The current Instagram API only allows you to access your own comments and posts on the platform. To extract other user profiles and their data, you'll need to use a scraper. Some of the scrapers on the market lack and cannot provide stability when requiring the need for thousands of concurrent requests. So we made SocialScrape, a dedicated Instagram scraper that provides live, up-to-the-minute data in a reliable and predictable manner.
Instagram has around 1 billion monthly active users and with so many users, you can imagine that there is a lot of useful data on the site. Back in 2020, Instagram decided to make big changes to their developer API. In short they pumped the breaks on any developer getting access to profile data and cited this was due to security reasons. For anyone who had built a business on top of the Instagram platform and needed that data to run their core product, this was essentially a death sentence.
So with this in mind we got to work on an alternative so that developers still had the possibility to get the data they desperately needed from Instagram.
What is scraping?
Scraping is the process of automatically extracting data from websites. Any publicly accessible website can be analysed and processed to extract data. The data can then be stored or downloaded so that it can be used for multiple purpose outside the original scope intended from the website owner. With SocialScrape we allow developers to scrape posts from a user's profile, hashtag or places page. This is then wrapped into an API for developers to call to get real-time data. SocialScrap was designed to give developers back the functionality to obtain the public data that was withdrawn from the Instagram API in 2020. We also designed SocialScrape so that it enables anyone to extract publicly available data from Instagram without imposing rate limits on users who are an Instagram Business or Creator.
Scraping vs Crawling?
The two terms are often used interchangeably, but you can think of scraping as being a much more focused process of data extraction, in which specific data is targeted and acquired for further processing. Scraping is slightly different from crawling, as it refers to the process of extracting structured information from a website, typically with a bot or script crafted specifically for the target website. Scraping is commonly used to extract known information, such as HTML tags, CSS selectors, or other identifiers. Scraping usually focuses on structured data, for instance prices, product descriptions, images, company names, emails, phone numbers, or URLs. This data can then be parsed, searched and formatted, and copied into at. With SocialScrape we provide 3 endpoints for a developer to call and they can parse that data in to whatever end destination they like ( database, spreadsheet, or report).
Is it even legal?
There are many misconceptions about web scraping in general, but the data that SocialScrape obtains is 100% legal. There’s absolutely nothing shady or illicit about what we do. SocialScrape was built to only collect data that’s publicly available on the internet. So if an Instagram account is private, SocialScrape cannot access any data from that profile. Parts of Instagram is only accessible when logged in, however scraping profiles via SocialScrape you will be able to obtain Posts from Profiles, Hashtags and Locations pages.
That's all you need to get started scraping Instagram with SocialScrape. Next step is to create an account and redeem your free credits, test out the API by visiting our docs here. If you run into any problems or need some advice, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to help.
If you need to scrape Instagram at scale or need an end-to-end solution, you can request a custom solution.