Have you heard of the term ‘shadowbanned’? Let us fill you in.

Since you’ve found yourself reading this article, it’s safe to assume you’re well acquainted with Instagram being one of the most popular social media platforms! With over a BILLION active users worldwide (yep you read correctly), it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. As the algorithm is ever-changing, it might feel like some of your posts aren’t getting the attention they deserve…

Whilst this can be put down to many causes and usually isn’t a cause for immediate panic, in some cases, there could be a more insidious reason behind a notable lack of engagement, and that’s a Shadowban.

Sounds scary, huh? Let us explain. A shadowban is an Instagram practice where an account’s visibility is reduced without the account owner knowing it – hence the notion of “shadowbanned” or “hidden”.

This means the account’s posts won’t appear in hashtags or on the explore page for new viewers, making it harder for a greater audience to discover the account and hindering overall visibility and growth.

So, if you suspect your account is shadowbanned, here are some key signs to look out for.

1. Your Posts Aren’t Appearing in Hashtags

One of the most obvious indications your account might be shadowbanned is when your posts aren’t showing up in hashtags. Usually, when you include a hashtag in your post, it will appear on the corresponding hashtag page under “recent” tags, making it easier for people to discover your content. If your posts aren’t appearing in the recent hashtags tab right after you post, Instagram has likely shadowbanned your account.

2. Your Engagement Has Decreased 

Another telltale sign that your account might be shadowbanned is an unexplained decrease in engagement. If your likes, comments, shares and organic reach have significantly decreased, it could be a sign that your account is no longer being made visible to your current followers or new accounts. This decrease in engagement can happen suddenly or gradually, so keep an eye on your metrics.

3. Your Account Has Received a Warning Message

If Instagram has identified any suspicious activity on your account, you might receive a warning message. This message could warn you about the use of bots or other automated services that violate Instagram’s terms of service. In some cases, Instagram might also inform you that your account has been shadowbanned.

4. Your Follower Growth Has Stopped

If your account has stopped gaining new followers or has significantly slowed down, it could be a sign that you’ve been shadowbanned. This is because your posts aren’t appearing on the explore page or in hashtags, making it harder for people to discover your account.

5. Your Posts Aren’t Visible to Your Followers

Lastly, if your posts are no longer appearing in your follower’s feeds, it could be a sign that your account has been shadowbanned. This often happens when Instagram detects suspicious activity on your account, or if you’ve appeared to violate Instagram’s terms of service.

We get it, a Shadowban can be extremely frustrating for any Instagram user, therefore it’s essential to know the signs to look out for. If you suspect that your account has been affected, it’s crucial to review your account activity and ensure that you’re following Instagram’s terms of service (Follow Instagram’s Terms and Guidelines here). If you’re still having trouble, we recommend reaching out to Instagram’s support team for assistance. Remember, creating engaging, unique content and following the best practices is the best way to avoid a shadowban and grow your Instagram following organically.

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How do you know if you're shadowbanned on Instagram?
How do you know if you’re shadowbanned on Instagram?