When you’re trying to grow a following on Instagram, you use hashtags and engagement to expand your audience and approach. So it can feel more than a little disheartening when it suddenly seems like your content isn’t showing up anywhere. If your posts are receiving fewer likes and comments, or aren’t appearing for certain hashtags, you might be shadowbanned on Instagram.

Instagram Shadowban

Shadowbanning is the act of blocking a user’s content on social media sites, in such a way that the user doesn’t know it’s happening. If you’re in shadowban mode on Instagram, your content won’t appear on anyone’s feed unless they already follow you.

From Instagram’s point of view, shadowbanning makes sense. Shadowbanning is Instagram’s tool. It allows this platform to filter out accounts that don’t comply with their terms. Some people use inauthentic measures to expand their Instagram following, like automated bots or hundreds of hashtags irrelevant to their content. If that’s the case, it seems only fair for Instagram to block those accounts, so users can continue receiving genuine and helpful content.

While Instagram doesn’t openly admit to shadowbanning, they released a statement in February that showed the problem users were having with their content not showing up for certain hashtags.

Their statement at least confirms the hashtag dilemma as a real one. However, many speculate that the statement is Instagram’s way of admitting to shadowbanning, without actually admitting it.

shadowbanned on Instagram

It’s important to note that Instagram changes its algorithm often, so those alterations could be the reason you have witnessed a drop in your engagement.

However, there’s a possibility of shadowbanning. It is a real tactic that hides users’ content from the wider Instagram audience. If you’re being shadowbanned, you must take the necessary measures to get your content seen.

Let’s explore how to know if you’re shadowbanned, as well as our tips for getting yourself off the list.

Luckily, there’s an easy trick to figure out your account’s shadowban.

Am I shadowbanned on Instagram?

First, post an image with a hashtag that isn’t popular. Once you’ve posted, ask five people who don’t follow you — or employees — to search the hashtag. If none of them see your post in those results, you’ve likely been shadowbanned.

In case that one or two of your employees can see your post, you might simply be dealing with a drop in engagement. If that’s the case, you can take many steps to fix this. (Check out post from Hubspot Instagram Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for more tips and advice).

If you run this test and believe you’ve been shadowbanned, don’t worry — we have a solution for you.

Why You Got Shadowbanned, and How to Fix It

There are a few potential reasons your account could have been shadowbanned. To ensure this doesn’t happen again, let’s explore some actions you might have taken that led you to be shadowbanned:

You use bots or another automated “Instagram growth” tool.

If you aren’t putting in the hard work yourself, you’re not growing a following authentically. Instagram frowns on this — in their statement above, for example, they encourage users to have a strategy that focuses on connecting with the right audience. Using bots is a spammy tactic, and could result in a shadowban.

You use broken hashtags.

Occasionally, a popular hashtag will become overrun with irrelevant content. When this happens, Instagram can remove the hashtag or limit its use. If you use a broken hashtag, it will prevent your other hashtags from ranking, and could also lead to a blocked account.

Others often report your account.

When users repeatedly report an account, Instagram will assume that your account is posting irrelevant content or violating their terms of service. They might disable your account, or they could shadowban it.

You’ve been posting, commenting, engaging, or following people too quickly.

Instagram places time constraints on how often you can follow, unfollow, like, comment, or post within an hour or day. This makes sense — if you’re following 80 people within an hour, it’s likely a bot doing the work, not you.

These actions might help you grow a following quickly, but they can’t help you connect with the right people, which is why you’re on Instagram in the first place. Additionally, these behaviors likely result in shadowban, which severely restricts your exposure to a new audience.

How to Fix or Prevent an Instagram Shadowban

To get your account back to normal, you’ll want to reverse the damage. Here’s how:

If you use a bot or another automated service, stop using them and delete them immediately.

To make sure that you don’t own the accounts anymore, go to your desktop Instagram and click “Edit Profile”. And then “Authorized Applications”. If you see any of your bot accounts in the list, click “Revoke Access” to remove them completely. Remember, it’s better to have 100 followers who love your brand and purchase your products, than 1,000 followers who never buy from you or interact with your content.

Don’t use hashtags that are already been banned.

Take a look at Preview’s list of banned hashtags for 2018, and try to remove all broken hashtags from your content. Moving forward, be selective and careful with the hashtags you choose. When in doubt, take a look at the hashtag’s page. You know, Instagram will likely post a message which will inform you that the hashtag is no longer in use.

Take a two-day break.

People have reported a full 48-hour break from using their Instagram accounts. Then you can reset the system and get you back on track. It’s worth the temporary social media cleanse anyway, isn’t it?

Follow Instagram’s rules and regulations.

Read and follow Instagram’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines.

Most importantly, you must be posting helpful, authentic content, and abiding by best practices when growing your audience. It will take longer to do this, but slow and steady wins the race — and doesn’t get shadowbanned — right?



















The first thing I do when I wake up is to turn off the alarm on my phone and then scroll through Instagram. I have to say that Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms. I get to see a fun and inspiring content that’s also helpful and entertaining. However, as a marketer, nailing Instagram isn’t as easy as waking up and being inspired. That’s why we talked to six Instagram managers to share with us their best trade secrets on managing an Instagram account.

In this article, let’s jump into trade secrets that many Instagram managers sear by.

Continue reading →

Instagram has provided brands with the opportunity to engage with their audience and tell their story through the power of visuals. In addition to the network’s growth, users are also highly engaged with the platform. Each day, half of all users are online the app and spend an average of 21 minutes on the app. Top brands have quickly realized the potential Instagram presents. You’re considering joining, or need tips and best practices to get more out of the app? We’ve had here examples of 8 of the most common mistakes brands make on Instagram backed by the ones that are creating a memorable presence.

Continue reading →

Everyone wants to know how to earn money on Instagram. We’re scrolling Instagram all day anyways—usually spending money instead of earning it.

In the last few years, Instagram’s endless feed of gorgeous photos has evolved into something between a glossy magazine, your friend’s taste, and a boutique shop.

With over a billion monthly users, 71% of Instagram users are under 35, Instagram is the platform of aspiration, inspiration—and now, in-app checkout.

There are three main ways to earn a lot of money on Instagram.

  • Work as an influencer to post content sponsored by brands
  • Be an affiliate marketer selling other people’s products
  • Become an entrepreneur and sell your own products

Read this article for the best advice on all three tracks.

Continue reading →

Instagram is an undeniably powerful marketing tool, however, with over 25 million businesses on the platform today, it’s important you take the time to create well-designed and thoughtful Instagram posts to stand out. You’ll need to apply a strategic design plan to your business’s Instagram to attract more loyal followers and find success on the app in the long-term.

However, creating a clean and cohesive Instagram feed takes design skills that you might feel you lack. Moreover, Instagram’s algorithm favors brands that post at least once a day — that time commitment could be adding to your stress.

Continue reading →