Insta Shadowban – What? How? Why?
If you’ve noticed a decline in interaction on your Instagram account, but you’re maintaining your usual posting schedule, you may be unknowingly banned. Believe it or not, Instagram has levels of banning, from outright to what has been dubbed “the shadowban.”
A shadowban is a silent ban. You won’t know if you’re the victim of it and, unfortunately, Instagram has yet to fix the algorithm causing these bans, it’s quite automatic. If you’ve been hit by it, your account will receive restricted views and not show up in hashtag or locational streams. You’ve become unsearchable. Without your consent, your account has become a private one. This is hitting business pages the hardest. It is suggested that this automatic system was put in place to drive out undesirables, to filter out accounts that are not complying with the rules and regulations, along with spam and autobot run accounts. However, it could also be just another Facebook means of forcing businesses to pay to have their content seen. To date, Instagram have kept quite silent on the matter and have not divulged exactly what it is that triggers a ban.
So what can you do? Unfortunately, there is no tried and true method as of yet, though there is quite a bit of chatter of different techniques that have worked for some, but not for others. For example, declaring your account as hacked and forcing a password reset has allowed some to come off the ban list, but has failed for others.
Perhaps the simplest technique is to follow the rules to the letter. That means not using software that violates Instagram’s Terms of Service such as like and comment bots and scheduling apps that post for you.
It means not abusing your daily limit. Yes, there is a daily limit of actions you can make on Instagram including liking posts, commenting on posts, following and unfollowing accounts and even posting images yourself. These limits are not set in stone and, apparently, depending on the age of your account. A good rule of thumb is no more than 150 likes, 60 unfollows/follows and 60 comments per hour.
It means reviewing your hashtag usage. With so many spam and inappropriate content removed every day, some hashtags become polluted. These abused hashtags are either broken and rendered as unusable, or left as a honeypot to attract the undesirables. Use one of these hashtags and you could be stung.
Once you’ve complied by all of the above, it’s time to give your account a rest. Leave it alone for forty-eight hours; don’t post, don’t comment and don’t like anything. Hopefully, that will have fixed the problem, lifted your shadowban and you can go back to growing your following.
Did you find a technique that we didn’t mention above? Let us know in the comments below.
To test your account: http://shadowban.azurewebsites.net
- Ashayla Webster, Social Community Manager