When I came home yesterday I was welcomed by a shocked hubby
‘Hun, our instagram accounts are shadow banned! This is a disaster’
hubby: ‘You know what a shadow ban is, right?’
me with a smile: ‘yes, but first calm down!’
Then he is showing me an article he read and a website where you can check that you are shadow banned.
Yes, that was my 19.5k follower’s account. But my engagement rate that day and the 50-100 new followers do not affirm what he was showing me!!
You all remember the big hype around the algorithm change almost exactly one year ago. Everyone was panicking and now we have a shadow-ban-geddon. Fears mostly hyped by those who don’t really understand but do shout the loudest!
now we have a Shadow-ban-geddon! Click To Tweet
What is THE SHADOW BAN?
Instagram is not saying if this is a bug or an intended procedure to reduce visibility from some accounts. Conspiracy theorists say this is Facebooks beginning to force us to buy ads. But this is what happens:
Your post is invisible in the hashtag feed for everyone that is not already following you. This is a real thing, I have seen it myself on some accounts who asked me for help. After some research, most of them used a 3rd party app that is against the Instagram TOS. This might be Instagrams way to put the foot down and make you play by the rules.
But what was the issue with my account?
- I check every hashtag as I post, to see if it is temporary banned or not
- I have never ever used any other app to interact with my Instagram account
- I don’t use the follow/unfollow method and spam likes or comments
Why is that Instagram shadow ban analyzer tool telling me my account was shadow banned?
This makes no sense!
People are reporting a drop in engagement and growth. And with some glitches and bugs that Instagram recently had ‘the Hype of The Shadow Ban’ was born. And with it came some analyzer- or checking tools.
The Hype Of The Shadow Ban was born Click To Tweet
The report Hubby showed me said that I was shadow banned on most of the bigger hashtags I was using while the smaller ones worked perfectly ( the post they analyzed was 10h old). Same with hubby’s account. All the popular hashtags banned, and the smaller ones worked.
Other people report that they checked the tool and they were shadow banned. After deleting the picture/hashtags and reposting it they got unbanned.
Do you see a pattern?!
I posted a new picture and all was perfect. No ban!
So here is my theory:
The check-website has an algorithm checking the hashtags you use and cross reference if your name appears there. If it does you are fine. Major hashtags get hundreds of pictures each minute, that makes it a tenth of thousands if not more in 10 hours. The checker was only going back so many hashtags and thus could not find my name and made hubby panic. So when I reposted the picture I was way more up in the feed and it could find my name without problems.
Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform out there with 700.000.000 active users. (100 Mio joined in the last 4 months only) and maybe it will hit the 1 bio by the end of the year.
people have more accounts to explore
hashtags are moving faster
So while Instagram is moving so fast forward you can’t sit back when it comes to your strategies using it!
What can you do?
- adjust your Instagram strategies and redo your hashtag research
- and most importantly:Play by the rules