Ugh – The notorious Instagram shadowban. You’re either here because you think you’re experiencing the Instagram shadowban on your account, or because you’re searching for preventive methods (good idea!). Instagram shadowbans can happen to any user. However, in our experience, it seems to commonly occur with new accounts. When we first created our Aimless Travels Instagram account, we ran into this issue too soon. Luckily for us (and you), we got out of the shadowban quickly and are excited to share with you ways to escape the Instagram shadowban and prevent it from happening in the future!
First Things First…What Does an Instagram Shadowban Do To Your Account?
This is an important question to ask, since you may not even have a shadowban at all. Shadowbans aren’t the same thing as a temporary Instagram ban. Temporary Instagram bans generally just ban you from specific Instagram actions for a short-period of time.
Instagram shadowbans are also highly debated. Instagram released an update in February of 2018 stating that shadowbans were not real. However, many users (including ourselves) have claimed to suffer the results of the “proposed” shadowban. Instagram shadowbans restrict an Instagram users content visibility so that they don’t show up in searches or followers’ feeds. From our experience, we were visible to our followers, but our Instagram account’s content was not appearing in search results, which effected our account growth negatively.
How To Get Rid Of & Prevent Instagram Shadowbans
There are few methods you can to either escape an Instagram shadowban or prevent it from happening:
- Determine if your account is actually shadowbanned
- Don’t use automated bots
- Don’t follow, unfollow, like, or comment too many times in a day
- Limit Instagram actions if you’re a new account
- Refrain from posting new content for a few days
- Remove hashtags from your most recent posts
- Contact Instagram
- Switch from a business to personal account
We’ll review the importance and meaning of each method in the following article. Just an FYI, this is what worked for us, and we’re really hoping you’ll see the same results. After combining all of these methods, we got rid of our shadowban within 72 hours.
1. Are You Actually Instagram Shadowbanned?
You’re probably searching web and came across a few tools that looked “great” for checking to see if your Instagram account is shadowbanned. Don’t use them! They’re unreliable and usually completely inaccurate. We knew our Instagram account was shadowbanned by doing the following:
- Create a hashtag that isn’t very popular (or your business name) and add it to your post.
- Log into a separate Instagram account.
- Search for that hashtag.
- If your content doesn’t appear, than there’s a good chance you’ve been shadowbanned. Don’t worry, we’ll help you figure out this frustrating problem!
2. Don’t Use Any Automated Bots for Unfollows, Comments, or Likes
Have you ever noticed the comments on your post that contain a lot of emojis, are irrelevant, or just look spammy? More often than not, these are bots. Even despite Instagram updating their API in April 2018, bots still seem to exist. Using third parties to gain engagement on Instagram is against their Terms & Conditions. So, if you’re using these, we’d highly recommend to stop.
3. Don’t Follow, Unfollow, Like, or Comment Too Many Posts in a Short Amount of Time
This is a huge one! If you’re doing these Instagram actions too many time in an hour or a day, Instagram will assume your account is a bot. Therefore, they’re going to want to limit your activity and will mark your account as fake. This can easily result in a 24 hour ban, so just try limiting your actions.
We always struggled with determining the answer of this next question: What are Instagrams limit for following / unfollowing, liking, and commenting? Here are some general rule of thumbs:
Follows / Unfollow: Don’t follow / unfollow more than 200 people per hour, and 1,000 people per day. Also, don’t follow / unfollow people nonstop. Wait at least 28-36 seconds before following the next person.
Likes: Try to limit your likes to 1,000 – 2,000 per day.
4. Are You a New Account? You May Be the Most Vulnerable to the Instagram Shadowban
Instagram watches new accounts like a hawk. For the first 12 – 20 days since your Instagram accounts launch, we’d suggest keeping yourselves really low key. The limits are bit less:
Follows / Unfollow, Likes, Comments: The total action limit is generally 500, with a frequency of 36-48 seconds between each. If you notice your account starts to get temporary bans, start limiting your activity. Trust me, you don’t want it to escalate into an Instagram shadowban.
5. Refrain From Posting Any New Content For A Few Days – Week
When we got our Instagram shadowbanned, we held back on posting for a couple of days. We also held off on a lot of our engagement in hopes that our Instagram shadowban would be lifted. It shows Instagram your account isn’t spam!
6. Remove Hashtags From Your Most Recent Posts
A little while back, Instagram claimed that there could be a hashtag glitch. For example, the hashtag “love” used to be a terrible and detrimental hashtag to use. Whether or not this is true, I’d go ahead and remove your hashtags, just in case. If you aren’t currently shadowbanned, you probably won’t have to do this. We use all 30 hashtags on all of our Instagram content and don’t seem to run into any issues.
7. Contact Instagram & Be Persistently Annoying!
Social Media support isn’t really the best with responding, in our experience. But, it’s always worth trying. You’re going to want to do everything in your power to get that shadowban lifted. To contact Instagram:
- Go to your Profile and open up your Settings.
- Scroll down to “Support” and click on “Report a Problem“.
- Select “Something Isn’t Working“
- Type a message that includes: “I am not being shown in the hashtags I’ve used for my post” or “I have been hacked“. Be careful with bringing out the “hack” card – this may either help your situation or do nothing.
We contacted Instagram Support a few times about our shadowban, while being sure not to mention the actual word, “shadowban”. Unfortunately, we never received a response from them. Hopefully, you’ll have more luck!
8. Are You A Business Account? Consider Moving Back To A Personal Account…ASAP
When we acquired our Instagram shadowban, we were a business account. After reading tips online, we switched our account back to personal. While using a business account, Instagram wants you to pay for their services. It makes sense – they are giving you a lot of useful analytic and tracking tools that you’d normally have to pay for!
We totally get how frustrating Instagram shadowbans are. Have you experienced an Instagram shadowban or any other temporary action blocks from Instagram before? Share with us your stories and if any of our strategies helped you!