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Are You Shadowbanned on Instagram


Table of Contents

  • What is a Shadowban?

  • How To Check if You’re Shadowbanned ?

  • Why Am I Shadowbanned?

    • Reason 1: Your content is being reported

      • What to do when your content is reported ?


  • Reason 2: An automation service or bot use got your account flagged

    • What to do if you’ve been shadowbanned because of automation or bots ?


  • Check Again To See If You’re Shadowbanned


  • Wrap-Up on Shadowbanning

    • Contributor

      • Tayyab



Feel like your engagement and new follower count has gone way down? Make sure you’re not shadowbanned– we’ll tell you how. Want to increase your reach on Instagram? Sign up for Hashtagsforlikes today and start attracting more followers through the use of the best hashtags.

What is a Shadowban? A shadowban is basically a block on your account that limits your reach to your potential followers and target audience. While you can still use your account normally, your posts will basically be hidden and pushed down to a low priority in Instagram algorithms. This can be a big detriment to getting eyes on your content, especially since a shadowban affects hashtags. None of your hashtagged content will appear in hashtag feeds, and therefore if an account doesn’t follow you, they won’t have access to your content. Without this feature of the platform, it’s basically impossible to grow and run your account per usual. If you feel your engagement or new follower count is down, and are worried you may be shadowbanned, you should perform a check to see if you are. Let’s find out how. How To Check if You’re Shadowbanned ?

The first thing you need to do is partner with someone who has an account on Instagram, or create a second account.

  1. Make sure the person you are using to do the test doesn’t follow you. If they do, have them unfollow you. Or, just create a second account.

  2. Post your content as you normally would, including your hashtags.

  3. Ask the person to review the hashtag feed. Let’s say you used the hashtag #barganshop. Ask the person to look up that hashtag and see if your post appears.


Why do hashtag feeds work for a shadowban test? Posts pop up in hashtag feeds in the order that they were posted to Instagram. It may take a few minutes for your post to appear, depending on your connection, so don’t panic if it doesn’t pop up right away. Refresh a few times and then check to see if it’s come up.

Make sure to use a hashtag that’s relatively unique for this test. If you choose a hashtag like #travel,there are thousands of posts being uploaded every second with this hashtag. It’s likely that your posts are being pushed down the hashtag feed too quickly to see, so you need to use one that is more unique. This is something to keep in mind for general hashtag strategies, as it could be the reason for a lack of engagement or followers, and not a shadowban.

The results of this test will be one of the following:

  • Your post appears under the hashtag feed that you used to test, and you’re not shadowbanned. Rethink some of your strategies for building reach and engagement.

  • Your post does not show up under the hashtag feed. You are shadowbanned.


If you found that your post didn’t pop up in the hashtag feed, we have some reasons and tips to break the shadowban. Let’s keep going.

Why Am I Shadowbanned?

Shadowbanning happens when an account isn’t following Instagram terms of use. There are some common activities that go against the terms of use which can result in a shadowban, and we’ll break them down for you here, along with some solutions for getting rid of a shadowban for each scenario.

Reason 1: Your content is being reported


Instagram takes action quickly on accounts or content that is reported. If your account is being reported, there is no doubt that Instagram will do something about it. They’ll evaluate it first, but if they find that it does go against the terms of use, they’ll act. Community guidelines on Instagram list things such as violent content, harassment, false information, selling of masks/medical items (COVID-19), or sexually lude content as inappropriate.

What to do when your content is reported ?

Take a serious look at your content and the guidelines and make sure they are aligned. Post content that is valuable to your niche and is appropriate for everyone without causing harm or degradation.

Reason 2: An automation service or bot use got your account flagged

Instagram has strict rules about how bots and third party apps interact with the platform. If you use a bot, it doesn’t mean that you will definitely be blocked, but if it is causing a negative user expereince or being operated poorly, you will find yourself shadowbanned. You could even be removed completely from Instagram. Typically, automation services engage with many accounts to try and pull new followers. If you go over the daily engagement limit for Instagram, you can be shadowbanned, as your activity will be flagged as suspicious. There isn’t a public number for Instagram engagement limits, but it does exist, and Instagram uses it as a market for suspicious activity.

What to do if you’ve been shadowbanned because of automation or bots ?

The most logical thing to do in this situation is to stop using the automation or bot service. If you want to use bots but don’t want to be shadowbanned, take a small break to recover your account, then find a service that operates in a way that won’t get your account flagged. Some automation services also allow you to adjust the rate at which your account engages. You could try lowering that number and see if it helps.

Check Again To See If You’re Shadowbanned

Once you take action and ensure you’re following the guidelines, do the test again with a friend or with your second account. If you’re still not showing up in the hashtag feed, take screenshots and contact Instagram customer service so they can help you.

Wrap-Up on Shadowbanning

Follow Instagram’s terms of use and community guidelines and you’ll be fine. The most common reason for shadowbanning is bot and automation use. It’s not surprising; people really want to build their following. The downside is that you can actually be harming your account. If you do opt for bots or automation services, do a lot of research on the company and make sure they are operating transparently and without shady practices. Remember, in the end, Instagram content and reach is all about the algorithm. Make sure that you have engagement and are using hashtag strategy to get eyes on your post. The more you boost reach and engagement, the better your account will perform against the algorithm. Keep your eye on Instagram analytics to see how your posts are performing. Reevaluate your hashtag strategy using a tool like hashtag fir likes to find out what hashtags are trending and how to reach more of your target audience members through top-performing hashtags. Instagram features accounts that make a positive contribution to the Instagram community; keep producing high quality content with engagement strategies and you’re sure to find success.

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