Instagram launched back in 2010 and in just seven years it has grown to be an extremely powerful platform. Its growth has overtaken that of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. However, in recent months, Instagram has been awash with rumours of a shadowban which has lead influencers to speak out against the app. But what exactly is a ‘shadowban’?
The term ‘shadowban’ has been around since 2006, however, it’s only recently been brought into the spotlight. In February, Twitter announced that it had begun to filter out abusive tweets by applying a temporary ‘time-out’ to any accounts that didn’t adhere to their code of conduct. A shadowban (also known as stealth banning) is defined as an act of blocking a user from an online community, in a way that the user does not realise that they have been banned. In the case of Instagram, this means your hashtags become ‘un-discoverable’. This means your images won’t show up in the hashtag feeds of anyone who doesn’t already follow you – obviously reducing the reach of your account significantly. This might not seem like an issue for most, but if you’re a blogger, social media influencer or even just use Instagram for business, this can be a serious problem.
Here are some ways to avoid the dreaded shadowban.
- Don’t use banned or broken hashtags. A hashtag will get banned when it is used repeatedly on posts that violate Instagram’s community guidelines. These can be anything from #kansas to #eggplant and the usage can either be limited or banned entirely, depending on the circumstance. If you’re unsure, it’s better to check whether the hashtag is still active or not before posting.
- Avoid third-party software. Although there can be a temptation to use bots to increase likes or account following, Instagram has recently updated its algorithm to be much effective at recognising these bots and cracking down on any accounts that choose to use them. This also includes any third-party software or website that schedules and uploads to Instagram for you automatically.
- Avoid unusual activity – consistency is key. If you’re wanting to get noticed by other users, liking their photos as well as following multiple people is a good way to get your name seen. However, sudden surges in activity can be misinterpreted as bot activity and can lead to your account being shadowbanned.
- Avoid abusing daily and hourly limits of actions on Instagram. These limits are different depending on the account you own, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. In most cases, avoid exceeding 60 follows/unfollows per hour.
If social media management is too much of a minefield for you, or you just don’t have the time to invest in growing your brand in this way – why not contact us to see how we can help?
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