Marketing / Social Media

What is Shadowbanning on Instagram and How to Prevent it

August 26, 2019 , 3 minutes
instagram shadowbanning

If you’ve had problems with your Instagram content not being visible in searches, or you’re generally getting less engagement from your posts, there could be a number of reasons. One of the popular theories is shadowbanning. Let’s have a look what that means for you, and how you can prevent it from happening.

What is Shadowbanning on Instagram

Shadowbanning is a term used when Instagram content is made less visible or restricted. This means it either won’t show up in people’s feeds, or even in searches. Theories suggest this can occur for a number of reasons such as using too many hashtags, irrelevant hashtags, or using other tricks to boost engagement. 

The problem is, Instagram has announced there is no such thing as a shadowban – the practice doesn’t occur at all. For those users who are suffering from low content visibility, though, Instagram’s statement doesn’t really wash. 


How to Prevent Shadowbanning

Whether Instagram calls it a shadowban or not, this lack of content visibility can make it extremely difficult for a business to grow their audience. Firstly, we should point out that lack of post engagement isn’t always going to be someone else’s fault. You may have had a decrease in followers, your hashtags have become less popular, or people simply don’t find your content useful. It’s worth exploring everything before assuming Instagram are punishing you.

To play it safe and make sure your content has good reach, here’s a few tips.

Use the Right Software for Automation

Using third party software to post or comment on your behalf has always been against Instagram’s terms of service, meaning programs like Hootsuite which lets you schedule future posts were ineffective. Now, Instagram does allow approved third-party software to post on behalf of businesses. This is great news for users, however, it highlights the importance of only using software that Instagram approves. This will avoid any type of bans for improper use.

Only Use Relevant Hashtags


While Instagram says there’s no shadowbanning for posts and accounts that use too many or irrelevant hashtags, the company does strongly advise against it. Avoid using tricks like adding the most-trending hashtag to your post if your content has nothing to do with the hashtag. Also, don’t fill your post with too many hashtags. Keep it simple, relevant and avoid any type of bans.

Avoid Bots

In the past, using bots was seen as an effective way to boost followers and engagement. This was done by automatically commenting on posts or following other users in the hopes of expanding your network. Despite efforts by Instagram to clean this practice up, it can still occur. If you’re using bots, we recommend you stop immediately. Growing an audience organically is far more effective, and within Instagram’s terms of use.

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