Instagram Shadow Ban - All You Need to Know

Ever wondered why your Instagram reach has suddenly gone down? The reason is you might be shadowbanned. Shadowban means restricting a user's reach on the platform for some official reason.

Reasons for getting shadowbanned

There can be many edge cases that you might have been shadowbanned for but the most common ones are listed here.

1. Spamming other users

You've been posting, commenting, engaging, or following people too quickly. Instagram algorithm places constraints on the interactions that a particular account can perform in a certain period of time.

This is to avoid exploiting Instagram's platform using bots. Obviously, you can't like 150 posts or reels in a minute.

2. Using inappropriate hashtags

Using restricted or banned hashtags can limit your engagement. Using these hashtags over and over again could result in your Instagram account being shadowbanned.

Example banned hashtags: #pushups, #alone, #snapchat, #bikinibody, etc.

There's no official list of banned Instagram hashtags but you can verify these in the explore section. There won't be any recent posts or you'll see a notice by Instagram below the hashtag.

3. Using bots or any other automation tool

Instagram wants the interactions on its platform to be authentic, connecting people, hence it discourages using bots or any other spammy tactics for that matter. It's against Instagram's community guidelines.

4. Getting reported for inappropriate content

Posting violent content, misinformation, and nudity are a huge no no for Instagram. Users can report this content as inappropriate and land you a shadowban.

How to Check if you are Shadowbanned?

1. Observing Insights

Public accounts have an option to track the posts' engagement using an inbuilt Instagram feature called insights. You can compare your recent posts against older posts to see a drop in the impressions generated. Your content won't be shown to people who weren't following you.

2. See if the hashtags you are using are banned or restricted

If the hashtags you are constantly using are in banned or restricted list, and your reach has fallen, then there's a high chance that you're shadowbanned.

To confirm this, search the hashtags you've been using in the explore section. You'll notice either there are no recent posts for that hashtag or a message shown by Instagram saying this hashtag is restricted.

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What to do if you are Shadowbanned?

After all this if you find out that you are shadowbanned, here are a few tips that can help you out:

1. Do nothing - take a break

As weird it may sound but it works! Many accounts have confirmed that taking a break of around 48 hours can reset the system and bring their account on track as usual.

2. Stop using automation tools

Not all tools are bad, but those which are spammy and shady in nature might be hurting your account. Stop using them immediately.

When you find a third-party app you want to use, make sure to search for it on the Facebook Partner Directory before you connect your account. If it isn’t listed, it’s best to choose an approved alternative.

3. Stop using banned hashtags

As mentioned above, avoid using banned hashtags and only use whitelisted hashtags. More on hashtags later.

4. Follow Instagram's guidelines

Make sure you go through Instagram's Recommended Guidelines. Also, don't forget to keep in mind Terms of Use and Community Guidelines


Instagram is a good place to acquire your target audience. Make use of the platform wisely. Always make sure to:

  1. Create clean content
  2. Use whitelisted hashtags
  3. Say no to spams and spammy automation

Hope this article helps you avoid the shadowban and grow your Instagram account organically.

Thanks for reading. Don't forget to share it!

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