The word has been going around lately that Instagram has been shadowbanning their users. This means that everything appears normal to you, but when the users who don’t follow you scroll through the same hashtag feed, they won’t see your image at all. This makes it more difficult to gain new followers, which make it harder for new users to reach their audience. In case you suspect that your account has also been shadow banned, now you can check it in a few seconds.
There is now a shadowban checking website, where you can run your shots through the analyzer and see if you’re shadowbanned or not. If you are, you’ll get the notification which hashtags don’t appear in the hashtag feed. And if you’re safe, the program will notify you of that as well.
There are speculations that shadowban is a myth, but you can check it yourself, although it takes some effort. You can find several users who don’t follow you and ask them to check if your image appears in the hashtag feed. If they don’t (even if you do), it means you’ve been shadowbanned.
Instagram has been implementing a variety of new algorithms over the past year, and this shadowban can be a result of a glitch. Another theory is that it’s their subtle attempt to filter out the accounts that aren’t complying with their terms. A few more things can cause Instagram to shadowban you: you’re using software that violates Instagram’s Terms of Service, abusing Instagram’s daily and hourly limits, using a broken or abused hashtag, or someone’s constantly reporting your account.
So, if you suspect your account is shadowbanned, you can run a quick check on this link. If you’d like to find out more about it and see what you can do to prevent it, make sure to check out their references in the bottom of the page.
No matter if it’s a glitch or a deliberate action from Instagram, shadowban can make it difficult for photographers to gain a new audience. After all, there’s no much use of hashtags if only you and those who already follow you will see the photos in the hashtag feed. I keep my account private so I hide my images deliberately, but what about you? Do you think shadowban is the real thing, and could it affect your audience on Instagram?