How to Avoid Blocking on Instagram

How to Avoid Blocking on Instagram

Over 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day and more than 90 percent of users follow one or more businesses on the platform. From its beginnings as a place to share photos with family and friends, Instagram has become a key promotional tool for marketers, creators, and businesses of all kinds. But Instagram can block, ban, or blacklist any account without warning for a variety of reasons, which can disrupt the carefully cultivated relationship between a brand and its customers. Although Instagram’s proprietary algorithms remain a mystery, businesses ranging from new startups to established enterprises can avoid blocking on Instagram with residential Internet protocol (IP) proxies from a reliable, reputable provider.

How Does Instagram Blocking Work?

Instagram reserves the right to block or suspend any account on the platform. Accounts on Instagram can be blocked temporarily, with access restored after a “time out” of hours, days, or weeks, a process called “action blocking.” Or, they can be permanently banned from the site, with the user’s IP address placed on a blacklist for good.

Reasons for blocking or banning an Instagram account include clear violations of the site’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines, such as posting inappropriate or offensive content, or racking up complaints from other users. But for marketing and business purposes, blocking and/or banning is typically triggered by suspicious account activity:

Mass following and liking. On Instagram, the key to success is being authentic and interacting in a realistic way with other users. To protect that kind of relationship, Instagram’s algorithms are highly sensitive to anything suggesting spamming or bots. Red flags go up if a relatively new account posts more than 30 likes, follow/unfollow actions, or comments in an hour, or an established account posts more than 60. The total number of allowed actions on any one account is 1,440 per day.

Excessive content publishing. Brands and businesses hoping to build a following on Instagram might be tempted to post a stream of new content in a short time, but to Instagram, that can indicate the account is using automation or bots for spamming. Similarly, posting the same content from multiple accounts will also trigger Instagram’s bot detectors.

Multiple logins from different IP addresses. Instagram allows up to four accounts from the same IP address. But if the site detects that an account is being accessed from many IP addresses, that can suggest spamming activity, which triggers a temporary block or a long-term, even permanent ban.

Sharing account logins with third-party platforms. Many social media users turn to third-party platforms to automate their account activity, but Instagram detects the use of its account information with these platforms. Many reputable social media management services offer options for automating certain activities on Instagram, but third-party platforms that automate things like high-volume likes and follows or frequently posting generic comments can suggest bot activity.

What Happens When an Account is Blocked or Banned?

When Instagram decides an account has behaved inappropriately, it can deliver a variety of punishments. Many of these take the form of “action blocking,” in which an account holder receives a message upon login that the account is temporarily inaccessible for a period of time determined by the platform.

Blocks can last for as little as a few hours, or significantly longer, depending on the nature of the issue and how many times it’s happened. Users have the option to learn more about the reasons for the ban or to appeal it by sending a request to Instagram, but social media experts say the best option in most cases is to simply wait out the block. Once the block is lifted, users can usually log in and continue as usual.

Action blocking temporarily disables access to an account, but it doesn’t remove the account permanently. For multiple repeat offenses and serious issues, such as mass activity that suggests bots or spam, Instagram might permanently ban an account by blacklisting its IP, which blocks all activity from that address. Users can appeal a permanent ban, but Instagram reserves the right to refuse.

For many personal account holders, Instagram’s blocking protocols are little more than an inconvenience, then they’re back in business once the block is lifted. But brands and businesses rely on Instagram traffic to build engagement and sell their products and services, and they can’t afford to risk downtime or an outright ban. Both individual and business users can avoid blocking on Instagram by using proxy IP addresses that cloak a user’s actual IP address behind a proxy address, which can originate half a world away.

How to Avoid Instagram Blocking

Instagram’s algorithms are designed to spot “inauthentic” accounts, so it’s important for users to maintain the appearance of typical personal users, even if they’re using Instagram for commercial purposes. It’s possible to use social media managers to automate a limited set of actions on Instagram such as scheduling posts or generating certain kinds of comments and likes. But social media experts say it’s wise to keep automation to a minimum, interact with comments directly, and observe Instagram’s rules about the number of likes, comments and other actions that are allowed within certain time frames. A proxy IP can also help to reduce the chances of a block or ban – or to recover if one is imposed.

Avoiding Blocks with Proxy IPs

Every device that connects to the Internet has a unique IP address assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP), and that address becomes available to every website visited. That’s how Instagram can associate a user’s account with an IP address. However, a proxy IP conceals that address from Internet view for purposes ranging from a simple wish for privacy to accessing geo-restricted content and scraping the web for advanced intelligence on business competitors. Proxy IPs can also sidestep Instagram’s algorithms, but only if they’re the right kind.

Proxy IP addresses come in two types: residential or database generated. Residential proxies are real IP addresses that are assigned by a legitimate ISP, and they give the appearance of a different, unique user from a variety of locations around the world. Proxy IPs can also be generated by databases, which often sell them in bulk. But these proxies aren’t registered with ISPs, which instantly suggests bot activity to sites like Instagram and raises the probability of blocking.

Residential IP proxies that have legitimate IP addresses can take the place of a user’s actual IP address on Instagram. As long as users avoid the mass activity that’s often driven by automation, they can avoid blocking and bans. If a permanent ban does occur, it’s possible to create an entirely new account under a different proxy IP.

The kind of proxy setup you’re using also matters for evading blocks on Instagram. Proxies can be set up to rotate, so that a different IP is used for each query to the server, or they can be “sticky” – a setup that keeps the same IP for up to 10 minutes. For the purposes of Instagram, this kind of sticky proxy setup is a safer option that allows a proxy user to do a few typical tasks such as post a new image, like a few posts and write a comment or two, without violating activity limits in ways that suggest an account is not legitimate.

Instagram is the sixth-largest search engine in the world, and it’s also a social site with tough restrictions on behavior that violates its standards for authentic user accounts. Residential IP proxies from a quality proxy provider can help users of all kinds to avoid Instagram blocking and reach a worldwide audience searching for goods and services

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