Pinterest Lens 101
April 6, 2017
How To Find Your Target Market
July 1, 2017

Instagram Shadow Ban


Shadow banning on Instagram is now a ‘thing’. A pretty big thing, in fact. Now, shadow banning is not something which is going to matter all that much to the casual user of Instagram. If you are just sharing selfies with your friends and family, then it is likely that you do not care too much about whether others can see your posts or not. However, if you are a business that is looking to establish a presence on social media, then listen up!

If you are a business that is looking to establish a presence on social media, then listen up! Click To Tweet

What is a Shadow ban?

With a shadow ban, only your current followers will be able to see the posts that you upload. This is great and all, but you always want to have a steady stream of new followers coming in. This is how you expand your business and make more money. When you are shadow banned, the posts that you make will not appear on the ‘tag’ pages. For example, if you tagged an image #cutedog, the image would appear under your account under #cutedog, but if you log out and check with another account you will notice that your image does not actually appear on the #cutedog page. This means that people will not be able to discover you. Hashtags are an essential part of Instagram. That says the ban can really hurt a marketing campaign.

Nobody knows the exact criteria Instagram are using to shadow ban users on their network. However, based on our knowledge we believe it could be a result of one or more of the following: 

  • If you are using bots
  • If you are buying followers for your account (yes, they know!)
  • If you constantly use the same hashtags
  • If you are using hashtags which are banned or hashtags which are related to NSFW content

How can you remove your shadow ban?

Well, this is going to be quite a long winded process. There is no guarantee that it will work, either. These are our best suggestions on where to start:

  • You can start by removing all forms of automation from your account. If you are using a bot to leave comments or to find tags, get rid of it. It is doing you more harm than good.
  • Go through all the hashtags on your posts and refine your list. Remove any questionable hashtags and create multiple variations of your future hashtag lists.
  • Once you have done this, take a break from posting on Instagram. 48 hours should be sufficient. In fact, do not even log in to your account. When that time is up, go back to Instagram, upload a post and you should find that your (hopefully) posts appear again.
  • Make sure you abide by the community guidelines on Instagram in the future! Organic engagement is always better than automated. 

Want a list of all banned Instagram hashtags?


  1. Kara says:

    Great post and quick respond. Looks like I really am shadow banned ;(

    I’ll be taking these steps to hopefully redeem myself to Instagram!

  2. zackerizeMt says:

    I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thx again

  3. This is great. I don’t have an IG account but I’ll be sharing this. Thanks for the enlightenment and the free test 🙂

  4. Hemanth says:

    Great post, and good information, need to check my istagram

  5. Vladimir says:

    Honestly, if you’re doing the something like using bots or buying followers, maybe you should be banned. At least you get a chance to make that right again.

  6. Niki says:

    You got me worried momentarily! Thank God I’m safe! 😀

  7. I keep hearing about this. Hopefully it doesn’t happen to me.

  8. Ravi says:

    This is a must know information indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Nichole says:

    OH NO! I’ve never heard of this and I’ve been using similar tags on a lot of my posts. Thank you for the article.

  10. I had no idea shadow bans even existed! I need to check this out!

  11. Great post, I am new to instagram so I found your post very useful.

  12. Erin says:

    Holy moly, I had no idea!! That’s crazy that they can do that.

  13. Hadiqa Tay says:

    Wow! This is something new to me. Good read!

  14. Yeah I’m an Instagram user and this is definitely helpful. I think you’ll end up with a lot of traffic on this!

  15. James says:

    I use lots of the same tags, but I better start mixing it up. Thanks.

    • newreachdigital says:

      You should, James. There’s a new application that allows you to A/B test your hashtags, I am sure that would be a great tool for mixing things up!

  16. I never knew about this – thanks for sharing

    • newreachdigital says:

      Absolutely! Noticed you are in the UK, a lot of Instagram algorithms first roll out in the US, so keep an eye out for this in the upcoming months.

  17. Marissa says:

    This Instagram thing is so frustrating! I hate seeing the drop in engagement.

  18. Ashes says:

    very nice post

  19. Instagram has been difficult lately. This is some good insight. Thanks

    • newreachdigital says:

      It definitely has knocked down some folks lately! Take a break and go back in a week. You will have a new perspective once everything is running smoothly again.

  20. Ola says:

    I had no idea such a thing existed. But I do agree that if someone is using a bot, or purchasing subscribers that this is a bit of false representation, and should be limited.

    • newreachdigital says:

      Totally! Social media is all about engagement. Understandably, it gets hard to manage every piece of your business, but that is why companies like ours exist!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.