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How to Do an Instagram Shadowban Check

hearts on a string

Instagram Shadowban Check

Be careful of #ValentinesDay….

No, I’m not one of those anti-Valentiner’s. (Although, I’m also not one of those mushy romantic types either. My love language is money for a new pair of Lululemons.)

The reason why I’m warning you about Valentine’s Day is because you might not be aware that it is a banned hashtag on Instagram. 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of common words Instagram has banned for hashtag use.

If you Google it, there tons of blogs about the subject like this one. But be wary. Instagram is constantly updating. Use the info out there as a guide, but be sure to always double-check your hashtags.

Some of the current hashtags that are shadowbanned (that seem like common, harmless words) are:

  • #todayimwearing
  • #easter
  • #treasurethesemoments
  • #snapchat
  • #singlelife

Why do harmless words become banned hashtags? The simple answer is that people start posting inappropriate content under these hashtags. Instagram then flags these tags as spam.

Luckily, banned hashtags are typically ones that have been used many times (when you are searching for a hashtag look for the number next to it). Using hashtags that have been used a lot isn’t best practice, especially if you are a smaller account. Hashtags that have been used less than 100k times will allow people who are searching by hashtags to find you easier. 

The way you can find out if your about to use a shadowbanned hashtag is:

  • Go to explore/search bar
  • Search hashtag
  • Go to recent posts (Note: You have to do this search on your phone and not on desktop)
  • If you see a warning message with no posts, you have a banned hashtag

shadowban warning message

To make it even harder, sometimes a hashtag that is banned today might not be on the banned list tomorrow—and vice versa. For example, the blog post I mentioned earlier said “woman” was banned, but when I checked today I do not see it as banned.

This is why researching your hashtags is so important! When I help clients with creating hashtag sets I go in and look at each hashtag under recents.  I then check them often to make sure one that was good has not since become banned.

Note: If you search a hashtag and you see no results, you know that it’s no good!

Also, if you are looking for hashtags you can use this Valentine’s Day, here is a niche list that I have already checked for you. Just copy & paste! 


P.S. See the image I used above? The hearts were red before I changed it. Check out my Instagram post below where I also changed the colors to match my branding using the Afterlight2 app.

To do this,

  • Use the Afterlight2 app and load a new picture
  • Tap on Selective Hue.
  • Move around the sliders to manipulate the colors. That’s it!

Be sure to follow me on the ‘Gram! I’m always finding new tips and tricks to help you with your online marketing and copywriting! 


2 Responses

    1. Great advice! I have used this site before. It has been a while, but I found some on this site that said it was banned and was not, and vice-versa.

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