The Instagram Shadowban: Is it Hurting Your Likes?
Jonathan Rodriguez
November 12, 2020

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Have your business’s Instagram posts been relatively well-liked and always have a moderate amount of engagement? But, for some reason, your last few posts haven’t received the same attention? It could be because your business’s profile is shadowban.

Shadowban is something that has been happening to many people and businesses on the platform. The worst part is, you may not even know you’ve been shadowbanned. The only way people usually find out if they have been shadowbanned is just by first noticing that their posts aren’t getting as much love as before, or if someone says they can’t find them. So, what does it mean to be shadowbanned exactly?

What Does it Mean to Be Shadowban?

To be shadowbanned on Instagram means that your posts are hidden from users who don’t follow your profile already. This means that whenever you post a new post on your profile, only you and your current followers will be able to see it and engage with it based on the hashtags you used. On the contrary, people who aren’t already following your profile won’t see it.

Not having new people find your profile and posts through hashtags can be quite the issue when you are first trying to grow your social media following. Hashtags make up a huge part of how new people can find your posts and your profile. This means that not having your hashtags show up on their searches and feeds can make your growth strategy much more difficult. 

Over time, not having new users engage and like your posts, can lead to a sudden halt in your growth. Your engagement rate and follower count might even start to decline! That is why it is important to know what causes your profile to be shadowban on Instagram. Finding out how to avoid being shadowban can help you get back on track with your social media growth strategy.

Causes of Being Shadowban on Instagram

The thing about being shadowban on Instagram is that they won’t tell when your profile has been shadowban. This can be a rather frustrating problem as you will think everything is running smoothly until you notice that posts aren’t getting much engagement and your follower count seems to have stagnated a bit. Once you learn that you are possibly shadowbanned, you’ll try to find out what caused you to be shadowban. 

Shadowban on Instagram is meant to prevent any spam or inappropriate posts from being engaged with. So the causes of being shadowban are attributed to your posts or profile being deemed spammy or inappropriate.

Some possible causes that lead to being shadowban are: 

Your Profile Has Been Flagged or Reported

If your business profile has been flagged or reported many times by many people, you will likely be shadowbanned. Instagram will be notified of your profile to review if you’ve violated their terms of service. In this case, people probably reported your profile if you kept posting essentially the same post each week and people just wanted it to stop. You may also be posting content that might be deemed inappropriate.

Using Abused or Broken Hashtags

Using the same hashtags in each post is a surefire way to get you shadowban. You might be using a hashtag that has been identified as being filled with spam or inappropriate content. This can result in Instagram limiting or outright preventing users from using those hashtags or searching them. Some hashtags might be broken and no longer work to help your post reach others. If you are using one of these hashtags, it can cause your other hashtags not to rank well.

Using Software that Instagram Doesn’t Approve Of

The software you’re using to post onto social media may be the cause of shadowban. If you are using a growth follower type of software, Instagram will see it as bot activity and lead to them shadowbanning you as a result. Another type of software that Instagram might shadowban for using is post schedulers. Using the wrong kind of scheduler for your Instagram posts can also lead to your profile being shadowban.

Prevent Your Business Profile From Being Shadowban Using These Tips

Many causes can lead you to be shadowban on Instagram. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent that from happening. Here are some tips that you can follow to try and avoid being a shadowban. 

Avoid Using Broken or Abused Hashtags

One of the more obvious ways to avoid being shadowban is simply not using any hashtags that Instagram thinks are broken and abused. Using any of those hashtags can lead to your post not showing up on anybody’s searches or explore feed. 

Avoid Posting Spammy Content

Posting content that is deemed spammy to people can lead to them reporting your post or profile. This can lead to Instagram investigating the post or profile that was reported and shadowbanning them. Make sure the content you post is different and unique from previous posts. 

Don’t Engage in Bot Like Activity

Following many profiles in a short period of time or leaving many comments in that same amount of time can lead to your profile being shadowban. Instagram will think this is bot activity and can lead to them potentially shadowbanning your profile.

Stop Using Non-Approved Schedulers or Bots

Using a scheduler or bot that Instagram thinks violates their terms of service can lead to a shadowban. Simply not using them is more than enough to ensure that it doesn’t happen to your profile.


Instagram’s shadowbanning is a bit of a tricky thing to navigate. You might not even know your profile has been shadowban until you see your engagement rate drop or that you can’t find your posts through hashtags. Like anything, though, there are ways to avoid the dreaded shadowban. Avoiding any of those causes can help you focus on growing your social media following worry-free!

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