Instagram Shadowban: What It Is & How To Fix It [+Infographic]

Jun 8, 2023 13 min read

You have built a genuine following on Instagram from the ground up. You have been authentic and consistent on the platform. You have poured value into your posts.

And suddenly, you notice a sharp decline in your engagement.

You think it might be a bug from Instagram's side. But later, you come to know that it's only your account that's experiencing a drop in engagement.

What could be the reason for it?

Probably you have become a victim of Instagram Shadowban.

Instagram shadowban takes place when the platform reduces your visibility, serves your content to fewer people, and does not display your posts on any hashtags you use, directly impacting your engagement.

What's worse is you might not even notice it is happening.

This article will discuss how you can come to know if you have been shadowbanned, what you need to do to avoid it, and how to conduct an Instagram shadowban fix. Let's start!

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Click here to download detailed infographic on how to prevent getting shadowbanned on Instagram.

What Is An Instagram Shadowban?

Have you noticed a decrease in your Instagram engagement?

Does it seem like not many people are commenting or liking your post anymore, and some have even recently unfollowed you?

Well, this might be because you have fallen into the trap of Instagram Shadowban!

Yes, the social media company is restricting the visibility and reach of some users, so there's no way for anyone to view their content. But what might be the reason because of why Instagram thought to do so with you?

What Is An Instagram Shadowban

Image Source: HubSpot

Don't worry; this article will help you get rid of these pesky bans for the good of your account.

An Instagram shadowban is like a secret ban.

Even though your content gets suppressed on Instagram, you will not be notified of this by the platform. It's much the same as when Google makes significant changes in its algorithm – but people never know about them because they are hidden from sight.

Why Does Instagram Shadowban Accounts?

Violation of Instagram's Terms of Use and Community Guidelines results in the shadowban.

Instagram aims to limit exposure by filtering out those accounts that fail to comply with its standards.

Why Does Instagram Shadowban Accounts

Image Source: HubSpot

From their perspective, such an approach makes sense since it allows Instagram to ensure quality control without diluting content on the platform or angering its users.

Using automated bots to increase your followers and like counts can result in an Instagram shadowban.

Why Your Account Is Instagram Shadowbanned?

Instagram has not yet put out a formal statement stating the cause of shadowbanning. However, we have collected some possible causes of the infamous "Instagram Shadowban."

Using Software That Violates Instagram's Terms Of Use

This includes but is not limited to auto-posting websites (not to be confused with push notifications like Statusbrew), buying followers, buying likes, and many others. Instagram has been doubling down its effort to recognize such activities. It has even caused bots like MassPlanner and Instagress to be shut down.

Mass Planner and Instagress were amongst the most used services. Seeing both of them being shut down by Instagram clearly indicates that the social network doesn't want any automated interaction on its platform as a part of Instagram Shadowban, only pure user activity.

You Are Exceeding Your Daily Or Hourly Limits

On Instagram, you have a limit imposed on how much you can engage within a given time frame. This activity of engagement extends from likes to follows. Every engagement activity is given a maximum amount per time period that ideally should not be exceeded if you do not want to be seen as spam or a bot on the platform and do not want to become a victim of Instagram Shadowban.

Instagram Policy

Image Source: TechniqueHow

Instagram has primarily imposed these limits to limit the growing number of spam and fake accounts on the platform. Spam and fake accounts usually comment, like, and message quickly.

Bonus Content: How To Spot A Fake Review? 5 Tips And Tricks

They tend to act like "bots" (robots). And Instagram only wants real people to use the app. Here are some limits imposed by Instagram on the activity:

  • Likes limits: 120 per hour or 300-500 per day.
  • Comments limits: 200 per day.
  • Timing limit: 20-30 seconds between each like or comment.
  • Follow limit: 10 follows per hour or 100-150 per day.
  • Maximum following limit: 7500 accounts.
  • Unfollowing limit: 60 per hour or 150 per day.
  • Direct Message limit: 50-70 per day.
  • Tagging people limit: 20 people per post for a single post and 35 people per post for a carousel post.
  • Hashtag limit: 30 hashtags per post.
  • Instagram Story limit: 100 per day.

Overall, Instagram has put a limit of 500 activities per day on the total number of actions you can perform in one day. These actions include likes, comments follows, unfollows, and messages. Try not to cross these limits at any time if you want do not want your account to fall prey of Instagram Shadowban.

Instagram Limits For New Accounts

If you have created a brand new account, you should take it easy and slow. Instagram wants to make sure your new accounts are not spam or bots, so some limits are:

  • Timing: 30-50 seconds between any actions.
  • Timing between posts: No more than 5 times a day. Wait 10-15 minutes between each post. Post only once a day for the first month to be on the safe side.
  • Combined actions (includes the following, likes and unfollows): 500 actions a day.
  • Direct Message limits: 20-50 per day.

Why Your Account Is Instagram Shadowbanned

Image Source:

You Are Using Broken Or Banned Hashtag

Instagram has millions of users to keep track of, and monitoring each of them daily is next to impossible.

However, Instagram can keep track of and monitor hashtags on its platform. As of last year, innocent hashtags like #elevator can become overrun with spam and racially insensitive material.

When Instagram knows that a hashtag has been "broken," they either ban it entirely or limit its use. Using any broken hashtag in your post will stop you from ranking for that hashtag and others as well, apart from becoming a part of Instagram Shadowban. This will prevent your post from ranking at all!

Why Your Account Is Instagram Shadowbanned

Image Source: Markitors

Your Account Is Being Reported Often

Violating Instagram's Terms of Use or Community Guidelines is the fastest way to get on Instagram's radar. It may fully disable your account or give you a lengthy Instagram shadowban to put your account in timeout.

Account being reported

Image Source: Business Insider

How To Check If You Have Been Instagram Shadowbanned?

One thing that makes Instagram shadowban so annoying is that you probably won't even know about it, as Instagram doesn't notify you if you have been flagged. Instagram leaves it up to you to identify what's going on with your account.

A common myth about Instagram Shadowban is that a decrease in engagement must be due to it. As Instagram keeps making changes and updating its algorithm, it's common to experience fewer likes and comments for most accounts on the platform.

Know more about Instagram Algorithm 2023: How To Conquer It

A drop in engagement doesn't necessarily mean an Instagram shadowban, but if you have noticed that only your engagement has dropped or only your current followers cannot see your content, and you have been actively trying to grow your audience and reach new users, you might try out the following methods to know if you have been Instagram shadowbanned.

Method 1: Check Your Hashtags

One of the most common reasons for becoming the prey of Instagram shadowban is using a broken or banned hashtag. Instagram doubles down on its efforts to make the platform a safe space for all its users. As a result of this effort, Instagram has flagged several hashtags that encourage accounts to post inappropriate content and violates community guidelines.

How To Check If You Have Been Instagram Shadowbanned

Image Source: The Wallrus

To ensure your account isn't associated with a broken or banned hashtag, you should check the search result pages of all the hashtags you have used in your last 10 to 15 posts. If you see an alert stating that posts using a particular hashtag are hidden for safety reasons, the hashtag is either broken or banned.

Method 2: Use Non-followers Account

One of the surest ways to be sure that your account is Instagram shadowbanned is to see how your posts show up from the perspective of a non-follower. Ask anyone of your followers to unfollow your account. Or you can even create a dummy account for this purpose that does not follow your account. The critical point here is that you will need an account that doesn't follow your account.

Create a new post using the same hashtags you have been using. Log into the non-followers account. Head over to one of the hashtag pages used in your post and see if it appears under Recents.

How To Check If You Have Been Instagram Shadowbanned

For this testing, choosing a smaller hashtag that isn't updated constantly is advised. Selecting a hashtag with over 1 million posts means you will be less likely to see your post in the Recent hashtags section even if your account is not Instagram shadowbanned.

If your post appears, then your account is not Instagram shadowbanned. Wait five minutes if you don't see your post, and check again. Ideally, you should try out this method with at least 3 to 5 non-follower accounts. If your post does not appear, it means you have been shadowbanned.

How Can You Get Out Of Instagram Shadowban?

There are a few strategies that you can try to get out of Instagram shadowban:

1. Delete Copyright Violation Posts

Review your profile and see if you have posted any videos that have violated Instagram's community guidelines or copyright violations to get out of Instagram Shadowban. If you find any posts with a small orange dot in the corner, it means that the sound has been removed for copyright violations. If you find any such post on your profile, delete those posts.

How Can You Get Out Of Instagram Shadowban

Image Source: PetaPixel

2. Stop Using Software Violating Instagram's Terms Of Use

If you use any auto-like software, unofficial software that provides growth services on Instagram, or unofficial Instagram schedulers, disable them immediately and change your password to get out of Instagram Shadowban. Even if you are manually mass following and unfollowing accounts on the app, this practice can cause your account to be restricted or flagged.

How Can You Get Out Of Instagram Shadowban

3. Switch Hashtags

If you are using the same hashtags repeatedly on your post, try posting without any hashtags on your post, or use hashtags with fewer posts and followers (not hashtags with millions of posts or followers). Also, remove old hashtags from your posts to get out of Instagram Shadowban.

4. Use Location Tagging Or Tagging Relevant Accounts

Make sure you utilize all of Instagram's available features when posting. Ensure to tag accounts relevant to your post and who might repost your posts. This will help drive engagement and impressions to your post and account.

How Can You Get Out Of Instagram Shadowban

Image Source: Jumper Media

5. Use Calls To Action

While you write captions for your post, ask your audience a question, and ask for their advice, tips, or feedback. Adding CTAs in your caption can drive comments and genuine engagement on your posts. Ensure to respond to every comment on your post to show your audience that you are reading and acknowledging them!

Know more about 350 Best Instagram Captions For 2023

6. Delete Flopped Post

If you identify the post because of which you got Instagram shadowbanned, try deleting that post. Instagram is more likely to promote the post with which people engage and like.

Instagram constantly conducts a review of your page. If they review your page and find that post or any violation post, they will stop promoting your other posts as well. However, if they come back later and find that the violating content is deleted, they might start promoting you again.

7. Grow Your Instagram Account Organically

Make quality content, and use relevant and trending hashtags and tags in your post if you want to grow on Instagram legitly and avoid getting Instagram Shadowbanned.

View your account analytics and see what time of day you have the most active followers. Try to post at those times to increase the chances of getting your post viewed by your audience.

Know more about The Best Times To Post On Instagram

How Can You Get Out Of Instagram Shadowban

Follow the news around your niche, and try to create posts around it. Keep your account as niche specific as possible. This is because bot accounts are usually not niche-specific and post about any random topics.

Know more about How To Get Free Instagram Likes & How To Hide Likes On Instagram

8. Raise A Support Ticket

The last resort to get out of Instagram Shadowban is to raise a support ticket. Here are the steps to raise a support ticket with Instagram:

Step 1: Open the Instagram app.
Step 2: Tap on your profile image in the bottom right corner.
Step 3: Tap on the hamburger icon in the top right corner.
Step 4: Tap on Settings -> Help -> Report a problem.
Step 5: A pop-up will appear about shaking your phone to report a problem. You can disable it by toggling it off from the bottom of the same pop-up.

How Can You Get Out Of Instagram Shadowban

Step 6: Now, tap on "Report a problem."
Step 7: You can mention your issue. You can even add screenshots and images to support your problem.
Step 8: Once completed, tap on "Next" from the top right-hand corner.
Step 9: Read the instructions on the next page and tap on "Send Report."

How Can You Get Out Of Instagram Shadowban

How To Prevent Getting Shadowbanned On Instagram?

1. Do Not Use Bots

To maintain your credibility, it's essential to disassociate your account from all suspicious bot accounts. Keep a check of your follower list & revoke access to all bot accounts to prevent Instagram Shadowban.

2. Do Not Use Any Banned Hashtags

Avoid using any Instagram hashtags in your post included in the list of banned Instagram hashtags.

3. Do Not Buy Instagram Followers

Not only does it violate Instagram's Terms of Use, but also the engagement received from such accounts will appear as spam & bot-like to Instagram. So, buying followers won't do any good.

Know more about How To Get More Followers On Instagram

How To Prevent Getting Shadowbanned On Instagram

Image Source: Neil Patel

4. Avoid Big Surges In Instagram Activity

Instagram has imposed limits on user activity on an hourly & daily basis. So be mindful of them to avoid Instagram Shadowban!

5. Avoid Spam-like Activity

Do not perform any activity on Instagram that appears spammy such as copying & pasting the same comment or DM multiple times or following and unfollowing accounts.

6. Use Relevant Hashtags Sparingly

Even though Instagram allows the use of a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, it's not advisable to reach that limit every time & to use about 5 to 6 hashtags per post.

Know more about 300+ Best Hashtags For Instagram In 2023

7. Use A Trusted Third-Party Posting App

You should use an official Instagram partner tool or app, such as Statusbrew, to post & schedule content on Instagram. Using such a tool will not only prevent Instagram Shadowban but will also help to grow your account organically.

Know more about How To Schedule Instagram Posts

How To Prevent Getting Shadowbanned On Instagram

8. Post Genuine Comments On Instagram Posts

Write genuine comments relevant to the post because you will be mistaken as a bot if you write generic comments.

9. Understand Instagram's Forbidden Content

Instagram doesn't allow support or praise of terrorism, organizing crime or hate groups, offering sexual services, selling firearms and drugs, hate speech, bullying and abuse, threats of violence, and targeting private individuals.

10. Follow Community Guidelines Of Instagram

Instagram Shadowban serves as a punishment for violating Instagram's Community Guidelines & Terms of Use. A user can get shadowbanned if they post inappropriate content or perform any spamming activity on the platform.

How To Prevent Getting Shadowbanned On Instagram

Image Source: Instagram


Changes in your engagement are quite normal as Instagram is constantly changing its algorithm. If you are authentically engaging on Instagram, not using any bot-like behavior, or not using any banned hashtags, you don't have to worry about an Instagram shadowban.

While the Instagram shadowban may change the way you use hashtags on your post to grow and find new followers on the platform, it is still one of the best ways to grow organically and gain engagement. Just be sure to use the correct ones and do not overuse them in any post.

If you are looking for genuine tools to build your Instagram account authentically, check out Statusbrew! Statusbrew allows you to bulk schedule Instagram posts, schedule an Instagram Story, first comment, carousel posts, and Reels, all within Statusbrew's environment.

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How to prevent getting shadowbanned on Instagram Infographic

Citation Policy: Please feel free to use these infographics in any commercial or non-commercial capacity. If you use the infographics, we require a reference back to Statusbrew Blog.

Rushali Das

Rushali is a B2B SaaS content writer who specializes in writing research-driven blog posts around marketing for B2B SaaS brands.

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