Instagram Might Be “Shadow Banning” Some Users
Basically, there’s a theory going around among ‘grammers that Instagram has changed its algorithm — which wouldn’t even be crazy, because they’ve done it in the past.
Believers in this theory assume Instagram is making it more difficult for people to “hack” their way to Insta-fame. They believe Instagram hopes people will pay for promotion on their posts instead, much like the Facebook model.
This is totally plausible, since Facebook now owns Instagram and they’ve been slowly adopting features from each other for the past few months.
The whole ease of the pods was that you could directly send your post to your pod group message and rake in likes from fellow pod members. But now people are worried Instagram is flagging people who send their photos repeatedly in DMs. Instead, pod members are now trying new ways, like posting screen shots of their latest post, or simply messaging the group and telling them, “I just posted.”
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Another possible way Instagram is halting the Insta-famous dreams of bloggers everywhere is by “shadow-banning” hashtags.
WTF does that mean? Well, lots of bloggers have a certain set of hashtags they use on their posts so they can copy and paste instead of writing them out each and every time. Hashtags might look thirsty, but there’s no doubt they work. Plus, if you put them in the comments instead of the caption, nobody really sees them once you get other comments.
The only problem is, shadow banning allegedly blocks your photo from being viewed under a searched hashtag if you’ve routinely used that hashtag before, therefore limiting your post’s reach to your followers and nobody else.
So basically, your choice is to come up with new hashtags each time you post (and who has the time?), or use your old hashtags that might not work anymore. Bummer.
But the thing is, neither of these rumors has been proven. So, it could be that they’ve really done nothing and people are just getting low engagement cuz their posts aren’t as good. Or, Instagram could’ve done something totally different that nobody’s caught onto yet.
Either way, it’s not good for any wannabe influencer, and it’s leaving bloggers quaking in their boots.
Best of luck, little bb’s, it’s a hard world out there!