You are action blocked! It's one of the most dreaded messages you can receive in today's world of Instagram.Your message might look similar to this:
Based on previous use of this feature, your account has been temporarily blocked from taking this action. This block will expire on .... We restrict certain content and actions to protect our community. Tell us if you think we made a mistake.
So Instagram action blocked your account. Now what? There are multiple things you can do to try to fix the issue. I have been blocked on The Next Trip Instagram account for 10 days now (and it's still ongoing). I finally called Facebook Support and learned exactly what to do to resolve the issue! Read on to learn about the block and what you can do to fix it!
What Is An Instagram Action Block
We all know that Instagram has an algorithm running the platform. The algorithm decides which picture to show on your feed or explore page based on your likes and dislikes. The algorithm also decides if your photo is "good" enough to show to your followers and if your account is "interesting" enough to show to other people. The purpose of the algorithm is also to reduce or eliminate robots on Instagram. Yes, there are a lot of robots out there to like photos, comment on photos, answer Instagram story polls, etc. and all serve to grow an audience faster with less work.
In order to determine whether an account is using a robot, Instagram has rules on how many photos you can like in a certain amount of time, how many people you can follow, and how many comments you can write without being deemed "suspicious." If you are action blocked by Instagram, you likely used a feature too often in a set time frame and exceeded the unwritten limits of Instagram activity.
An action block can be temporary and not have a date when it is lifted or it may come with an expiration date. Action Blocks come in increments of a few hours, 24 hours, a few days, a full week, or even up to two weeks! In my experience, the length of the block highly depends on the amount of blocks you have had in the past and on the age of your account. New accounts that show robot-like activity from the very beginning are more likely to experience longer blocks.
Types of Instagram Action Blocks
There are multiple types of action blocks and the error message Instagram provides, doesn't usually specify which type of block you are experiencing. However, it is easy to find out what type of block you have as you won't be able to use those features.
Instagram can action block the following features: likes, comments, follows, DMs, and posting. I am currently experiencing an engagement block which includes liking, commenting, following, and posting.
Why Are You Action Blocked? The Most Well-Known Unwritten Instagram Rules / Limits
I have not been able to find any documents issued by Instagram or Facebook which define these Instagram activity rules. However, based on my own experience and based on experience of other influencers I know, I'm sharing the most common and well-known unwritten rules or limits of Instagram engagement.
- Like between 100-350 photos per hour, but no more. This number highly depends on the age of your account. The older your account, the more you can like.
- Comment no more than 60 comments per hour. Again, this number depends on the age of your account.
- Do not use the same comments over and over again, including emojis.
- Follow no more than 100 accounts per hour if you are an older account. Follow no more than 20 accounts per hour if your account is relatively new. In total, you cannot follow more than 7,500 accounts.
- Do not copy and paste the same direct message more than 10 times. In my own experience, I found that I was blocked if I sent more than 10 identical DMs in a short time.
There are also daily like, comment, and follow limits which if exceeded will create an action block. This is likely what has happened to my account as I attempted to like one photo after 2 hours of inactivity.
- You can like 1,000 posts per day. This is a general idea how many likes you can give out and the number might be less if your account is new and smaller.
- Daily comment limits vary depending on who you ask. To be safe, try to stay below 200 comments per day. Instagram flags duplicate comments as spam activity so try to avoid those.
- You can follow between 500 - 1,000 accounts per day, depending on your account age. Younger (and likely smaller) accounts can follow less people.
Past Instagram Action Blocks
Is this the first time you are action blocked? You're in luck! The first action block usually does not contain an expiration date and is relatively short. I left the app alone for 4 hours and when I went back on and liked a photo, the action block seemed gone.
If Instagram blocks you more often, it will flag your account as spam or containing "robot" activity. This means that your action blocks are likely to last longer and take longer to fix.
First Signs Of An Action Block
Instagram warns you that it might action block your account if you're not careful with your actions. It's a very subtle warning and you will only be able to notice it if you are liking photos manually (I assume you are not using any robot activity on your account).
If you like a photo and Instagram instantly removes your like, i.e. the heart turns red and instantly turns white again, and you have a stable internet connection, this is a sign that you might get action blocked shortly. You are close to exceeding your limits and should take a break liking and commenting for a few hours.
How To Fix An Instagram Action Block?
Now this is what you have all been waiting for! How can you actually fix your action block? How can you unblock your Instagram account?
There are several ways to fix your action block. The fix highly depends on how "severe" your block is, your account age, and how many blocks your account has had in the past.
How to Fix Minor Instagram Action Blocks
- Report the issue immediately by hitting "Tell Us" on the action block. You can also go to "Settings", "Help", "Report a Problem" on the app. Don't expect to hear back from Instagram but it can help showing the app that you are not a robot.
- Leave your account alone for a few hours. Instagram unblocked me once after I left my account alone for 4 hours. I would recommend to leave it alone for 4-24 hours.
- Sign out of Instagram and sign in again
- Uninstall the app and install it again.
- Try to get off the wifi connection and use mobile data instead. Instagram possibly blocked your IP address and you can still use your account on mobile data.
- Try to log in with a different device on mobile data. Similar to the previous point, Instagram may have blocked your device and you can still use your account on a different device.
- Uninstall or disconnect any third party apps. Instagram is trying to restrict the usage of third party apps. These could be follow/unfollow apps, or simply apps to monitor who unfollowed you, etc.
- STOP USING A BOT! Needless to say, bots completely defy the purpose of the app. Instagram is a social media app and it is all about being social and forming connections. If you use robots to engage with other accounts, you won't create any real connections which will hurt your account in the long run. I highly recommend not using one, regardless of whether you're blocked or not. You are missing out if you're using one. And yes, I can tell if any of my comments are robot comments.
How To Fix Severe Instagram Blocks
Have you tried all of the above and nothing works? I'm so sorry to hear that! Trust me when I say I know what it feels like! All your hard work could disappear, you're already losing followers, your engagement might tank, etc. This is exactly what is happening to me right now. Instagram has action blocked me since December 10, 2019!!! It has been 11 days and there is no end in sight!
I decided to reach out to Facebook support (Facebook owns Instagram) to see if they can fix my problem. Facebook Support offered to give me a call and talk to me about how my block came about and how I can fix it.
The resolution they gave me on the phone is to leave my account alone for "a few days." But what does a few days mean exactly? And how can you get back to your regular Instagram activity after a long block?
I asked exactly these questions on my call with Facebook Support. You can get the recording of the entire phone conversation by signing up to my newsletter below. You will receive a video in which I share the recorded phone conversation with Facebook Support, my story of how I have been action blocked since December 10, 2019, all my action blocked messages, and how to fix the issue!
Sign up HERE to get the full Facebook Support conversation and their recommendation on how to fix an Instagram Action Block!
Instagram Block Update
I have officially been unblocked since January 1, 2020. I was blocked for almost 20 days! This is extremely long in the Instagram world. It doesn't have to be this long for you though. Here is what I learnt during my block: if you experience a severe block like I did and none of the above methods fix it, leave your account alone for 5-7 days! It sounds harsh but it could have spared me 10 days of blockage. Instead of seeing if I was unblocked after every expiration, I should have left my account alone for 7 days sooner. I tried taking a 3 day break first before doing a 7 day break and wished that I didn't waste those 3 days.
My best tip is to leave your account, maybe even de-install the app to not be tempted and enjoy your social detox. Make sure you reach out to any collaboration partners and let them now you are blocked. You can also send them your planned posts and let them know you will post as soon as you're unblocked. Most importantly, don't let it stress you out too much! This is easier said than done, but it's not the end of the world. I promise! After being unblocked, I managed to grow my account again and my engagement slowly went back to "normal" levels.
If you have any further questions about Instagram Action Blocks, the Instagram algorithm, or anything else Instagram related, feel free to reach out to me via DM or via email. While Instagram is the platform I am most active on, the heart and soul of The Next Trip is this blog, the travel tips we share and the places we introduce you to.
Is your Instagram account action blocked? Have any of these resolutions helped you in the past? Share your experience in the comments!
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