If you’ve noticed a decrease in engagement on your Instagram account, a "shadowban" could be to blame. Read on to find out what it is and how you can get back in the good graces of the Instagram powers-that-be.
What is a shadowban?
On Instagram, a shadowban hides your posts from anyone who doesn’t already follow you, making it nearly impossible to grow your audience of followers.
How can I tell if my account has been affected?
If you’ve been shadowbanned and you use hashtags in your post, only you and your current followers will see your post, so try logging out then searching one of your hashtags. If your post doesn’t appear, you may have been banned.
Why is Instagram doing this?
The intent is good — shadowbans exist to prevent spammy, inappropriate or abusive behavior on the ‘gram, but it appears that some legit practices and posts are being flagged too, such as using repeat hashtags on your posts.
What can I do to avoid being shadowbanned?
Try to focus on quality over quantity — avoid using bots to increase your following, stay within Instagram’s daily limits for liking, commenting and following, and avoid using broken or abused hashtags. A few common beauty hashtags have become compromised in the past, so be sure to double check the tags you’re using and try to avoid using the same tags on every post.
And if you haven't done so recently, take a little time to review Instagram’s community guidelines, and make sure you’re abiding by them.
If you think you've been banned, take a break from Instagram for at least 48 hours — don't even log in, if possible. When you do start posting again, be sure to disconnect from any bots and follow all the Instagram rules. You may also want to try switching from a business account to a personal account, says Alex Tooby. If after two weeks your posts still aren't appearing in hashtag searches, report the problem to Instagram.