Ultimate Guide To The Instagram Shadowban

Have you noticed a sudden tip in engagement and low visibility on your Hashtags?

Instagram’s policies move equally as fast-paced and constantly-evolving as Digital Marketing itself.We’ve done research, performed testing and developed a plan of action that solves this secret ban for good!

There isn’t anything more frustrating than hindered growth on Social Media for reasons that could’ve easily prevented. This means that unfortunately the shadow ban can happen to anyone, regardless if it’s a personal or business profile. If you noticed a sudden decrease in likes, follows and most-tellingly hashtag visibility, your account is most probably shadowbanned. 

Our research from A/B testing & reports worldwide show the length of this ban can range from a 2-3 days or several months. This guide will breakdown everything you need to know about the shadowban.

Instagram shadowban

If your account has been shadowbanned, your content has been flagged and the page’s visibility has been reduced, without you knowing. On Instagram, your newly posted pictures and hashtags will be hidden to the public and only visible to your existing followers.

For Instagram, having a plan of action to limit user’s content is a no brainer, whether it’s to control bots, fake accounts or people don’t comply to their terms. Shadowbanning also indirectly leads for users to pay for sponsored ads, as they are frustrated with their pages lack of growth since being banned. Although Instagram has never fully admitted to placing “shadowbans”, they released a report in response to many users complaining their content was not showing up for key hashtags.

Due to Instagram’s constantly evolving algorithm, this guide will be added to and updated as we find out more information. Let’s begin with determining if your account is actually shadowbanned, then proceed with a step by step process to get yourself back into Instagram’s good books.

1. Is Your Account Actually Shadowbanned?

Forget using a website or app, the simplest and most reliable way to determine this is manually.

 1. Post a new picture and include a newly created hashtag.

2. Log into a different account or simply find someone who is not following you.

3. Search for the hashtag, if your post cannot be seen in the hashtag results, you can conclude your account has been shadowbanned.

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2. The Likely Causes And How To Fix It.

There are several potential instances or combinations leading to your account’s shadowban. Before moving forward with removing the ban, let’s begin with identifying some actions that led to the ban:

 1. Excessive use or constantly using your brand’s signature hashtag on every post. For example, using #GlobalTrends on every Social post. Although it seems harmless and a good idea to tag your brand’s signature hashtag on all your posts, Instagram can flag this as spam, as it doesn’t want one account to have a monopoly on a certain hashtag.

FIX: Drop your signature hashtag (ie: #GlobalTrends). Going forward, be weary with which hashtags you use, be sure to only use 5-10 and put them into the caption, rather than the first comment. Monitor your hashtag engagement/visibility and slowly add a few more relevant hashtags from there, without exceeding 20 hashtags on 1 post.

2. You’ve mistakenly used a banned/blocked hashtag(s). Instagram is constantly monitoring all hashtags and at any given moment, a once seemingly safe hashtag can be removed or flagged. This occurs when a hashtag is being overused or spammed with inappropriate content. Using a banned hashtag will block your other post’s hashtags from ranking, which could potentially lead to a blocked account.

FIX: Check online regularly to determine the latest list of banned hashtags and follow-up by deleting all banned hashtags from your content. To start, we advise looking at Preview’s list of 2018’s banned hashtags. Going forward, be selective with the hashtags you use and ensure they are relevant with your content and industry. Pro Tip: If you write a certain hashtag on Instagram’s search and it doesn’t pop up, there’s a strong chance it’s currently banned!

3. Using automated tools or bots. Simply put, Instagram frowns upon using any third-party service to “growth hack” your account. Instagram encourages users to grow their account organically, meaning through relevant content and strategies that align you with your target audience.

FIX: Delete all bots/automated services immediately. The only was to resolve this potential shadowban cause is to go cold turkey. To check if there’s any third-party accounts still linked to yours, open your account on desktop Instagram and click “Edit Profile”, followed by “Authorized Accounts”. You might be surprised to see a few accounts still attached to your page. If there’s any bots/automated services still linked, click “Revoke Access” to remove them completely.


3. You have no clue why you're shadowbanned, as none of the causes above apply.

If you’re still unsure of the likely culprit, don’t panic. We’ve assembled a few tips you should use that will remove the shadowban:

1. Stop posting on your account for 2-3 days.

2. Delete all hashtags from your recent posts.

3. Going forward, place your hashtags in the caption instead of the first comment.

Finally, it’s pivotal to your account’s success that you post relevant, captivating and unique content on a regular basis. There’s no fast track to success in the digital world!

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