What is Shadowbanning on Instagram?

What is Shadowbanning on Instagram?

You may have heard the term "shadowbanning" being thrown around a lot lately, but what exactly is it? In short, shadowbanning is when your content is hidden from other users on Instagram without your knowledge. This can be incredibly frustrating and discouraging, especially if you're a small business owner who relies on Instagram to reach new customers. In this blog post, we'll take a look at what shadowbanning is, how it happens, how to detect it, and what you can do to avoid it and beat it.

hooded figure in black and white with the word BANNED stamped in front

How Shadowbanning Happens

There are a few different ways that shadowbanning can happen on Instagram. The most common way is through the use of hashtags. If you use irrelevant or banned hashtags in your posts, Instagram's algorithm will automatically flag your content as spam and hide it from other users.

Another way that shadowbanning can happen is if you're reported for spamming or posting inappropriate content. If enough users report your account, Instagram may decide to shadowban you as a way of protecting its community from abusive behavior.

Lastly, shadowbanning can also happen if you use automation tools to post or engage with other users on Instagram. These tools are against Instagram's terms of service, and using them can get your account flagged as spam. 

Although I have used automation tools in the past, my main use is for them to post to Pinterest, which I will cover in another blog post.

How to Avoid Shadowbanning

Playing by the rules is the best way to avoid being shadowbanned on Instagram. That means using relevant hashtags, engaging with other users organically, and not posting offensive or inappropriate content. If you do choose to use automation tools and are seeing the effects of shadowbanning, a good practice is to just take a day or two off from posting. Take that time to engage with your followers, post to your story, find new people to follow, etc.

How to Know if You Have Been Shadowbanned

Spotting a shadow ban is actually quite easy. As mentioned above, you'll normally notice a drop in your engagement, especially if you're used to getting a certain number of views or likes. A great way to keep track is to check on your insights. If you have a Instagram Business account, your insights will be your friend!

Within that tab, you can check to see who and where your posts are reaching. Its a good practice to set a baseline for yourself once you get somewhat established on social media as to what a normal post on the platform looks like. If your posts are getting an average of 30 likes per post and 300 views per reel and then suddenly drop to almost nothing, you might be shadowbanned.

Keep in mind that Instagram is constantly changing its algorithm so it can be difficult at times to know if it's just the algorithm or to know you're being shadowbanned. 

How To Beat Your Shadow Ban

The best way to beat your shadow ban is to, unfortunately take a step away from social media for a day, at the minimum. What this does is reset the algorithm in  a sense so when you do upload again, it will slowly be shown to more people.

Its a great practice to follow up on your past posts, engage with other posts, follow new people who suit your likes before you do a new post. This lets the platform know that you are a real person. Another thing to keep in mind is when commenting on others posts, try to be original with your comments instead of leaving the generic emojis. What this does is not only helps the creator of that video, but it also lets the algorithm know that, again, you are a real person and that you take the extra second to maybe read the caption and leave an informed comment.


Shadowbanning can be incredibly frustrating, but it's important to remember that there are steps you can take to avoid it. By playing by the rules and following best practices, you can make sure that your content is seen by the people who matter most – your customers!

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