Have you noticed a drastic reduction in the visibility of your Instagram account? It could be that you have received a shadowban which needless to say is going to hinder your online marketing efforts. Let’s take a closer look at what an Instagram shadowban actually is and how to avoid one!
What is an Instagram Shadowban?
In the simplest of terms, an Instagram Shadowban describes a situation where your hashtags are made undiscoverable. What that means is your content is not going to show up in hashtag feeds of those who are not already following your account. This is bad news for online marketing since it will have a negative impact on reach and makes accessing a new audience far more difficult.
Be Mindful of Follow Limits
Few people realize that there is actually a limit on the number of Instagram accounts you can follow. Each account is limited to 7500 and once this limit is reached it is necessary to unfollow someone if there is a new account you want to follow. Most people would struggle to follow and properly interact with as many as 7500 accounts, so it does seem like a fair limit to have set. However, on the flip side, there is no limit to the number of followers an account can have which is great news for online marketing!
Shadowbans start coming in to play in regard to followers when you start breaching Instagram’s limits on how many people you can follow in a short space of time. It is difficult to say for certain what these limits actually are because they vary between accounts. For example, a fairly young Instagram account may be flagged for breaching a pretty low limit of follows per hour, but a larger more established account will have a higher limit. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you are trying to grow your Instagram account for online marketing reasons, you should avoid indiscriminately following people in the hope of some reciprocation!
Limit Your Likes
Another practice that could result in a shadowban on Instagram is getting a little to click happy with the like button! There is a maximum limit of 350 likes per hour and any account exceeding this limit risks being flagged for spam and given a shadowban or a temporary account restriction. This may seem unfair at first, but let’s break it down a little. 350 likes per hour is one like approximately every 10 seconds. The average user is unlikely to sit for a full hour liking content on Instagram, so anyone reaching this limit is likely to be using some kind of bot automation for online marketing purposes.
Use Hashtags Responsibly
Another big factor in shadowbans is hashtag use. First, there is a limit on the number of hashtags that can be used. Captions will not post if they have more than 30 hashtags. Some people do try to get around this by putting additional hashtags in a comment believing that they are boasting their online marketing efforts by doing so. However, Instagram will ignore any additional hashtags after the first 30 so this practice is pointless, and posts won’t show up in hashtag feeds for those additional hashtags.
It is also worth noting that there is a growing number of banned hashtags on Instagram which will result in a shadowban. Some of these are obvious because they have inappropriate connotations, but the banned list also includes some very innocent hashtags such as #valentinesday, #Easter and #desk! It’s well worth familiarizing yourself with these banned hashtags so you don’t inadvertently wreck your online marketing efforts!
To Your Best Online!
Ingrid Griffin, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®