Does Instagram Shadowban Exist? How to test if you’re Shadowbanned

Is Instagram shadowban a myth or a fact? Before I go ahead explaining the existence of the shadowban, here’s what Instagram shadowban actually means:

Instagram shadowban is Instagram limiting the reach of your posts by banning it from appearing on certain hashtags or the Explore page. This has a direct result on the account that is shadowbanned as their posts reach less people and they get low engagement (likes, followers, comments) on their Instagram profile.

Instagram Shadowban: Myth or Fact?

Instagram has said it explicitly that there’s nothing like an Instagram shadowban. Here’s what TechCrunch had to say about Instagram shadowban after their meeting with the Instagram team:

“Shadowbanning is not a real thing, and Instagram says it doesn’t hide people’s content for posting too many hashtags or taking other actions.”

However, despite Instagram’s denial of Instagram shadowban existence, there are several Instagram users who have witnessed the ban on their posts over and over. There are many complaints by Instagram users on several forums, Twitter, and other social media pages on how shadowban is inhibiting their Instagram growth.


Image via Twitter


Also, recently, Facebook released an “integrity” guideline to be followed by Instagram and Facebook to maintain the content on these sites. Here’s what has to be implemented on Instagram to safeguard the platform from some forms of content:

Going through the statement provided by Facebook, it’s quite evident that the Instagram algorithm has been reducing the reach of the posts on the platform. Their statement is vaguely familiar to the concept of “shadowban” where the posts are not banned altogether but banned from certain hashtags or the Explore page.

Instagram has also previously accepted that their algorithm does has some hashtag issues that can prevent a post from being showed on it.

Taking the experience of all the Instagram users and the measures taken by Instagram to limit post growth, it’s quite evident that Instagram shadowban exist and can’t be outright denied.

How to Test if your Instagram Posts are Shadowbanned?

There are a few simple and easy ways to test if your posts are shadowbanned by Instagram. Here are a few:

1. Use Instagram shadowban test:

Triberr has this simple yet effective tool that can help you learn if your posts are being shadowbanned. Just type in your Instagram handle at Tribeer Instagram shadowban tester, and you will see results like below that can tell you which hashtags are not showing your posts.

2. Check your Instagram analytics:

For every post on Instagram, you can view Insights to see how many people have discovered your posts using hashtags. Analyzing over a few posts from your account can give you a good idea if Instagram is limiting your hashtag reach or not.

3. Click on the hashtags and check:

This is probably the most direct way to check for a certain post if your posts are being shadowbanned on Instagram.

Ask 3-4 people who do not follow you to click on all the hashtags that you have added on a post and check if your post can be seen. If there are certain hashtags where no one can see your post, then it’s a clear indication that you have been shadowbanned by Instagram for those hashtags.

Finally, How to avoid been Shadowbanned:

While there are no definitive rules as to how Instagram algorithm decides to shadowban, but, you can follow some of the basics like:

These should help you in safeguarding your accounts from Instagram shadowban.

I hope all the points we have discussed above have helped you in understanding Instagram shadowban in detail. Learn more about correctly using hashtags on Instagram here.

If you have any further questions or doubts regarding the article, you can share with me in the comments below.


Harshita Agrawal
Harshita Agrawal is the Founder at eSocMedia. She is a social media and influencer marketing specialist who spends most of her time behind the screen. She's also an avid reader and a travel enthusiast.

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