Tryst With Digital

How Instagram Will Shadowban You! 

Ever witnessed a sudden drop in your engagement while your follower ratio was still unaffected? 

Do you use several hahstags in your posts and even some that are nowhere close to your post’s subject? 

Have you ever tried searching your posts in the hahstags you used in your post, but couldn’t find it there? 

Well, if you answered yes to all of the above questions then may be, just may be yours is a case of being Shadowbanned by Instagram. 

Yes! Shadowban refers to this discreet practice that Instagram follows to curb down reach of your posts without any notice or prior warning, they simply overt the censorship. It is a phenomenon that is subjective to ‘hahstag abuse’. When you start using hahstags such as, #eeeeats or #brunch on non-food items to spam the users and get higher views or get involved in purchasing likes or followers. It basically limits your posts and your ability to find new audience for your content. 
According to an article published by Business Insider, Instagram released a Facebook post in February of 2017 stating that they “understand users have experienced issues with Instagram’s hashtag search that caused posts not to be surfaced.”

Adding to which they further said “When developing content, we recommend focusing on your business objective or goal rather than hashtags,” very swiftly laying down their idea of how they want their networking site to function. 

@digitaltrends

Here’s an excerpt from mic.com where an Instagram blogger shared his ordeal, read:

If your account is shadowbanned, your posts won’t be surfaced in hashtag searches or on the Instagram Search & Explore tab. You’ll have a difficult time generating engagement momentum and getting your posts to surface in your followers’ feeds.

You should also remember in order to recover from  Shadowban, some users stopped posting for months, and even if they did, they avoided hahstags completely but it took a lot of time from them to get back to their normal reach. According to a few, their post-shadowban reach was so low that they were now getting 10 or 15 likes on an average while earlier they received hundreds. This trend is especially bad for influencers and bloggers who earn through the site. 

Any which way, though the practice hasn’t been officially confirmed and Instagram has never explicitly acknowledged that shadowbanning is real, and neither its terms or service nor community guidelines mention hashtags. 

Yet there are many users who’ve suffered the phenomenon, so in order to be safe and be in the algorithm’s good books, I suggest doing the following-

  1. Join an Instagram pod or create one! – these are community groups work like minded individuals who want to help each other by following and engaging with each other’s pages 
  2. Take some time OFF Instagram – some users who left the site for a while and came back saw that thet were able to regain their engagement like it was once before
  3. Choose Hashtags wisely! – now that we have already understood using hahstags that do not concern your content hurts or disobeys Instagram’s community guidelines. There are some users who also complained that the hahstags that they tailored for their businesses were used by other users just to seep in their viewership and gain some engagement for themselves, a genuine case of hahstag abuse. So, avoid doing that and stick to your content and relevant hahstags 
  4. Switch to personal profile from a business one – personal profiles are given leverage over the business profiles. We all are aware of Facebook and ita advertising habits, a money making medium to push your business killing the organic reach completely. Instagram too, would similarly want its business account users to invest to reach out to their target market
@freepik.com

I don’t know if this trend will be ever validated by Instagram or its insiders but looking at the recent events along with a first hand experience on my own Business profile on Instagram, I really think this is true. In either of the cases, seeing a dip in reach for whatever the case be is not a good idea. 

Let’s hope for the best! 

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