If you’ve noticed follower 👥 engagement decreasing ⬇️ on your Instagram lately, you might be wondering if it could be due to the Instagram shadowban.
What’s a shadowban, you ask 🤔? Read on, #creator.
Background: the Instagram algorithm 📊
In order to understand shadowbanning, you first must understand how Instagram’s algorithm works.
When you post a photo 📸 or video 📹 to Instagram, the app shows that post to a small number of your followers.
Then, if your post brings in a high level of engagement such as likes ❤️, shares 🔄, and comments 💬 quickly, Instagram will show that post to more of your followers.
If this larger portion of followers continues to engage with your post at a fast rate, Instagram may send your post to hashtag #️⃣ followers, or possibly – in the best case – the Explore 🌎 page.
However, on the other hand, if your post engagement is slow and low, Instagram will send your photo or video to the bottom ⬇️ of your followers’ feeds 👎.
So, what’s a shadowban ❓
The term “shadowban” originated in 2015, when Reddit allegedly disabled users’ abilities to post, up- ⬆️, or down-vote ⬇️ due to “spammy” comments or posting too often.
When someone refers to an Instagram shadowban, they’re most often referring to when Instagram stops showing your posts to non-followers.
This lack of outside interaction 🗣️ results in a static Instagram page, which can sometimes cause follower counts to decrease.
Other individuals may use the term “shadowban” in a broader sense, referring to a decrease of functionality in Instagram accounts, such as losing the ability to follow people or like posts.
Instagram shadowbans originally came into play in December of 2016. At this time, Instagram users, especially photographers 📷, noticed a decrease in likes after the app perceived violations of community guidelines 📋.
The most common guideline violations that lead to shadowbanning include:
❎ Overstuffing your posts with too many hashtags
❎ Using bots to collect likes, shares, or comments
❎ Paying services to follow or unfollow
❎ Posting images with nudity or violence
So what’s the secret 🙊?
While there are some Instagram users who have been allegedly shadowbanned for violating some of the app’s guidelines, a decrease in likes is not always your fault – nor Instagram’s.
The Instagram copyright music algorithm takes so many factors into consideration when determining the placement of your posts that it’s virtually impossible, even for a professional Instagrammer, to increase likes and followers over months and years 🗓️.
In fact, whatever the case of a decrease in likes, followers, and functionality on Instagram, it is not ✖️ because of an Instagram shadowban.
The Instagram shadowban secret is that there is no Instagram shadowban. 🤷♂️
Instagram has no grand plan to reduce the amount of likes for a given post for any reason or violation!
The reality is, if your followers get bored 💤 with your content – no matter how brilliant – your likes will go down.
If you’re liking and unliking 200+ pages each day, the algorithm will recognize that you are in violation of Instagram’s community guidelines, and the app will take action against your page.
And certainly, if you’ve offended 😔 someone on Instagram and they report you, Instagram will take adverse action against your account.
Here’s the truth: If you’re adhering to all of the community guidelines and using the app in a fair way, Instagram will not mess with your account.
How to avoid getting slammed 😳 by the algorithm
If you’re still worried about shadowbanning from the Instagram algorithm, here are some tips you can use to avoid it:
💡 Never use services or bots 🤖 to enhance your likes, shares, or comments. Instagram will know, and they will take action.
💡 Only post video, audio, and pictures that you own or can use by virtue of the fair use doctrine. Otherwise, your page may be flagged 🚩 for copyright infringement.
💡 Don’t spam Instagram. More specifically:
❌ Avoid overuse of the day’s or week’s popular hashtags. Hashtagging the same thing in all of your posts could set off the algorithm.
❌ Don’t tag people who don’t appear in your photos.
❌ Keep spammy comments, such as “Follow for follow?” to yourself. In other words – don’t post them.
❌ Don’t play the follow/unfollow game.
❌ Try not to post too often. (Even three times a day is too much.)
🔑 Tip: When you post multiple photos or videos throughout the day, the Instagram algorithm deems your content as spammy or unimportant. Therefore, in order to promote user #retention on the app, the algorithm will downgrade your posts.
💡 Always post original ✨, authentic content to keep your followers engaged and actively involved in your page.
💡 Be careful when you post music 🎶 to your Instagram.
Interesting in adding music to your posts without risking copyright infringement? Click here to read up on how to legally post music to your page.