Is Instagram Scraping Legal?

There is no doubt about it - scraping data from Instagram is one of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal. You can effortlessly extract important data to help you build effective marketing campaigns. Or, you can use this data to identify trends and conduct market analysis. There are no limits to what is possible with Instagram scraping.

But, many who are new to this tactic wonder - is scraping Instagram legal? The last thing you want to do is get yourself or your company in trouble. With the increased focus on privacy, this is a fair question to ask - and one that you may not find an easy answer to. That is because this topic can get pretty convoluted. While scraping Instagram in itself is legal, there are a few things you need to know to stay safe and protect your business. 

We'll cover all this and more in our complete guide. By the end of this quick read, you'll feel confident in your next steps and enjoy peace of mind as you legally scrape Instagram data! Let's not waste any more time.

Why It's So Important To Consider The Legality Of Instagram Scraping

When you scrape data from the web, you're essentially taking information that someone else has put out there and using it for your own purposes. This can be done without the person even knowing. And while most people would see this as harmless, depending on the type of data, some people won’t take kindly to you scraping their information.

Now, we're not here to pass judgment on whether or not web scraping is ethical. That's for you to decide. But what we will say is that you need to consider the potential legal implications of this tactic before moving forward. After all, there are real consequences if you get caught breaking the law - even if you didn't know what you were doing was wrong.

So, with that being said, let's take a look at what the law has to say about scraping Instagram data. To do that, we’re going to look at past instances where people have gotten into legal trouble by scraping Instagram data.

When Scraping Instagram Data Has Led To Legal Trouble

Now that we've covered the basics of copyright law and how it applies to scraping, let's take a look at some specific examples of when scrapers have gotten into trouble in the past. Understanding these real-life situations will help you better assess the risks involved with scraping Instagram data.


The first example comes from a case involving Ticketmaster. In this case, the company was found to be using automated software to scrape event information from other websites. This information was then used to populate Ticketmaster's own event listings. The court ultimately ruled that this constituted copyright infringement. 

While this case didn't involve Instagram specifically, it's still a good example of how scraping can lead to legal trouble. If you use automated software to scrape someone's Instagram profile, you could potentially be infringing on their copyright.


The second example comes from a case involving LinkedIn. In this case, the company was sued for allegedly scraping user data from third-party websites. LinkedIn was accused of using this data to populate its own database and then sell access to that database. The court ultimately ruled that LinkedIn had indeed engaged in illegal scraping.

This case is particularly relevant because it involved social media data. And while the specifics are different, the general principle is the same - if you scrape someone's Instagram data without their permission, you could be breaking the law.

So, Is Scraping Instagram Legal?

Now it’s time we addressed the main question at hand - is scraping Instagram legal? The short answer is yes. The more long-winded answer is that it depends on what specific data you’re extracting - and what you plan to do with it. There are two types of data in question: public data and private data. Public data is the type of stuff you can see on someone’s Instagram page yourself. Private data is stuff only available behind a login.

Really, the biggest concern is around scraping someone's public Instagram data and then selling that information for your own benefit. But many people who are looking to scrape Instagram aren't doing this - they are scraping data for other reasons:

  • To perform market analysis
  • To build marketing campaigns
  • To grow their audience

And to do these things, you are not scraping private data. Most people try to gain access to only public data - meaning data that you and I can go and gather on our own from other people's profiles. This includes:

  • Hashtags
  • Followers/Following
  • Comments
  • Location information
  • etc.

Scraping this type of information - provided you aren't selling it to someone else - is perfectly legal. You have nothing to worry about as long as you aren't attempting to extract private information for monetary gain. And since that is (hopefully) not what you're looking to do the answer to your question - is scraping Instagram legal - is yes!

Is Instagram Scraping Legal? Wrapping Things Up

That concludes today's topic - we hope you've gained some clarity on whether or not you can legally scrape Instagram data. As you now know, there are only two instances in which you can run into trouble:

  • Scraping private data behind a login
  • Selling extracted data for monetary gain

If you're hoping to scrape Instagram to grow your audience, find the right hashtags for Instagram growth, or conduct market sentiment analysis - you have nothing to worry about. In fact, scraping Instagram is one of the best tools you'll have in your arsenal! If you want to get started, take a look at our article on how to make an Instagram bot with python. Or, if you really want to scrape Instagram data on autopilot, there is a better solution: Social Scrape.

Our Instagram scraper tool is the most reliable and efficient online. You can even extract TikTok data! Whether you're looking to connect with influencers or generate marketing campaigns, find your audience, or conduct consumer sentiment analysis - we're here to make quick work of your scraping needs. The best part? You can try it yourself for free today! So, what are you waiting for?