In the video below, Ana Clara Magalhães, Head of Ecommerce Content in Practice, talks about the subject. Check it out.
What is Shadowban on Instagram
Digital influencers have also reported similar issues.
Gabriela Sales, for example, who has more than 2 million followers on Instagram, had some of her own hashtags blocked earlier this year without notice.
It is understood that hiding posts is Instagram’s way of having control over posts that violate its guidelines. Therefore, all hashtags that are banned or that are under review by the social network have their content blocked.
Despite all the cases that have arisen, Shadowban is still not a practice confirmed by Instagram. According to platform representatives, this type of action is an algorithm error.
Bug or not, it’s important to pay attention to the hashtags you use to avoid having this problem.
In general, after contacting the company asking them to resolve the error in your account, Instagram can take up to a month to get your posts back to normal.
How Shadowban Works
Shadowban works like this: it blocks user content from the search tool and from the timeline of their followers.
The profile is still active, but it is stagnant. Posts are hidden from people who follow the account and the content does not appear in the hashtag feed. It is only possible to find them when the follower enters directly into the account page.
Since hashtags are what give the most reach and attract new followers, the account punished by Shadowban loses reach and, consequently, engagement .
And as I explained before, there is no notice to the account owner when this happens. The most common is that the user notices when he sees a drop in engagement and his followers start saying that they are not finding the posts.
How do I know if the account has been Shadowban?
When a profile is under Shadowban, your posts don’t appear in the “Explore” part of Instagram or in the followers’ timeline.
So the first step in determining whether your account has been punished by Instagram is noticing if there has been a sudden drop in post engagement.
Receive fewer comments and likes than usual can be a strong indication of Shadowban.
To be sure that your account has actually been punished, just log in to Instagram as another user, go to the search engine and search for the hashtag used in the post.
If the hashtag appears as “no search results” or just old posts – and none of yours – then it is a blocked tag and your profile has been punished.
There is also a tool that can help you understand if your posts have been blocked. It is Triberr, which provides a tester free of charge. To use, just type the at sign of the profile.
If your account is already under Shadowban, find out which hashtags were the reason for this and exclude them from all your posts.
Also, the more active your account is on the network, the faster it can exit Shadowban.
How to avoid Shadowban
- Select the hashtags well
Think first: can the hashtag you use have a double meaning? Does it hurt any of Instagram’s principles?
If the answer is yes, leave the hashtag aside.
Even if it is not yet a blocked tag, it could be denounced or revised in the future, which could harm you.
Before placing hashtags in your post, make sure they are not being reported on the social network. Doing this is very simple:
Just search for the hashtag on Instagram and then scroll to the bottom of the page. If no warning message is displayed, the hashtag in question is free to be included.
Otherwise don’t use it!
Do not use paid or automated services for account growth. Instagram only supports organic growth, clean and free.
Therefore, when an automatic behavior is recognized, the platform may even lock the account.
This is not necessarily related to Shadowban, but it could be a reason why your account is being punished.
What are banned hashtags on Instagram
The hashtags banned by Instagram are those that refer to subjects banned by the social network, such as pornography, drug trafficking, hate speech, among others.
However, even though it seems pretty clear, this rule can still cause confusion.
It was the case of the hashtag “sextou”, which was used by foreigners to share pornography last year…
Unknowingly, several Brazilians ended up suffering Shadowban for using the hashtag, even without the intention of breaking the guidelines of the social network.
To optimize people’s time searching for blocked hashtags, unofficial sites provide a list of those who are already known not to be used.
This was necessary as Instagram does not provide an official list as the hashtags under review are constantly changing.
Popular and seemingly harmless terms like “iphone” and “photography” are not allowed by the social network. The hashtag “follow” is also one of the constantly blocked ones.
According to Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, these words are not allowed because they were used indiscriminately and the content was not relevant.
Other terms, such as “proanorexia” and “thinspiration” (lean inspiration) were banned for encouraging the promotion of anorexia and the culture of extreme thinness, violating Instagram guidelines.
Follows Below is the list with some hashtags that were banned by Instagram in 2019:
- A – always
- B – bbc, beautyblogger, books, brain
- C – customs
- D – desk, direct, dm, dogsofinstagram
- E – easter, elevator
- F – followforfollow
- G – gloves
- H – happythanksgiving, hardworkpaysoff
- I – ilovemyinstagram, instamood, iphonegraphy, iphone
- L – like, likeback, likeforlike, lingerie
- M – master, mustfollow
- P – popular, photograpy
- S – shower, skateboarding, streetphoto
- T – tag4like, tagsforlikes
- W – workflow
Learn how to produce the best content for your Ecommerce
As I showed you, there are many hashtags that are banned on Instagram. And these are just the ones we know about. There are probably still several others that we have no idea that are not allowed.
By using a prohibited hashtag, your account is at serious risk of suffering Shadowban, which results in a decrease in your reach and, consequently, engagement.
And as we know, engagement is the most important thing for anyone who works on social media.
But it’s not just the hashtags that influence the reach and engagement of your posts. There are other strategies that can be used to achieve the best possible results…
In the Content Marketing Training for Business, Lucas Lombardi and Ana Clara Magalhães, Heads of Ecommerce Content in Practice, teach you to strategically create content on social networks to increase your sales in up to 400%.
The course’s unique method shows how to produce content on Facebook and Instagram, the two most relevant social networks in the world, simply and for free.
It is this strategy that makes Ecommerce in Practice reach more than 1 million people every week.
By clicking on the link below, you are directed to our team on Whatsapp, where you can answer all your questions regarding the course.
Learn more about Content Marketing for Business Training and how it can help you improve your reach and engagement.