A while ago, '@TonyTheFotographer' posted this thread (http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...stagram-algorithms-low-likes-interaction.html) about Instagram's newly-updated, low-engagement algorithm. There were over 70 replies, with users sharing their two cents on how this is happening and what it could mean -- only one person assumed right: @Alukard13mm confidently stated that Instagram hasn't been displaying his posts on the 'Explore' page, and that could be the direct cause for the drop in engagement. I have a Fashion-niche account with over 230K followers. My engagement in the past month dropped drastically from 7.5K likes on avergae to 5K. My followers went from 1k to about 500 a day. So, I decided to experiment a little and see what the problem was. I created a new account: @JohnDoe, for example. I followed @JaneDoe, who is already following @MyFashion account. @JohnDoe did not follow @MyFashion and is only following one account -- @JaneDoe. I signed in with @JaneDoe and liked about 10 photos from @MyFashion account. I then Signed in with @JohnDoe and clicked on the explore page. I found nothing from @MyFashion (normally, they should appear there 'Based on people you're following'). I refreshed the explore page over 10 times, still nothing. I signed in again with @JaneDoe and liked 5 photos from another @CompetitorFashionAccount. Signed in with @JohnDoe, clicked explore, and three of those five photos were on the explore page. I refreshed five times, and each time, at least three photos from @CompetitorFashionAccount were still there. I experimented with several accounts and got the same results. Either Instagram may have flagged @MyFashion account, or the recent updates with the explore page changes need some bug fixes. I have also tried this method with other accounts on my ISP IP and all of them make it to the explore page, so this isn't a case of flagged IP. It is worth mentioning that I used FL for at least a year on @MyFashion account, and had quit doing so five months ago. I was still receiving over 1k followers per day from posting only three photos a day, and up to 7.5K likes per pic. The past month was tough. I now gain around 500 followers a day from posting up to 6 posts within 24 hours. I am considering emailing [email protected] to ask whether this is a bug (as I have heard some other users who grew their accounts organically were also affected) or, to find out once and for all if this is a permanent/temporary punishment for using automation. I am also aware that emailing them would draw attention to my account, but it's becoming frustrating and I'd rather get banned now than waste my time on something that is inevitably getting banned in the future. What are your thoughts? Could this be temporary punishment? Should I email Instagram? Or has Instagram really flagged automated accounts and are just pending deletion? Because it could also be that they automatically flagged thousands of suspicious accounts and instead of mass deletion, they have set them for review -- you know, so that they are absolutely positive that the account was indeed automated and should be removed. I'd be grateful if someone with an organically grown IG account (that has noticed low engagement recently), could try a similar experiment just so we can be certain on whether this is happening to bot-related accounts only. Thanks!