If your Instagram reach and engagement has been significantly low recently you may have been Shadowbanned. Before we dive into testing if you are Shadowbanned, lets first discuss what Shadowbanning actually is.
What is Shadowbanning?
Shadowbanning is the act of blocking a user's content (your content won't appear on anyone's feed unless they already follow you), in such a way that the user doesn't know it's happening. Your account is Shadowbanned when you use hashtags on your posts, but those posts don’t appear in the hashtag feeds to anyone except the people who already follow you.
2 Steps to Check If You’re Shadowbanned
1. Post on the Instagram account that you wish to test is Shadowbanned using the hashtags you regularly use.
2. Using another Instagram account that doesn’t follow that account and check the feeds of the hashtags that you tagged on your post.
If your post doesn’t appear right away check again in a few minutes. Sometimes your post won’t show up on a hashtag feed right away.
If your posts still don’t show up on the hashtag feeds of the other account. You are Shadowbanned.
Why Am I Shadow Banned?
There could be many reasons that you have been Shadowbanned. But let’s discuss the most common ones.
You are using an Instagram automation service / Bot
Instagram does not allow you to use automation services / bots. If you do, they most likely know as they are very good at detecting so. Especially if the bot surpasses Instagram’s interaction thresholds (for example, Instagram allows an account to like a certain amount of posts per hour, but the exact numbers are kept secret).
Your account / posts are being reported
Instagram is committed to keeping their community safe, therefore highly reported content is a big red flag when it comes to flagging an account for behavior that might be harmful to someone. If your account is flagged, this may lead to being Shadowbanned.
And that’s it. Now you know what Shadowbanning is, how to check for it, what the common causes of it are and to avoid them.