AIMultiple ResearchAIMultiple Research

Social Media Scraping: Tools, How-to & Case Studies in 2024

Social Media Scraping: Tools, How-to & Case Studies in 2024Social Media Scraping: Tools, How-to & Case Studies in 2024

Over 4.59 billion people used social media worldwide in 2022; by 2027, this number is expected to reach nearly six billion (see Figure 1).1 Social media platforms are important sources of data, because the data generated by users on social media channels is readily available to companies. Uses of social media data includes research and marketing, among others. 

In order to analyze social media data, data extraction is necessary. You can leverage web scraping tools or web scraping APIs to extract data  from multiple social media platforms.

In this research, we will dive into each aspect of social media scraping, including what it is, why it matters, its benefits, legality, tools for social media scraping and types of data that can be collected from top social networks.

Figure 1: Global social media user population from 2017 to 2027

Number of social media users worldwide from 2017 to 2027.
Source: Statista

The best social media scrapers of 2024

The table below shows the average customer rating and total number of B2B reviews obtained from review platforms including G2, Capterra, and Trustradius. It is presented in descending order for the total number of B2B reviews, with the exception of the products of the article’s sponsors which are linked to sponsor websites.

VendorsPricing/moFree trialPay-as-you-go
Bright Data$5007-day
Smartproxy$503K free requests
Scraper API$1497-day
Zyte$100$5 free for a month

What is social media scraping?

Social media scraping is a process of automatically extracting data from social media platforms including:

What is the best way to scrape social media platforms?

1. Web scraping tools

You can use automated data collectors to extract data from social media platforms. Web scraping tools, for example, enable businesses to automatically collect social media data. The following are a few examples of how web scrapers are used in various industries:

You can either:

Figure 2: Off-the-shelf web scraping solutions

Companies can either build their own scrapers using web scraping libraries or use off-the-shelf scrapers such as low/no code web scrapers to extract data.


Bright Data’s Data Collector extracts data from any public website on a large scale. You can choose the time lags, such as real-time or scheduled. It cleans, synthesizes, and structures the data from unstructured websites. The data is delivered as JSON, CSV, HTML, or Microsoft Excel. 

2. Web scraping APIs

Web scraping APIs are an alternative method for extracting data from social media platforms. It enables clients to access and extract data from web sources by using an API call. You can utilize a commercial web scraping API solution or a third-party scraper API such as Twitter API, Instagram API, etc.

Code-based web scraping solutions such as scraping APIs allow users to customize scrapers based on their specific business requirements. You can outsource your web scraping infrastructure if you lack the programming skills to build the web scraping code environment and if cost is not your main concern.

Smartproxy Social Media Scraping API enables individuals and businesses to access and extract public data from Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter at any scale. You can send a real-time requests or callback requests (also known as webhook requests) based on your specific data collection requirements and applications.

Source: Smartproxy

3. Web scraping with RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) web scraping automates data collection tasks and reduces the workload on the web scraper. Businesses can use RPA bots to:

  • Eliminate manual data entry and minimize the risk of human error.
  • Scrape a large quantity of data and accelerate data collection processes.
  • Extract image and video data. Some web scrapers only extract the image URL and do not extract visual data such as images, videos, GIFs, etc.

Top 3 business outcomes of scraped social media data 

1. Have a customer-centric strategy

Businesses need dynamic data in order to be customer-centric. Data scraped from social media channels provides dynamic information about individuals and is updated on a regular basis as new information becomes available.

Customers use social media platforms to express their preferences, complaints, and expectations regarding products. A data scraper can collect review data from websites and social networks. It provides companies with an organic approach to their services and products.

Real life example: Spotify has built a Twitter account, SpotifyCares, to monitor customers’ brand-related tweets and respond to them. (see Figure 3). Twitter data enables Spotify  to:

  • Better understand the concerns and expectations of its customers.
  • Uncover questions about the company’s services on Twitter.
  • Develop relationships with potential customers.
  • Improve their customer service and social listening strategy.

Figure 3: Example of customer interaction on Twitter

Market changes may have an impact on your customers’ expectations for your products and services. You need to extract current market data to understand customer preferences and expectations. Social media accounts, blogs, wikis, and other websites are all important places to look for information about what your competitors are up to and how they’re performing. 

For example, customers’ feedback on their products provides insight into the types of techniques that are successful for them. Social media scraping bots automatically extract data and provide you with structured data that is ready to be analyzed. It enables businesses to update their strategies, and gain a better understanding of market trends.

Real-life example: Brandwatch used Twitter data for social listening and keyword monitoring.2 The company used social media data to help Co-op, one of the largest food retailers in the UK, with its Twitter marketing campaigns.

The Co-op had difficulty gaining:

  • Real-time social insights
  • Tracking their marketing campaigns
  • Ensuring their success. 

Brandwatch used Twitter data to provide Co-op with real-time insight into brand mentions and trending conversations about its competitors. With Twitter data, the company’s campaign reached 23.5 million people and generated 75 million impressions.

3. Conduct sentiment analysis

Scraped social media data enables brands to identify the positive/negative words describing their products and services (see Figure 4). For instance, you can collect a specific number of tweets that contain your brand’s specific keyword or hashtag using a data collection tool or API solution. 

Twitter’s own API allows users  to access and collect Twitter data, such as tweets, media, number of users, etc. Then, you can analyze the sentiment of the collected tweet to measure the brand’s negative, neutral, or positive public perception. However, you must be aware of fake product reviews and content generated by bots to ensure the accuracy of your collected data.

Figure 4: Words used to describe products & services based on an analysis of customer reviews

Social media scraping allows brands to analyze customer reviews for sentiment.
Source: AIMultiple

Real-life example:

Mathison is a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) platform that helps businesses with their hiring processes. To create a unified talent pool, the company collects candidate data from various web sources such as recruitment websites and social media platforms such as LinkedIn.

Mathison used Bright Data’s data collector to gather massive amounts of candidate public data from web sources like LinkedIn. It streamlined data collection and reduced the time required to collect candidate profile information manually (see Figure 5).

Figure 5: Case study of web scraping for a centralized talent network for recruiters

Legality & types of data that can be collected from social network

Scraping publicly available data is legal; there are no laws or regulations prohibiting it. However, this doesn’t imply that you can scrape everything. Private information and copyrighted content are both protected by law.

If you wish to scrape private data you should read the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


With 2.89 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social networks in the world (see Figure 6). 3 Scraping Facebook data is legal as of 2023. However, scraping private content without permission and selling it to a third party for a profit without the user’s consent is not permitted.

You can scrape information that is publicly available, such as:

  • Username, profile URL, profile photo URL, following and followers information, likes and interest themes, and so on are all included in profiles.
  • Posts include information such as the date, location, number of likes, views, and comments, as well as text and media URLs.

To learn more about Facebook scraping, check out “Facebook Scraper: How to Scrape Facebook in 2023

Figure 6: Most popular social media platforms worldwide

Facebook, with 2.89 billion monthly active users, is the world's largest social network.
Source: Semrush


Twitter is just another trove of data that can be utilized to track brand sentiment and gauge client satisfaction. Twitter’s APIs provide companies with free access to Twitter data. To use the Twitter API, you must first register.

The most significant benefit of the API is that, because it is supported by Twitter, there is no fear of being blocked as long as you pull data in accordance with their API requirements. However, the API has some limits; it can only scrape 18,000 tweets per 15-minute window.

Scraping publicly accessible Twitter data is typically legal, but you need to check whether the content is crawlable or not with the robots.txt file. It provides or denies access to URLs and specific content on a website. Data that can be collected from Twitter include:

  • Keywords / hashtags: By searching your brand hashtags, location-specific hashtags, and audience-specific hashtags, you can extract useful data for your business.
  • Tweets: You can get a list of all the tweets of specified profiles.
  • Profiles: you can collect all the information about a Twitter user’s public account such as their bio, numbers of followers & following.

Data Collector tool enables organizations to crawl and scrape publicly available data such as Twitter profiles (see figure 7), URLs, tweets, and retweets from Twitter in real-time.

Figure 7: It is the output of  “” URL.  Data Collector uses Billie Eilish’s Twitter profile to extract data such as her followers, following, and bio & post information.

The image shows the the output of  "" URL.  Bright Data's Data Collector extract information from social media platforms such as profile name, following & followers, and posts.
Source: Bright Data

Learn more about Twitter (X) scrapers.


It is legal to scrape data from YouTube so long as you do not interfere with the website’s operations and do not collect personally identifiable information (PII). According to the research, 85% of SMBs have used YouTube data to reach new audiences and grow their customer base.4 The data listed below can be extracted from YouTube:

  • Video title and description
  • Comments on videos
  • Video ID
  • Number of views and likes

Check out our guide to scraping YouTube data to learn more about its legality, use cases, and best practices.

Figure 8: The process of data extraction from YouTube

The image explains each step for scraping YouTube data.


Instagram APIs gives businesses and professionals access to their posts and comments on them. You can automatically extract public data from Instagram profiles and hashtags without any blocking. Instagram scraper enables organizations to scrape and extract data including:  

  • Profiles: scraper bot extracts information such as posts, followers & following, and external URLs.
  • Comments: Post date,  post date, post URL, comments, likes.
  • Hashtags: Post URL, media URL, post author ID.

More on social media scraping

Web scraping:


Check out our data-driven list of web scrapers for help choosing the right tool, and get in touch with us:

Find the Right Vendors
Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
Follow on

Gulbahar Karatas
Gülbahar is an AIMultiple industry analyst focused on web data collections and applications of web data.

Next to Read


Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Mar 24, 2023 at 12:01

Hi Gulbahar,

Thank you for this informative article. I was wondering if FB private group’s scrapping is legal or not. Do we need to take permission for that? I am doing it for my thesis and obviously not planning to sell this data.

Thank you already for answering.

Gulbahar Karatas
Apr 04, 2023 at 10:10

Hi Bashir, this is not legal advice, please consult a lawyer regarding your specific case.

It is important to respect privacy and adhere to legal guidelines when handling personal information, scraping personal information would likely be illegal in most jurisdictions.

Related research