Shadow-banned by Instagram?! And how did I cope with it

Due to some personal reasons, I changed my Instagram account from business to private for around two weeks during the new year and I have noticed interesting changes happened on my traffic. The negative impact on my page has lasted for more than a month and it has just resumed to normal these days. The most interesting part is about being shadow-banned by Instagram:

This is a very unique but interesting experience as you will notice that no matter what location you add or what hashtag you use, your post will be hided in the public field and can only be seen by your followers. There are no explicit rules or explanations provided by Instagram about this situation so many people are just guessing why this would happen; but for business accounts who are actively maximising their exposure, you are very likely to experience the same situation like I did and it is very important to figure out the shadowbanning at the beginning.

Basically there are some tips for you to do a self detection:

  1. Check your traffic data

One of the biggest benefits of switching to a business account is that you can track the traffic of your EVERY SINGLE post so it would be easy for you to notice what is going on. Normally you will see a bar showing how many people have seen your post via the hashtags you used, like this:

Generally speaking, if you have used at least 5 hashtags, there is very unlikely that you will receive zero views in the hashtags category. So if you notice that you have used a bunch of hashtags while there is no figure shown on your data insight, you are very likely shadow banned by Instagram.

2. Check through the location/ a single hashtag

Post something with a random/not that popular location tag (Can be your home or sth) and check on the “recent” post right after you posted it. If your post doesn’t appear at the “recent” column, congrats you have been shadow banned again.


How to cope with this?

I have checked through different articles talking about this situation online and no one can clearly explain what this algorithm is like, but there is one thing clear that Instagram are putting more constrains on business accounts in order to boost their advertising revenue: imagine if hashtags doesn’t work on you, then you have to promote your posts to be seen. Fortunately, the shadowban is just temporary and if you are unluckily one of the victims, here are some tips for you to get rid of it:

1. I know it’s hard… but STOP posting anything first

One of the main reasons of getting shadowbanned from people’s guessing is that you post a lot everyday and use a bunch of hashtags that made Instagram feel that you are spamming the community (I don’t really get the logic behind it tho), so try to stop posting anything for at least 3 to 4 days. And even if you really have to post, try to avoid using any hashtags.

2. Control the amount of hashtag you use, and avoid the banned hashtags

Another interesting thing is that even though Instagram hasn’t explicitly restrict or set the rule, there are an optimal hashtag number range. So it doesn’t always mean that the more hashtags you use the more audience you will reach. Also, there are a list of “banned” hashtags for no reasons, you can google it and see the updated “banned” hashtags list and sometimes you will see Instagram just ban some random & neutral terms for no reason. So, no matter you are shadowbanned or not, I always recommend to control the number of hashtags in 20 and avoid those banned ones.


It’s my first time writing an article about Instagram’s algorithm and with no photos lol, I know it would be boring but I always feel that it’s necessary to let more people know about the hidden rules behind Instagram since I know how important social media can be for small business and content creators today 😉 Yes we can consider Instagram’s promoting function but hashtags are still an important way for us to get organic growth.(@Fashionmimo)





  1. February 25, 2019 / 2:07 pm

    Thank you for the post, I have felt the same way about Instagram and totally have felt better stay away from it. Thank you for the tips.

    • mikaelahuang
      February 26, 2019 / 2:19 am

      Yeah I know it’s frustrating to be constrained by Instagram for no specific reasons! Hope your account is getting better xx

  2. March 2, 2019 / 2:09 pm

    Very nice photos. Different looks all the time. Keep up the good work

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