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Visibility and exposure on social media are a lifeline for many businesses as audience engagement drives sales, brand awareness and marketing reach in the modern market.
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are prime places for companies to gain potential customers through profile follows and post ‘likes.’
The practice refers to when Instagram blocks users from viewing content produced by an account that uses banned hashtags, or the exact same hashtags, repeatedly. Shadow banning limits what users can view from Instagram feeds, as well as in searches.
A social media controversy
The “shadow ban” is a controversial subject for many in the social media sphere. Instagram claims that the “shadow ban” does not, in fact, exist. However, many users and media outlets tell a different story.
According to Hubspot, Instagram released a statement addressing user complaints on its Instagram for Business Facebook account on February 28, 2017. Instagram admitted to experiencing a “hashtag glitch,” as well as to altering algorithms to encourage higher quality content. Some experts, such as Jenn Herman, remain skeptical of whether Instagram performs covert content silencing.
A “shadow ban” allegedly keeps an account’s content from being visible to the wider Instagram community, while still allowing existing followers to view its content. Violating Instagram’s policies and standards, whether stated and unstated, can significantly reduce engagement.
A steep drop in engagement metrics, such