What is an Instagram Shadowban and How Do I Fix it?

Instagram ShadowbanIf you’re using Instagram to market your product or service, chances are you’re trying to find the right audiences with hashtags. And sometimes we go a little overboard on the hashtags. While many of us make an innocent mistake, others are trying to manipulate the system.

Enter the shadowban.


Shadowbanning is a mysterious occurrence on Instagram where you discover that your content is not showing up in association with the hashtags you’ve used. Nobody really knows what triggers it, and Instagram won’t even discuss whether it is a real thing.


But there are many who believe they have been shadowbanned.


First, what exactly is an “Instagram Shadowban?” It can be described as the act of blocking a user’s content on social media sites, in such a way that the user doesn’t know it’s happening. Many users don’t realize they’ve been shadowbanned until they see a huge decrease in engagement and traffic. Other notice that their posts seem to have hashtags and captions that disappear.


Here are a few reasons why you may have been shadowbanned:

Extreme hashtag use or using a banned hashtag

We all understand the power of hashtags, but there is a danger in using the same ones repeatedly. Instagram’s algorithm could see this as a sort of spam and may limit who can see your hashtags.

Try utilizing platforms to research relevant hashtags to the content that you are posting. This extra step can save you the difficulty of having to undo a shadowban. Instagram does also have a list of banned hashtags that are not allowed; be sure to not use any of these on your content.

You aren’t complying with Instagram rules

Just like many other platforms today, Instagram hates spam accounts. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough employees to spend all day determining which accounts are spam. With that being said, Instagram keeps an eye out on behaviors that seem spam-like. Some of these things include exceeding your daily or hourly post limit, having a page that gets frequently reported, commenting too often on other accounts, or attempting to double comment the same things.

You use bots or have purchased followers

In recent years Instagram has really cracked down on users who purchase bots or use growth automation tools. This is a big Instagram no no (for more obvious reasons like the fact that these followers provide no engagement to your page whatsoever), but Instagram can (and probably will) get around to penalizing you for doing this. Our best advice is to grow your followers organically… but you knew that.


There are a couple of ways to undo a shadowban. The first step is to make sure you aren’t doing any of the above practices. A second step is to stop all Instagram activity for 48 hours. This may help allow the algorithm to naturally reset your account’s negative standings. You can also try changing your Instagram account from a business profile to personal for a couple of hours then changing it back. This method will delete all of your insights, so be sure to record any of that if it’s needed.


Utilizing Instagram correctly can help you increase brand awareness for your business.


Do you need to start marketing your company on social media, but aren’t sure how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been posting content, but can’t seem to get the results you want.


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KWSM is a digital marketing agency made up of brand journalists. We specialize branding, positioning and ongoing marketing execution in order to generate leads. Our offices are located in Orange County, CA, San Diego, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Atlanta, GA, but we serve clients all over the country. Read More