When Instagram Leaves Your Account In The Shadows: What Is The “Shadow Ban”?

Do you post regularly, but notice a subsequent decrease in interaction on your Instagram account? You might have been ‘shadow banned’. While Instagram has not officially acknowledged this practice, numerous users have noticed that their accounts have suddenly lost visibility. The shadow ban is an unofficial procedure put in place by the platform to offer an improved experience to users and to avoid spam.

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When an account is suspected of engaging in fraudulent or spam-like activity, the application ensures that it loses visibility to avoid inconveniencing other users. So, if you were looking to expand your community and you naively tried to use methods which weren’t quite completely honest to gain more followers, Instagram has probably put you in the shadows.

Fair play on Instagram

The list isn’t exhaustive, but you could be shadow banned for using bots to increase numbers of followers or to boost your account activity, such as FollowLiker, Instagress or Boostly. A ban may also be applied for violating the Instagram terms of use, which can easily happen when using a scheduling and automatic publication tool.

Instagram can also decide to leave you in the shadows if you exceed the daily activity limits established by the platform. To avoid excessive follows/unfollows and mass commenting, you cannot like more than 150 photos per day, post more than 60 comments, and follow or unfollow more than 60 accounts. Instagram can also decide to make you lose visibility if you use too many hashtags, if you’ve used a problematic hashtag or even if your account has been reported as inappropriate.

Is your account in the shadows?

There are numerous causes of a shadow ban, and they are not always fair. To find out whether or not you have been ‘shadow banned’ by Instagram, the specialized marketing company Triberr has launched a tool entitled Test Instagram Shadowban. All you need to do is to enter your user name, and by analyzing your last ten posts, the tool will indicate whether or not your posts are clearly visible to the majority of users.

Screenshot of Triberr. 

If you really have been left in the shadows, remember that it is not necessarily permanent. First of all, you should analyze your online behavior to detect any problems, delete any third-party applications linked to Instagram and remove any problematic hashtags which you may have used.

Next, completely disconnect your Instagram account for 48 hours before resuming a usage which complies with the terms of use, and everything should be back to normal. If the problem persists and seems unjustified, you can always make a complaint to the platform. You’re welcome.