, apps have been created that supposedly allow people to view who has unfollowed them on Instagram, as well as a variety of other features, such as who has blocked them or who has viewed their profile most. While these have been consistently criticised, there are still so many people using them and this is not recommended. Using third party websites and apps to monitor your Instagram activity really mess up your accounts online behaviour and this is more likely to get you blocked or even banned from using your account.

Avoid big activity bumps in your Instagram usage

It’s obvious that being engaged as often as you can on Instagram will help with your account growth but there’s a difference between this and constantly going through and liking and commenting on every post that you see. It’s better to interact with accounts in a genuine manner as going crazy with the like button and just commenting ‘nice’ or the thumbs up emoji is only going to end up in you looking like an automated account and therefore, being shadowbanned is likely.

Got any more tips for us? Tweet/comment/email us!

Lauryn Mathews

About the author

Lauryn Mathews

Lauryn is a psychology undergraduate student at the University of Exeter. When she's not at work, she's writing on her own blog or spending hours getting those perfect Instagram shots.


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