The buzzword getting around the Instagram community is the dreaded shadowban. Is it a real thing? Well I’ve done the research and it’s not a straight answer. Basically the term shadowban refers to how users hashtags are discovered by others on instagram. Hashtags are used to search for posts on instagram. If you enter #createtoengage into the search bar on Instagram, you are likely to find posts from my business, mi graphics. It will also show any other content that shares the same hashtag.
Users that claim to have been shadow banned are finding their posts only show up on their followers searchers – not everybody. This can be detrimental when trying to create a bigger reach or grow your brand. It would be like posting on your Facebook business page and the only people that can see the post are friends. Not friends of friends or public. So you can see the growing concern amongst businesses that rely on Instagram as a viable social media platform.
Of course instagram denies ‘shadow ban’ is a thing. Instead replies with:
So is it real? Instagram isn’t denying there is a glitch. I’ll let you decide if you think its on purpose. I do believe Instagram has a point. Hashtags are so overused. It’s like someone wrote an article saying you must have hashtags and everyone’s gone crazy hashtaging (not sure if that’s a word yet – but it will be) the crap out of everything. Even to the point some posts are just hashtags.
Instagram’s response points out users should rely on good creative content. This message seemed to get lost a few years ago when some marketing guru wrote a paper on how many times you should post on instagram and what hashtags to use. Now, some companies post multiple times a day with the same boring content. Also if you are using the hashtags that Instagram is paying attention too, you probably shouldn’t be posting at all. For example, using #hornyyyyyyasf is not the best idea and should be something sent privately to your…well whatever.
So I’m sorry conspiracy theorists, I’m siding with Instagram on this one. They built a great platform and they want to keep it that way. Oh they also have paid advertising and I’m curious if they ‘shadowban’ any paid content? Food for thought.