Recently quite a lot of Instagram profiles have been dealing with decreasing numbers of likes and comments (total engagement) under their posts. As many people are not aware what is really going on in this case, we are here to explain that.

A few months ago there was a new Instagram algorithm introduced (and it’s still changing from time to time), which seems to have an impact mainly on business accounts or accounts looking as such. But that’s not all.

What are we talking about here?


Instagram is now trying to get rid of spam, bots, and fake accounts. It’s also punishing for breaking its rules and regulations.

What does this policy mean for users and what are its effects?

Shadowbanning means that your hashtags may not be working and as a result, your posts will not be visible to new people in the hashtag feed. One reason is that some hashtags no longer exist, as Instagram is blocking them (temporarily or permanently) because they present inappropriate content, are spammy or are marked as abusive.

And most importantly, this is all happening without people knowing about it (meaning you’ll not be notified that your account has been shadowbanned).

The drop in comments and likes might have happened due to several reasons, such as:

  • Using blocked hashtags,
  • Using too many hashtags,
  • Using the same exact hashtags all the time (copy-paste under each post),
  • Using bots,
  • Buying followers.

Last but not least, accounts which are shadowbanned will not be visible in the hashtag feed if a person is not following the account already. It means that you’ll see your own posts and people who already follow you will see them as well but no one else will.

What can you do now?

  1. Avoid repeating all the points mentioned above
  2. Quit your account for a few days – for most users shadowbanning lasts for around 2-3 days and after that everything returns to the level of activity they’ve had before
  3. If you run a business account, switch to your personal account for a while
  4. Try publishing posts less often
  5. Create your own unique hashtag – which will be relevant to the content you post. It may not be very popular but you will ensure not being shadowbanned.

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Read more:

  1. How do I create my own hashtag on Instagram?
  2. Who will see my posts on Instagram?
  3. What is the Instagram Algorithm?