It impacts your reach...
It impacts your engagement...
Nobody knows what truly causes it...
and you may not even know that you have it!
It's the Instagram SHADOWBAN.
A "Shadowban", as the Instagram community like to call it, is when you post a picture using hashtags (as any normal user does) but that picture then doesn't show up when people that do NOT follow you search that tag.
Sounds serious! How do I check if I'm shadow banned?
1. Find a 2-3 users that have never followed you.
2. Post a picture with one hashtag that has never been used by anybody before.
3. Have those 2-3 people search for that hashtag and see if your picture shows up for them.
If your picture doesn't show up at all, you're shadow banned.
Crap, so you're shadow banned...What now?
First things first, don't stress! From what we can gather, it isn't permanent.
Here's a few things that people in the FMP Community have used to fix the problem:
1. Revoke Access to all third-party apps and stop using them
It's hard I know, who wouldn't want to use an app that lets you unfollow 100 people in a second?
The problem is that Instagram hates people taking shortcuts.
You'll need to revoke access to any apps that you have used in the past by logging in to Instagram.com on your desktop, going to Edit Profile > Authorized Applications and revoke access.
2. Keep within the boundaries
Stop overstepping the hourly limits that Instagram has set. Limits are higher depending on the age of your account but to be safe I recommend staying under:
- 60 follows/unfollows per hour.
- 60 comments per hour.
- 60 likes per hour.
W'ere trying to avoid messages like this:
3. No more #Boobies
Broken and abused hashtags could be the reason that the rest of your tags aren't showing up. Make sure to check through each of your tags to ensure that it isn't being filled with offensive content.
4. Rest for 48 hours
Take a break from using Instagram completely. Don't even open the app!
This doesn't mean that when you come back you should start doing the same things you were doing before. I have seen plenty of people get unbanned, only to be banned again almost instantly for doing the same thing that caused the issue in the first place.
That's all we know so far...
Shadowbans are still a relatively new phenomenon but we will do our best to keep this post updated as more knowledge is released.
For the time being, please try to stay within Instagram's rules and you should be fine!