Last week, I was very disheartened after I read all about the Instagram "Shadowban", especially that I have been experiencing a major engagement drop. My followers numbers have not changed in a whole year and my photos are only getting 100-200 likes from the same exact people (who I really appreciate btw!). I knew something was seriously wrong with instagram. I thought that was their way to push me to pay for adverts to "promote" my account. It turns out it was not only that, I have been shadow banned too! Let me tell you some more.
Update: apparently this all was a hashtag "glitch" and it's been fixed by Instagram. Will keep monitoring my accounts to see.
What does an instagram shadowban mean?
Basically an Instagram Shadowban means your account cannot be found using the hashtags you inserted to anyone else other than your current followers because you have used a broken or a banned hashtag.
The whole system of Instagram relies heavily on hashtags because they are the "search words" people put to find accounts that relate to them.
How Do You Know If You Have Been ShadowBanned?
- I feel like it was clear to me before I even read anything about this. I have been on instagram since their first year in 2010, so I know how things worked normally before Facebook took over and ruined it.
- You can get tested in this new website: http://shadowban.azurewebsites.net/
Their Tag line: Worried about the Instagram Shadowban?
You're not alone! ~4,500 people are taking the test every hour since launch (Apr 14, 2017)
I have been checking each post after posting to see what's happening.
- If you have used any of those spammy services to buy followers and what not.
Six Tips to get around the Instagram shadow ban
The main cause for this are hashtags. I think that is their way to keep the Instagram community free from spammers, but they really need to work harder to fix this because it is causing problems to everyone. As a blogger this a major disadvantage to me, but nothing I can do to change the algorithms. In the past week I have been following these tips and I feel like they helped slightly.
- Delete Hashtags
This is the most upsetting thing, but it has to be done. I am still trying to figure out which hashtags are triggering this on instagram ban, but till I do, I am being very cautious with my use.
- Use two words hashtags
I think specific hashtags are key here. Avoid all the one word generic tags like #travel #Friday #Fashion. Instead use #TravelStory #FridayThoughts #ModestFashion or something of that sort.
- Switch the hashtags up
You get blocked if you use the same hashtags all the time, so use different ones every two days or something to better your chances.
- Add your "Location"
If hashtags are refusing to cooperate, then use your location and hope to be found that way.
- Engage Even More
Instead of adding my beloved 30 hashtags, I have been searching the hashtags that I would have used. Then I like and comment photos on there.
- Avoid Spammy Behaviours
Above I told you to engage, but don't spend the day just hitting like or commenting with the same thing because that might get you banned to.
Disclaimer: I am not an Instagram expert, but I run three accounts on there and I have been on it for the past seven years.