Instagram Shadowban: How to Avoid Filters on Instagram

August 3, 2021

The users who promote their Instagram accounts and constantly monitor the statistics of their posts have long known about such a beast as Instagram Shadowban. This is a conditional algorithm (which everyone is talking about, but no one has seen). For some reason, it does not show your post to a large part of the audience and significantly reduces its engagement rate. In this article, we will talk about shadowbanning on Instagram and its possible causes.

Sometimes it’s not what it looks like…

First of all, it should be said that Instagram users often go to extremes and explain any deviations in the statistics for the worse with a shadowban or some other almost mystical conspiracies. However, very often your post gets less activity not because of Instagram filters, but for completely different reasons. This is emphasized by Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, who recently talked about Instagram algorithms in his account.

  • First, Instagram algorithms are constantly changing. These changes are introduced in order to test certain hypotheses about the formation of content for Instagram users. Thus, Instagram tries to predict what content you are interested in and to which content you will respond with likes and other activity. When ranking factors change, you may get less or more activity than usual. By the way, you can read more about Instagram algorithms in our article, as well as watch the video of Adam Mosseri.
  • Second, the trends and interests of platform users are also a changing thing. And it can also affect the statistics.
  • Third, Instagram may sometimes be wrong, and due to malfunctions, your content may not get the activity you expected. Typically, the platform quickly solves such problems.

So, first of all, try to find another reason for the activity drop. You may find the solution in our article: Why Am I Suddenly Getting Less Likes on Instagram in 2021

What is Shadowban?

The term Shadowban is used to refer to the restriction of the visibility of your page or certain types of content in the followers’ feed and other Instagram sections (Stories, Explore Page, Reels). In this case, the user does not receive any warnings about the restriction and can keep using all the social network functions. In this way, Instagram seems to be trying to filter content and prioritize it in order to offer users only interesting, lively, relevant and secure information meeting the Terms of Use of the platform.

It should be noted that Instagram does not officially use the term “shadowban”, but recognizes that inappropriate content may be blocked on Instagram and marked as less priority. The total ban applies to spam, illegal content, insults and harassment, pornography, etc., while some questionable memes, erotica and other content may go down in search. We will talk about other reasons for Shadowban below.

What causes Shadowban

According to users’ observations, a sharp decline in activity may occur for unexplained reasons. However, there is a list of factors that significantly increase your chances of being filtered.

  • Automated actions, use of bots and third-party programs. Instagram opposes the involvement of third-party programs and excessive activity caused by bots.
  • Use of unwanted hashtags. Some hashtags violate the Terms of Use of the platform or are simply unwanted or potentially harmful to users. How to find out that a particular hashtag is subject to filtering? Go to the page of the hashtag you want to check. If it has been banned, you’ll either see a restriction message or simply won’t find the “Top” and “Recent” tabs.
  • Complaints about your account. If users complain about your account for one of the reasons suggested by the social network or for their own reasons, you can also get Shadowban.
  • Excessive activity. If you don’t use bots but sometimes turn into them yourself, that’s not good either:) So be consistent and reasonable.

Punishment for such actions can be not only a reduction in the impressions of your publication but also other limitations of the platform functionality.

How Not to Get to Shadowban?

To avoid any filters on Instagram, use the following tips:

  1. Focus on creating interesting content.
  2. Express your activity moderately and consistently.
  3. Use hashtags matching the publication and avoid those hashtags that are subject to filtering.
  4. Do not violate the Terms of Use of the platform.

And of course, pay attention to the abovementioned reasons for filtering.

How long does Shadowban last?

Since Instagram says nothing about a term like Shadowban, it remains unclear exactly how long it lasts. The good news is that the filter is not there forever and usually covers a relatively short period. Most users agree that a Shadowban typically lasts about two weeks.

It is important to realize that the consequences of this temporary punishment can last much longer. However, even two weeks is a long time on social networks where millions of images are posted every day. So you lose a lot of time and opportunities, especially if you have a business account.

By far the best thing you can do is avoid shadowban or other Instagram restrictions altogether.

How to check if you have Shadowban

There is no perfect way to check if you are under this Instagram filter. However, sometimes you can find the following tip.

You need to publish an image with a working but not very popular hashtag and ask a few people to check if your post can be found by the specified hashtag in the “Recent” section. If none of them sees your post in these results, you may be under a filter.

How to leave Shadowban

It doesn’t matter if there is an algorithm like shadowban or a combination of different algorithms to prioritize content. In any case, if you’ve noticed a significant change in activity for the worse and suspect that it may be a filter/Shadowban, consider the following solutions.

  • Remove any questionable third-party apps that have access to your Instagram account.
  • Stop using bots and fake engagement (or at least try another service and be more considerate).
  • Avoid using prohibited and unwanted hashtags.
  • Contact Instagram through their IG support page.
  • Reduce your activity on Instagram and approach the proposed content more moderately and thoughtfully.
  • Take a break on Instagram for a few days (as a last resort).
  • Write to Instagram technical support to solve the problem (in this case, do not mention Shadowban, just simply describe the issue).

And most importantly, keep working to improve the content and your own activities. And you will not go unnoticed.

Can I find myself in Shadowban because of purchasing an account?

Buying an Instagram account is not in itself a reason for either Shadowban or other filters and restrictions. So you have nothing to worry about. However, if after buying the account you are overly active and introduce numerous changes to the account for rebranding, you may well get in trouble. That is why we strongly recommend to:

  • Wait a day after purchasing and changing the login/password before making other changes.
  • Modify the account step by step (this applies to posts, unfollows, follows, etc.).
  • Try to publish no more than 2 posts a day for at least the first week and gradually increase the number of posts.
  • Adhere to Instagram content requirements.
  • Use hashtags sparingly.
  • Be polite to Instagram followers and users.

We hope you find this article useful. If you have any questions or want to share your personal experience, please leave a comment under this article.

And let the great and mighty Shadowban and other troubles bypass you!




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