Instagram, with the intention of providing a safer platform for its user, updated its algorithm to remove fake accounts and bogus engagements such as spam comments and hashtags.
While the clean-up did and is still doing wonders, many genuine accounts are facing problems. They are losing followers and are facing a decrease in the engagement rate ratio. This is because people who do not follow you will not be able to see your posts on hashtags, making it impossible to attain a newer and wider reach. This is called Shadowban. If you are a victim of it, do not panic as it is not permanent and lasts only for 14 days. But there are several measures you could take to avoid it.
Here are 5 tips that could help you in avoiding being Shadowbanned.
1. Do not use banned or broken hashtags
Instagram has banned over 60,000 hashtags to stop fake and bot accounts. These fake accounts use these hashtags on inappropriate and explicit content that violate the terms and conditions of Instagram. When you type a hashtag and it does not appear on the search result, that means the hashtag is banned. Go back to your old posts, check your hashtags and do a thorough clean-up.
2. Do not use automated software or apps
Avoid using automatic activity software or apps such as the ones that allow you to schedule posts and bots that let you get automatic likes or followers. These apps, sometimes, show your IP address in different states or countries. When the address changes frequently and in different places, your account looks suspicious and Instagram is quickly alerted. Log in from a desktop and check whether you have used such software in the past. If so, either log out or disable them.
3. Do not overuse your activity
Instagram has a limit as to how many photos you can like and comment on. A limit is also there on the number of accounts you can follow per day. To be avoid being blocked by Instagram, do not exceed 60 follows or unfollows, 150-200 likes and 60 comments per hour.
4. Avoid using the same hashtags consecutively
If you use the same hashtags in the same order for a month or more, your account appears to be spam, for which your account would be flagged. Instagram will either block or Shadowban you. The safest option is to change the order of the hashtags for every post even if you use the same ones or you could make a draft of different sets and use them alternatively. Using different hashtags let Instagram know that you are not a bot.
5. Avoid being reported by others
Make sure that your posts are appropriate, copyright free and in line with Instagram’s policy to avoid being reported by other users.
To check if you are Shadowbanned, create a post with a few unpopular hashtags. After posting it, comment on the post with 2-3 unpopular hashtags. Then, check to see if your post is visible from a different account that doesn’t follow you. If your post is not visible, it means that your account is Shadowbanned.
If you are already Shadowbanned, the most effective and easiest way to take action is to “Report a Problem”, which you can do from your Instagram settings.