Have you heard about the Instagram “shadowban” that is making the headlines in social media recently? If not, here is what it is. Instagram has been making some posts invisible without having the users know about it at all. Users only find out on their own when they see certain problems like a fall in their engagement. This is a huge problem for businesses that use Instagram to promote their brand. However, this is not an attempt by Instagram to censor anyone’s posts. This is just a part of their cleanup job which is being done to make Instagram content better, more relevant, and less spammy. But, what led to the social media platform to take up this cleanup job? And how can you tell if you have been affected by it? These are two important questions that you may want to find an answer to.
Why the shadowban?
Although there are no precise reasons shared by Instagram to speak about why it has taken up this procedure, there are various reasons that are being communicated by people and organizations that could be the possible cause. Some of them are mentioned below.
Way too many hashtags – If you are putting way too many hashtags on your post that are neither relevant to the content, or not in connection with one another, you are doing great harm to yourself. Also remember not to use too many same hashtags over and over again; and also avoid banned hashtags.
Follower buying – If you are employing the tactic of buying followers, you need to stop right away! Not only is it ineffective, but it can also lead to a shadowban. Instead, you need to build up a genuine audience that is interested and engaged with what you post.
Bots or automated apps – If you are using bots or automated apps to post on your behalf, you are in for trouble. Automated posting is one way to get shadowbanned by Instagram almost as instantly as it finds out. They can find this through the IP address being used. For example, if you have a post going up on your account from an IP address in New Delhi, and then within the next half an hour, another post comes up on your account from Mumbai, Instagram is likely to look into the matter.
How to find out if you have been affected by shadowbanning?
The most direct way to see if you have been shadowbanned is by searching for a hashtag that you have used for a low engagement post to see if your posts are visible. If your posts aren’t showing up, then it is quite possible that you have been shadowbanned.
Another activity that can bring you an indication of any such activity happening to your posts is your engagement levels. When you see a significant and immediate drop-off in the engagement levels, it is likely that you have fallen to prey to shadowban. This could be because your posts aren’t showing up when people search for a particular hashtag. However, such an engagement drop doesn’t mean that you have certainly been shadowbanned. There may be some other problems with your content or any other element. You can only be certain when you notice a serious and sudden change in the number of likes and comments you are getting on your posts. For example, if you have been getting 100 likes within 10 minutes of posting, and now you are suddenly receiving only 10 likes in the same time, it is a matter of concern.
So, what can you do to prevent Instagram from shadowbanning you? The good news is that shadowbanning is not permanent, so what you can do is back off using the app for a few days or a week. This could bring your engagement levels back to where they were before the ban. Also, stick to social media marketing best practices when posting on Instagram by posting relevant, original, and valuable content. Also, keep your hashtag usage genuine and to the minimum. This is where a professional providing specialized social media services in India can help.