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The inner workings of Instagram are changing all the time. It can be difficult to keep up with everything. Sometimes these changes leave you wondering, “why am I suddenly getting less likes on Instagram?” Given that likes are one of the ways that Instagram assigns value to an account, you want to get as many as possible.

📉 To track your likes, use our free Instagram analytics app.

Here are some reasons why you could suddenly be getting less likes on Instagram: #

1. Bots are Being Shut Down

Instagram has a policy of being harsh on automated tools, such as automated bots that like and follow people. The app also has a strained history with automatic posting tools. These Instagram tools are a significant source of likes and comments for people across the platform, so one of the first things to consider if you aren’t getting as many likes is that a bot was shut down.

Bots also post comments regularly, and they’re fairly generic ones like “cool” or “nice photo.” The problem is that these bots are spam and aren’t genuine accounts. The likes and comments you get aren’t real. Instagram is taking action to prevent spam on its platform.

The downside of all this is that you aren’t’ getting as many likes as the bots automatically liked your posts – whether you wanted them to or not. With fewer bots, you’re going to get fewer likes. Don’t be alarmed if there’s a sudden decline in engagement. It could mean that you have to readjust your numbers and find ways to boost organic likes and follows.

2. You May Have Been Shadowbanned

There’s been a lot of backlash against Instagram recently for their approach to shadowbanning users. Anyone can be hit with a shadowban at any time without any notice. It’s a tricky problem to have to deal with. There’s only one sign that you’ve been shadowbanned – a drop in engagement. If you have a shadowban then, basically, new people can’t see your posts. No matter what you do, fewer people are going to find them – which means that you aren’t going to get as many likes as usual. Watch out for this.

3. Your Hashtags Aren't Working

Instagram shadowbans appear to be related to the hashtags people use. Some hashtags are entirely blocked or banned, and using them results in a shadowban. Some of these hashtags are banned temporarily while others are banned permanently. Simple and stupid things like “TGIF” and “BeautyBlogger” are blocked on the platform, meaning that people can’t find your post using those tags.

Another problem with hashtags is that you could be using over-used tags. We’re talking hashtags that get millions of posts. Overused ones also tend to be banned, but even if they aren’t, it’s almost impossible to stand out in that swarm. Take some time to come up with unique Instagram hashtags for your posts and stand out from the crowd.

4. The Instagram Algorithm Changed

The Instagram feed is no longer chronological like it used to be. That means followers won’t instantly see your new posts when you make them. Your followers won’t like your posts right away because they won’t see them. The Instagram algorithm is a little weird now, in that the more a person interacts with an account, the more that account appears in their home feed.

Instagram takes note of when users like and engage with an account and let people see those accounts the most. The key takeaway from all of this is that engagement is key with the modern Instagram algorithm. The more you and your followers interact with each other, the more likely it is that you’ll show up at the top of their feed. Is there an account you are particularly interested in? Turn on notifications for that account. You need to think about other people if you want them to think about you, after all.

5. The Algorithm Change was Bigger than Expected

Another change to the Instagram algorithm means that sometimes people can find posts that are several days old appear in their feeds. It’s no wonder that people aren’t liking your posts as they used to if they don’t see it for two days. The good thing is this means your posts have a longer shelf life than they used to. The bad thing is that not as many people, in particular followers, are going to see your posts when you first make them.

We recommend that you put together a robust hashtag strategy. The hashtags you use are how people will find your posts and account. If your posts aren’t noticed for a day later, you can at least work to attract as many people as possible when you make posts.

6. Your Consistency has Dropped

Consistency is vital for Instagram success. You might notice that you don’t get as many likes if you go a few days without posting. The longer you take away from Instagram, the longer it takes to get back to “normal” levels with your account. You should be posting on a consistent basis as much as possible. The easiest way to maintain consistency is to take a few hours at the start of the week to schedule your posts in advance. Everything is handled automatically after that, meaning you don’t have to worry about consistent posting at all.

Final Thoughts

There are several reasons why you aren’t getting as many likes on Instagram as you used to. It could be something out of your control, such as bots being banned. It could be something you have influence over, too, however, like using the wrong hashtags or posting at an inconstant rate. Take some time to think over how you handle your account and if there is anything you can do to run it better. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts if you need a helping hand managing your Instagram account and getting as many likes as possible.