How To Beat The Instagram ‘Shadowban’

Off-The-Shoulder Top: Buffalo David Bitton

Denim Lace-Up Shorts: ASOS

Embroidered Sneakers: Zara on sale! (Another similar style)

Blue Shoulder Bag: Furla (darker blue version)



Unfortunately the latest Instagram installment has wrecked multiple levels of posting engagement for many of us, myself included, that rely on hashtags to get our content ‘discovered.’ Now Instagram posting has become more of a strategic effort to maintain visibility, while still using enough hashtags to garner likes & ultimately new followers without getting ‘banned’ from being discoverable on Search feeds/pages.

For those of you not familiar or aware of what this so-called ‘Shadowban’ is all about:

This is a result of Instagram’s effort to make the platform less-spammy, encouraging a more focused and specific place to share content as it pertains to the image posted.

Therefore, you’re long list of 30 popular hashtags will most likely cause your post to be ‘un-discoverable” by potential new followers and lowering your engagement in the process.

I totally understand and appreciate Instagram for its efforts to make the platform a more curated space, organized in the nature of relevant content that appears per specific hashtag used. You are more likely to gain new followers that share the same interests as you, rather than random ones completely unrelated to your content (speaking from a blogger/brand standpoint.)

However, the system still has its faults – for starters, some of my posts including ‘very specific’ hashtags (i.e. #LTKStyleTip for are often banned when I pair it with only 2 more generic ones (i.e. #FashionBlogger #Fashion). Overtime, I’m sure this will be resolved (praying) but in the meantime posting has become something that requires a strategy and unfortunately for me, more research and planning in advance with my captions.

Until this issue becomes easier to deal with and engagement is somewhat restored back to normal, here’s how you can beat the Shadowban and ensure your posts to Instagram are ‘visible’ to current & future followers of your account:


Frankly, if it’s not showing up in the gallery of images when you click on one of the hashtags you used – then you’ve probably been shadowbanned.

I like to check both my brand-specific hashtags AND the generic ones, just to see if it shows up for one and not the other. If at least one photo is visible, then you’re okay and probably just farther down in the shuffle of photos that are being posted at the same time as yours – those accounts just might have a higher engagement rate than you to begin with (not confirmed, just my speculation.)

QUICK TIP: You can check each of your posts to see if it has been banned by using the Instagram Shadowban Tester – enter your Instagram handle and the URL to your post and it will tell you whether or not your post has been banned or not.


That old tip to include all 30 hashtags in your post no longer applies, ugh sigh. That’s what a majority of us banked on when getting likes/followers. Now you have to get way more specific to your post when it comes to hashtagging – adding a # before anything that your image represents.

If we were to hashtag my outfit shown above, these are the hashtags I would use: #denimshorts #blue #offtheshoulder #blouse #fashionblogger #nyc #summeroutfit #embroidery #sneakers #streetstyle.

Keep in mind, I would still check to see if all of these combined are still viewable, as we never know these days but at least this is a good start to curating specific content worthy of Instagram’s approval.

Although these are all the suggestions I have to offer so far to combat the current ‘Shadowban’ issue, I promise to keep this post updated with any new tricks or discoveries I come across in my effort to BEAT it!

In the meantime, I hope this helps somewhat!