Instagram is one of the world's largest social media platforms, developed for users to share moments, market new products, and ultimately create their aesthetic reality. With almost 900 million user profiles, it also happens to be a great place to scrape data, and find new trends in any category you can think of! 🌎
But how do you scrape Instagram?
Well, there are two ways you can go about it. You can create your own Python Instagram bot or you can use a stress-free, hassle-free Instagram scraper tool. We'll go over both today, but the goal of this in-depth guide is to teach you how to make an Instagram bot with python.
In this article, we will walk you step-by-step through how to create an Instagram scraping bot in Python using instaPy. You'll also learn how you can scrape Instagram hassle-free with SocialScrape. SocialScrape is an inexpensive content scraping API, with a super friendly UI, that allows you to scrape Instagram in just one step! You even get your first 100 calls free! 📞 😍
We'll talk more about the power of SocialScrape later on. First things first - why spend the time learning how to scrape Instagram?
Why Scrape Instagram In the First Place? 📈
Unfortunately, Instagram is one platform that can be difficult to scrape. For starters, it's not guaranteed that an account will hold an abundance of data, and even the ones that are full of data don't have much to choose from. Instagram also uses powerful tools to prevent bottling and catches on easily to "over-active" profiles. But, that's not to say it isn't impossible to do! So, the question remains why would you want to scrape Instagram?
By scraping user profiles, developers can find endless data trends. Due to its ever-increasing user profile count, Instagram estimates to be home to over a billion posts. And with that much digital media, captions, hashtags, etc. developers and data scientists can learn an immense amount about a population, regardless, data-abundant or not.
Are you, or possibly someone you're writing this script for, an IG influencer? Or, perhaps you're interested in growing a follower count and need to understand the basics of "How to be an influencer". By creating a script that looks for users with 10,000+ followers using the hashtag #beauty, you could find what trends exist amongst other IG beauty influencers through media/captions. Not to mention, find out what the #beauty audience responds most positively to by examining the like count on each media. Once you have all this information, you can even begin thinking about creating bots that execute interactions with real-time users utilizing the obtained data. The opportunities are truly infinite.
Now that you have some ideas about what you want to do with your data, let's start scraping! We'll begin by discussing what you're going to need to build your Instagram python bot.
Installation & Requirements To Build A Python Instagram Bot
The beauty behind learning how to code an Instagram bot in python is that it's actually not as complicated as it seems. In fact, you only need a few installations and a bit of know-how:
- Have Python2.7 or Python3 installed on your local machine ✅
- pip or pip3 installed on your local machine ✅
- Have Firefox browser installed on your local machine ✅
- Some knowledge of Python/Data manipulation ✅
Got this all set up? Good - let's get into the nitty-gritty of how to make an Instagram bot with python.
How To Make An Instagram Bot With Python: Everything You Need To Know
✨ This bot will be created using Python, if you are searching to scrape Instagram in other languages such as Node, Ruby, PHP, or Shell. Try heading over to SocialScrape! ✨
For this example, you'll be creating a script that finds the most up-to-date data trends for the #beauty and #fashion hashtags/audience. Feel free to code along yourself, or follow along with this github repository.
Step 1) Open up your favorite code editor and navigate to a directory you'd like to create your scraping bot in, or create a new ig_scraping directory. Next inside your ig_scraping directory, create a ig_scraping_bot.py file, this is where you'll write your script.
To create this script, you'll first need to import instaPy into the file. You can install instaPy by running:
🚩 If you are using pip3, you may have to run pip3 install instapy instead.
Step 2) Import instaPy library into the file.
Step 3) Instantiate instaPy by passing in an account username and password. You can set the instance to a variable named session.
🚩 It is not recommended to perform scraping on an important/personal account!
Step 4) Login to the designated scraping IG account using instaPy's login() method.
Step 5) Use the set relationship_bounds method to determine the attributes a user must have to determine whether you would like to scrape, _in this case also like, it.
Step 6) If the user passes the set_relationship_bounds, the post will be liked and returned in the response.
Step 7) Now that you have some response data from posts you've liked, you can observe the output of creating scripts based on the trend data you're looking for.
Here is an example of what your scraping bot may look like:
Once you've run your script, your response should look something like this, keep in mind the responses can get lengthy, so make sure to take advantage of the amount argument passed in above :
What Data Does This Instagram Python Bot Give You Access To?
While the response snippet is quite long, let's break down what data is received back.
- InstaPy confirms a successful Login attempt to Instagram with the given credentials
- 11 posts are retrieved based on the hashtags passed through the like_by_tags method. You may ask why 11, when we specified 5 for each hashtag, well that's because InstaPy likes the first post from the Explore page.
- The links to those 11 posts
- A description of each post including the caption, hashtags used, tagged_users, location, and more depending on what the user chooses to expose.
- You also may notice that some scraped posts respond with "Unavailable Page". This can be due to several reasons, but it just may mean the user is private.
- For this example, I did not include all 11 posts in the response, but rather only the first four to avoid writing an entire response epic. 📖
Congrats on making a Python Instagram bot! 🎉 🤖
OR - Scrape Instagram with SocialScrape (Quick & Easy Solution)⬇
Well, there you have it - how to make an Instagram bot with python. As you can see, it's really not as daunting as you may have initially thought. With that said - there is definitely an easier solution than building an Instagram bot python scraper. If you're looking for a solution to your scraping needs that doesn't require you to build anything, then keep reading.
Remember how at the beginning of this article, we mentioned that there is in fact, an incredibly easy way to scrape Instagram? Well, let's loop back around to that again, and talk about SocialScrape - the #1 Instagram scraper tool online.
Why SocialScrape Is A Better Approach Than An Instagram Bot Python Scraper
Although you may be capable of building an awesome IG scraping bot on your own, chances are you are going to have to make a lot of repairs along the way. Instagram is a stickler about scraping and does whatever it can to prevent it. If not cautious, the account could be blocked from performing certain actions temporarily, or you could even be banned forever! 🚩 This is why it discouraged to perform scraping on an important/personal account!
But SocialScrape fixes that all for you. ✅
Not only will you never have to worry about tweaking your Instagram bot python scraper, but you will also gain access to immediate data. This solution is perfect for any SaaS owner, marketing analytic platform, or software engineer. It does everything an Instagram bot python scraper does and then some. Here are a few of the highlights:
- SocialScrape allows you to paste in a user's "@" handle, and with just one execution call, all the data is ready for you to use. That's amazing!
- If that's not enough, SocialScrape also handles the burden of rotating proxies for you.
- SocialScrape includes numerous API endpoints that allow you to get all the information you need from any user. Image URLs, how many likes a post gets, comments, hashtags, location data, reels, followers/followings - you name it, we can scrape it.
- And as mentioned before, the first 100 calls are free!
Check out the SocialScrape getting started docs to learn more about the most reliable scraping solution on the market.
So, what are you waiting for? Instagram data is waiting to be scraped. You can try SocialScrape yourself entirely risk-free today, you've got nothing to lose. We're confident it's the right tool for you - but if not, you can always make your own Instagram bot python scraper.