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Get out of the shadows: the whole truth about the shadow bath on Instagram

Reach has dropped. Posts are not shown to subscribers. Probably every owner of a business account on Instagram has come across such a phenomenon at least once on his page. The first reaction is panic. What to do? Grabbing your head, sprinkling ashes on your head, redoing your content plan, investing in a target …

Not! They stopped, exhaled, calmed down. If you see a drop in coverage and activities in your profile, the first thing to do is to make sure that you do not fall into a shadow ban.

What is a shadow ban and does it really exist?
In the common people, a shadow ban is a drop in the reach and impressions of your posts, which can be observed by analyzing the statistics. There is no official confirmation of the existence of such a ban, but, as practice shows, there is still a shadow ban on Instagram.

One photographer was the first to put forward the theory of the shadow bath. He posted his post under certain hashtags and noticed that his post does not appear in the search under these tags. He wondered why it happened? He put forward a theory: when Instagram switched from a chronological feed to an algorithmic one, this also affected the work of hashtags. That is, before, users saw records by the time they were published. But, as it turned out, there are drawbacks in such a feed: the user could have missed very necessary and important information, it was simply lost among the rest of the posts. Therefore, the social network switched to a smart feed, which began to show posts based on the preferences of each specific user.

And here there was a misunderstanding. Social network users felt that if posts of a certain profile stopped showing to a particular person, it means that this profile fell into a shadow ban. Of course it is not. The only thing is that for this person the posts of this profile have become uninteresting, he does not interact with them, and the smart feed excludes them from being shown.

The shadow ban works differently. It reduces reach and views for all subscribers, regardless of their interests and preferences. The mechanism is simple: for each individual post a coefficient is introduced, which is called the “level of trust”. It is manually controlled by those who have access to the administrative part of the social network. So, for example, if your account is disagreeable to the administrator, then the lowest coefficient is assigned to you. Thus, publications will be less likely to catch the eye of subscribers.

How to understand that you are under the shadow ban?
Unfortunately, there are no notifications that sanctions have been imposed on you, the social network system does not warn about this.

The very concept of a shadow ban is relevant only for business accounts (instructions on how to transfer a profile from personal to business are here). Next, go to statistics and see:

General coverage

Did they fall or did everything remain the same? You will immediately see a sharp decline.

By the way, reach is the total number of users who viewed your post, story, or account itself. You can find more information on coverage and how to raise it here.

Hashtag reach

Hashtags are tags that relate your post to a specific topic. We need them to increase the reach of the post and attract a new audience. More detailed information on hashtags is described in the article. If you get into the shadow ban, your hashtag coverage will sharply decrease or disappear altogether.

Subscriber growth

He walks at the same level as before, or he fell.

For example, real screenshots from the profile statistics before the shadow ban and after its imposition:

Statistics before the shadow ban

screenshot of statistics before shadow ban
Statistics after shadow ban

screenshot of statistics after shadow ban

As we can see from the screenshots, reach and impressions have dropped dramatically. There are almost no transitions by hashtags, from here we conclude that the account fell under the shadow ban.

If this sanction did affect you, then you have violated the rules of Instagram.

Naturally, you strongly disagree with this and think that you have been punished unfairly. But, if you sit and recall your recent actions, perhaps you will still find an explanation for this.

Why you can get under the shadow ban
You can collect a whole list of different techniques and tools, the use of which may well end in a shadow ban. So, what is not recommended to do:

Take part in your favorite Giveaways

Giveaway or just giveaway were at their peak of popularity a couple of years ago, today their effectiveness as a promotion method is questionable. The problem is that when the give is over, a massive unsubscribe from your account starts. Instagram perceives it this way: “Your page is not interesting to anyone, you do not give any benefit, so we will not show you to anyone.”

Use the services of cheating mass following and massliking

Most of the readers probably already know the essence of these techniques, but let’s get it clear. Mass following is a mass subscription to a target audience in order to receive a return subscription. Massliking is a mass setting of likes to accounts in order to attract attention.

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