Over the past 6 months Instagram has been clamping down on account holders who are using auto-bots. Account users who use automated applications to follow and like others in order to gain engagement, likes and followers on their Instagram accounts.

Anyone using automated services such as Instagress may have noticed a drop in followers or engagement and wondering why?

It’s more than likely you’ve been shadow banned.

What is shadow banning?

Shadow BannedMost account users don’t even know that they’ve been shadow banned as your account is still active. You’re still posting as usual however your posts are not longer searchable via hashtags. Pretty sneaky of Instagram. As they don’t even notify you of this.

And this has happened to many, many account holders.

There has been a lot of discussion and complaints over the past few months as shadow banning becomes more apparent.

Why was I shadow banned?

There could be a few of reasons. Most likely you’re behaving in a spammy way and not adhering to Instagram’s terms of conditions.

1. Following lots of people and quickly unfollowing them. There is a limit to what actions can be carried out on Instagram per day and unfollowing people too quickly is seen as spamming.

2. You are using an automated service like Instagress to comment, like, follow and unfollow.

3. You could be using a broken or abused hashtag. It’s hard to monitor behaviour across social media and sometimes a hashtag becomes abused with people posting inappropriate content such as nudity, spam or racially insensitive images.

Love it or hate it, it makes sense for Instagram to clamp down on this type of behaviour as social media is about making genuine connections and engagement.

How to check if you’ve been shadow banned

To check to see if you’ve been shadow banned, login to another Instagram account that is NOT following the account you are checking and search on one of the hashtags of your latest post.  If your post is not in most recent posts, then I’m afraid you’ve been shadow banned.

All is not lost though!

Instagram recently lifted bans on many user’s accounts. However in the meantime, if yours hasn’t been lifted or you do get shadow banned, the advice is to be less active on the app and play by Instagram’s rules.  Post less, check your hashtags and ensure they are not broken or abused ones and generally don’t follow or unfollow anyone until it’s lifted. You will need to be patient and this could be within 2 days to 2 weeks.

Instagress closes for business

The social media community has been up in arms about Instagram’s shadow banning, saying its unfair, I didn’t know about, how can I fix it.  Last week Instagram asked one of the largest automation apps, Instagress to close down their service.

For some, Instagress was an easy way of building real followers, however as Instagram looks to monetise their platform further, they will want its users to pay to play, just like its owner, Facebook.

So what does this mean?

You can most likely find another automated service, but chances are if Instagram has shut down Instagress, then they’ll be shutting down the rest.

It’s only a matter of time.

Instagress is asked to close

Implement a strategy

Ensure you have a strategy across your social media channels. Implement a growth strategy, whether this is using popular hashtags, engaging an influencer, running competitions or running advertising across Instagram. It’s time to get social!

Be social

That’s kinda of what its all about isn’t it? Start engaging in real time, following people you want to follow and commenting as a real person. You’re most likely already doing this on Facebook and Twitter, so implementing similar tactics is going to be the way forward on Instagram.

If you have any questions or would like more info about this topic, leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you asap 🙂