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How to Avoid Being Shadowbanned on Instagram


What is shadowban on Instagram?


Instagram is a popular social media channel that has a cast user base. Given its tremendous popularity, many businesses, celebrities, and non-profit organizations are facing a shadowban.


Shadowban might be a new term for some people, but those who have suffered from this restriction know how troublesome it can get. Avoiding shadowban on Instagram is relatively easy if you follow guidelines, but reading terms and conditions is not in many people's norms. Therefore, shadowban is slowly becoming an obstacle in growth, and many organizations are looking to find ways to avoid its unfavorable outcomes. Before I explain the best ways to avoid shadowban on Instagram, let's explore the meaning of this term and uncover what is shadowban.


What Is Shadowban on Instagram?

The most significant reason for a business to create a social media identity is to leverage its reach and discover new customers. As a result, the most crucial factor for any business with an identity on social media is increasing reach and generating more impressions. As reach and impressions increase, a brand receives more exposure and awareness among its potential and existing customers leading to more revenue. However, when a social media platform starts limiting your Brand's visibility and bans your content from exposure, it is nothing short of a disaster.


Shadowban is precisely the same situation. When Instagram users violate its terms and conditions, the social media giant discreetly limits the said user reach by banning its hashtags. However, posts are visible to current followers.


There are more theories and rumors about Instagram shadowban than facts. This is because this term is not "official" but lifted from a similar action on Twitter. To clarify whether the Instagram shadowban exists or it's a hoax, let's explore what the social media giant has to say about it.


What Does Instagram Say about Shadowban?

Instagram and Facebook have both openly denied Shadowban in different public sessions and on the platform itself. Here is a timeline of multiple statements from the company in response to the shadowban.


● In 2017 Instagram for business published a message on the platform denying Shadowban, hinting that it was due to several system issues.
● In an attempt to prove that shadowban doesn't exist, Instagram hosted a group of interviewers at its headquarters to explain its algorithm. The interviewers were told that Shadowban doesn't exist.
● Lastly, in 2018 the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, answered multiple questions regarding shadowban in which his statements declined shadowbans existence.


However, Instagram users who have suffered the consequences of the Instagram shadowban have believed that it exists, but it's not called "Instagram Shadowban.” Therefore, the social media giant has been openly denying it. This is a crucial element missing from all the interviews and statements shared by Instagram, and it makes complete sense to decline the existence of a "Term" that Instagram doesn't use.


Understanding Instagram’s Borderline Policy

It's no secret that Facebook owns Instagram. Therefore, both social media platforms share somewhat the same policies. As a result, understanding shadowbanning on Instagram takes some research and digging deep into Facebook's Remove, Reduce, and Inform policy.


Facebook's policies clearly state that the social media giant has complete liberty to remove or reduce the spread of problematic content that violates their policies. Moreover, Facebook has the right to remove content that "does not violate its policies" but spreads problematic information.


The same case can be assumed for Instagram as shadowban is subjected to remove hashtags that violate the platform's terms and conditions. According to Will Ruben, Instagram's discovery product lead, “We’ve started to use machine learning to determine if the actual media posted is eligible to be recommended to our community.”

This statement shows that Instagram's algorithm labels problematic content and uses these labels to minimize its spread. As a result, certain hashtags that have fallen under Instagram’s "problematic content" category are subjected to be controlled or banned.


What is shadowban on Instagram?


How to Tell if You are Shadowbanned?


If you are looking for an email from Instagram regarding shadowban, you are out of luck. Knowing whether your business or personal profile has been shadowbanned is mostly based on guesswork. Since Instagram has constantly been denying shadowban, there are no tools at present to tell if you are shadowbanned. However, Instagram users have developed a few ways to determine whether you are shadowbanned or not.


1. Your Engagements Have Dropped

Determining whether your profile is shadowbanned or not is very subjective. However, if you have been receiving adequate engagements on your posts and they have suddenly dropped, it might suggest that you have been shadowbanned. The best way to test this claim is by observing your engagement for at least 3 days and check if these engagements are from your followers or not. If all the comments and likes on your Instagram post are from your followers, there is a high chance that your profile has been shadowbanned.


2. No New Followers

New followers are acquired when your Instagram post is displayed in the "explore" section of the app. However, shadowban limits this activity and ultimately removes your posts from the "explore" section. So, if the rate of your new followers is declining till it hits rock bottom, you might be shadowbanned.


How to Avoid Instagram Shadowban?

Now that we have established Instagram shadowban's existence, it'll be easier to learn ways to avoid Instagram shadowban. The chances of getting shadowbanned on Instagram are unpredictable due to several factors. Here are a few factors that cause Instagram shadowban, which you should avoid at all costs.


1. Avoid Spamming

Most businesses in their initial phase misunderstand social media promotion standards. Although the more content you post, the higher your reach goes. It's also believed among shadowbanned Instagrammers that spamming content is the leading cause of limited reach. However, a common question surrounding shadowban is, "What qualifies as spamming?"


A simple answer to this question is excessive posting within a set timeframe can lead to spamming. Moreover, spamming is not only limited to posting content. Sending too many follow requests can also trigger Instagram's algorithm to mark your page as a bot. This is because too many follow requests flood the Instagram server, and it causes disturbance for other users. Additionally, spamming on Instagram can limit your posts per day. Meaning you won't be able to share content on your page more than 3 times a day, and your Instagram stories will be affected as well. In summary, moderate posting on Instagram can save you from losing your business profile and prevent a significant slump in your reach.


2. Post Engaging Content

Instead of spamming, your Instagram marketing strategy should focus on posting engaging content. Through engaging content, your potential of going viral increases. However, most businesses have trouble understanding the definition of interesting content. A concise description of engaging posts is content that triggers relevant and valuable communication among your followers. Typically, there are two ways of creating engaging content.


1. Create Visually Appealing Content

Posts that perform best on Instagram are ones with visually appealing graphics. Excellent lighting and premium quality visuals grab the user's attention and generate engagements. The ideal way to create visually amazing content is to use online tools that follow Instagram’s visual post guides. These tools have predefined templates that might make your work easy and have image size according to Instagram's guidelines. Alternatively, Adobe software is also excellent for creating original designs from scratch. However, Adobe software requires professional graphic designers that are costly for many small and medium-sized businesses.


2. Add Call-to-Actions

Call-to-actions (CTA's) are hints telling users how to react to your post after seeing it. Frequently, Instagram users are inclined to react to posts they see, but they don't know what to do. Engagement boosting CTA's encourage users to share or comment on your posts, alerting the Instagram algorithm to promote your content in the "explore" section for more reach.



Avoiding shadowban on Instagram


3. Stop Activities That Go Against Instagram’s Policies

There are plenty of ways to promote content on Instagram, and one of them is "black hat tactics." Using Instagram bots to generate likes and comments on your post can trigger the algorithm to ban your person or business profile for 24-48 hours. However, there is no concrete evidence that using Instagram bots can shadowban your profile. At a minimum, it's best to play safe when your entire brand identity relied on this social media giant.


4. Engage With Your Followers

An excellent way to be noticed by your audience is to engage with your followers. On a psychological level, Instagram followers feel a sense of achievement when a brand, influencer, or famous personality engages with them. Additionally, engaging with your followers in the comment section will impact your reach, and your content might get viral. Many businesses engage with your followers to boost their comments. When you like, comment, or follow others, your Instagram profile will be visible to their followers. Even shadowban users can like, comment, and follow others. So, even if your business has been shadowbanned, you can follow conventional tactics to boost your reach.


5. Avoid Banned Hashtags

Avoiding banned hashtags might seem easier than it seems. In reality, escaping Instagram's list of banned hashtags is trickier than you think because the platform has no official list of banned hashtags. The only way to confirm whether a specific hashtag is banned is by searching it on Instagram. If no posts appear in response to your search, there are high chances that your hashtag is banned. On the flip side, your Instagram profile might get banned for using a specific hashtag, even if there were posts related to it when you searched it. This makes Instagram all the more complicated. However, below is a list of all the Instagram hashtags that have been proven to be banned by Instagram shadow prohibited users.

● attractive
● beautyblogger
● beyonce
● brain
● boho
● books
● curvy
● desk
● dogsofinstagram
● easter
● fitnessgirls
● gloves
● goddess
● happythanksgiving
● IG
● kansas
● like
● models
● newyears
● newyearsday
● petite
● popular
● pushups
● streetphoto
● snowstorm
● sopretty
● tgif
● valentinesday
● woman
● Women

These hashtags are subjected to change because there is not enough evidence to confirm whether Instagram has reinstated these them or not.

How Long Does Shadowban Lasts?

In almost all cases, Instagram shadowban lasted for 14 days to the hour. Several reports claim that shadowban lasts for more or less than the duration mentioned before, but these claims might be subjected to erroneous calculations.


Final Verdict

Instagram shadowban is a looming problem among Instagram users. The fact that the social media giant denies its existence makes it all the more complicated for users to avoid. However, the tips mentioned above to avoid Instagram shadowban might save you in most cases. Regardless of how you got shadowbanned, one thing is for sure; it doesn't last forever. So, even if your Instagram account has been shadowbanned, you don't need to give up or create a new one. Simply waiting out can resolve this matter and reviewing your last 3 posts before being shadowbanned might help rectify the problem and prevent future shadowbans.


If you enjoyed reading this blog post and want to learn more about digital and social media marketing, you can follow my blog posts. I also offer a wide variety of social media tools that can facilitate your social media marketing efforts.

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