According to PetaPixel, Instagram has been accused of “shadowbanning” users and posts starting about a year ago, preventing tagged content from properly appearing in searches for those tags. "After photographers and others complained last year, someone made a tool for checking to see if you’ve been shadowbanned. Now there’s a new and improved one: Triberr’s Instagram Shadowban Test. Triberr, a company that develops a content marketing automation suite, created the tool to provide Instagram users with a more comprehensive look at whether their photos and posts are showing up correctly for other Instagram users," added Michael Zhang for the publication.
“The shadowban applies to individual posts and may occur for various reasons,” Triberr writes. “For example, overuse of a hashtag or a banned hashtag can trigger this occurrence. Therefore, we provide an analysis of your latest 10 posts so that you can easily identify culprits in your posts.” If a hashtag is found to contain the photo, it shows up as green in the results. If a hashtag was not found associated with the photo, it shows up as red and the post failed the test.
What happens is that the shadowban removes the ability of your posts to be seen by anyone but your current followers. Hashtags become next-to-useless because non-followers will not be able to discover your hidden content, even if they search a specific hashtag.
As the easiest way to avoid getting there is following Instagram's posting best practices and focus on creating and sharing non-promotional, authentic content, we also have some others ideas that can help you along the way:
Engage authentically with your community
Show that you are a real person and have a real personality. Engage and act creatively. Like and comment on content you truly enjoy and follow only those accounts that you’re interested in following. Doing it naturally and having a certain rhythm or pattern all the time in your actions will not catch spam filters’ attention.
Avoid being reported
Being reported isn’t an automatic Shadowban. Instagram will check out your profile to make sure your account isn’t violating their Terms of Service and determine from their. If you’re found at-fault Instagram may shadowban you or even fully disable your account.
Stay in the normal limits
According to Social Media Examiner, the limit of accounts you can follow is 7,500 accounts. Once you hit that limit, you will have to unfollow someone to be able to follow someone new. Instagram also has fairly strict limits as to the number of people you can follow within a certain time period, although a few factors impact this number. "Newer accounts have lower limits on the number of accounts they can follow hourly or daily. The size of your account (the number of people following you) may also contribute to the limit you can reach. Again, some people may be allowed to exceed these limits, depending on various account factors including engagement on their own account content. But pushing these limits puts you at risk of exceeding allowances and having your account put on restriction for a minimum of 24 hours," wrote Social Media Examiner.
Moreover, at the same time, there are similar limits to the number of accounts you can unfollow in an hour or day.
Direct message to groups at maximum 15 people
As the new rules say, one can send a direct message to a single user or a group of up to 15 people. Each direct message can contain up to 500 characters. When you reach that cap, no more characters will appear in the text.
Don't use bots and third party apps to help you manage your account
Using a bot to analyze your engagement or to help you with unfollowing inactive accounts may hold a chance for your account to be shadowbanned.
Use different hashtags on your posts
Make sure you change the hashtags you usually use daily. Don’t just copy paste your hash-tags and post them for every picture!
Here you can find a list of blocked hashtags