How to Scrape Instagram: 5 Effective Methods to Extract Data

Justin Shin
Scraping Instagram can be easy if you know the right ways to get it done. If you are interested, then come in now and discover the ways to scrape Instagram easily.

Instagram has grown to be one of the top and most widely used social media networks for sharing videos and pictures. It happens to have over 2 billion active monthly users. Hence, it is one of the most reliable sources of data for businesses to generate leads, improve their online presence, and even make sales, just like other social media platforms. Instagram holds a ton of marketing-relevant data, and scraping is an effective way to automatically gather this data.

As such, there is a significant amount of publicly available data that you can access if you wish to use Instagram data. However, extracting data from Instagram can be quite challenging, tedious, and time-consuming. Nevertheless, I'll be sharing some of the most effective ways to scrape this social media platform in this article. They should help you scrape Instagram without running into any difficulties. But first, let's explore the basics of Instagram scraping.

Table Of Contents

What is Instagram Scraping?

Instagram scraping is the process of automatically extracting the platform's publicly accessible data. Basically, the process entails either manually extracting the data or leveraging scraping tools and/or services to scrape Instagram. These tools can be web scrapers that have been custom-built or premade Instagram scraping tools.

You can scrape data such as bios, images, email addresses, posts, likes, and even comments. With this data, interested individuals and companies can comfortably perform market research and sentiment analysis, brand monitoring, competitive analysis, and find influencers for their businesses.

Having seen what Instagram scraping is, let's take a quick dive into the different ways you can scrape Instagram.

5 Proven Methods of Scraping Instagram

Now that you have an understanding of Instagram scraping, let move into the specfic ways you can scrape data from the Instagram platform.

1. Scraping Instagram Using Python

Python is one of the most popular programming languages for web scraping. As such, Python offers a variety of libraries that can be used to scrape Instagram data. Among the popular ones are Instaloader and Instagramy. So, in this article, we'll talk about Instaloader. This is because Instaloader is particularly handy for extracting data from Instagram.

Some of these data items include images, videos, posts, profile pictures, comments, etc. The procedures listed below may be followed to use Instaloader after you have completed all essential Python installations on your computer.

1. Simply type the following command into CMD to install Instaloader:

pip3 install instaloader

2. Next, install the Pandas Python library. Pandas is a Python package that's mostly used for data analysis and manipulation. To install it, run the following command:

pip install pandas You are now ready to start configuring the code for scraping the Instagram data.

3. You must import the Instaloader Python library and create an instance of the Instaloader class in order to configure the Instagram data fetching tool. The Instagram handle of the profile from which you want to extract the data should also be provided. You can use the Instagram Extractor Python code for free in accordance with the MIT License by accessing a GitHub repository.

import instaloader # This is to create an instance of the Instaloader class bot = instaloader.Instaloader() # This is to load the profile from an Instagram handle profile = instaloader.Profile.from_username(bot.context, 'Your_target_account_instagram_handle') print(profile)

This is an excellent point to begin to see how the fundamentals work.

import instaloader

# This is to create an instance of the Instaloader class
bot = instaloader.Instaloader()
# This is to load the profile from an Instagram handle
profile = instaloader.Profile.from_username(bot.context, 'Your_target_account_instagram_handle')
This is an excellent point to begin to see how the fundamentals work.
import instaloader
import pandas as pd
# This is to create an instance of the Instaloader class
bot = instaloader.Instaloader()
# This is to load a profile from an Instagram handle
profile = instaloader.Profile.from_username(bot.context, 'Your_target_account_insta_handle')
print("Username: ", profile.username)
print("User ID: ", profile.userid)
print("Number of Posts: ", profile.mediacount)
print("Followers Count: ", profile.followers)
print("Following Count: ", profile.followees)
print("Bio: ", profile.biography)
print("External URL: ", profile.external_url)

When scraping Instagram with Python, there are numerous possibilities available. You can extract emails from an account's bio, followers, and followings, in addition to Instagram profiles.



Learn more, Best Proxies for Instagram Scraping

2. Using Already-Made Instagram Scrapers.

Another excellent approach to scraping Instagram data is through specifically designed scraping software and services. They make Instagram data extraction a reasonably simple process. Some of these solutions are available as open-source, cloud-based, or no-code web scrapers. PhantomBuster's Instagram scraper is among the best, as a matter of fact. PhantomBuster provides a selection of Instagram data scrapers that have been specifically developed for the platform. The Instagram Story Extractor, Instagram Post Scraper, Instagram Follower Collector, and Instagram Profile Scraper are just a few examples of these.

These scrapers are straightforward, no-code Instagram scrapers. Take, for instance, the Instagram Profile Scraper from PhantomBuster. By quickly collecting Instagram data from accounts, this Instagram scraper helps you save time. Even better, it stores all the data in a CSV file that is ready for use.

To use the Instagram Profile Scraper from PhantomBuster, you must:

1. Use the PhantomBuster browser extension to connect to Instagram. On Instagram, this automation will act as you. For instance, the session cookie—which you are able to get with PhantomBuster's browser extension—is the Phantom's preferred and most effective method of connecting to your account. Depending on your preferences, you can install the browser add-ons for either Chrome or Firefox.

2. Next, you need to provide the URLs of the Instagram profiles you want to scrape. There are two approaches to achieving this. The first approach would be to process a single profile. That means you would copy the Instagram profile URL and paste it into your Phantom's setup. The second approach, however, would require you to use Google Sheets to generate a spreadsheet if your goal is to process several profiles.

3. Copy the Instagram profile URLs, then insert one URL per row in the same column of the spreadsheet you just created. Make sure the spreadsheet is accessible to everyone so PhantomBuster can use it.

When setting up your Phantom scraper, copy the URL for the spreadsheet and paste it there if you're scraping numerous Instagram profiles.

4. The number of profiles to process for each launch ought to be specified. Note that you can launch one launch per hour and scrape a maximum of 100 profiles every day. To keep your account secure, it is usually better to abide by the instructions that are given and avoid processing too many at once. The Phantom Instagram will continue where it left off during the next launch if it is unable to process all of the profiles in your input spreadsheet during the initial launch. Remember to connect the Phantom to Instagram via the cookie session when configuring the PhantomBuster Instagram scraper.

5. The PhantomBuster Instagram scraper would then need to be programmed to launch regularly so that it could continue working while you're away. Your browser does not need to be open or your computer turned on in order for the Instagram Profile Scraper to work because it is cloud-based.



3. Scraping Instagram Using Scraping APIs

Using Smartproxy sacraping API as sample

Scraping APIs are a useful approach for extracting Instagram data. Instagram, meanwhile, provides the Instagram Graph API, which enables companies and creators to access and download publicly available data from Instagram. However, using the Instagram Graph API has some limitations, which is why a third-party API is required. There are numerous vendors offering trustworthy API services for efficiently scraping Instagram.

The social media scraping API from Smartproxy is among the best in this regard. With the help of this API, you'll be able to scrape data from Instagram. You can target Instagram profiles, posts, and even reels using this tool. You can scrape GraphQL targets using the API, and those targets will return JSON-parsed data. It can target Instagram posts, hashtags, and accounts that use GraphQL. For instance, the social media scraping API from Smartproxy should be able to return basic data such as post description, related posts, likes, author, and comment count with the following Python code:

import requests

headers = {     'Content-Type': 'application/json' } task_params = {     'url': '',       'target': 'instagram_post',       'locale': 'en-us',       'geo': 'United States' } username = 'username' password = 'password' response =     '',     headers = headers,     json = task_params,     auth = (username, password) ) print(response.text)

To get a full understanding of how to use Smartproxy’s social media scraping API, I do advise you to visit their documentation here.



More Web Scraping APIs


4. Scraping Instagram Using Prospectss.

'Prospectss' is one of the many tools I do recommend for extracting information from Instagram. It is a toolbox for growth marketing that contains a wide range of Instagram scraping tools. It is among the top choices I suggest for digital marketing experts seeking a reliable tool to scrape relevant data. Its toolkit contains more than 45 growth marketing tools. Today, however, we'll focus on Instagram's scraping tools.

You can scrape Instagram profiles in bulk using the Instagram Profile Scraper. You can select to scrape one or more Instagram profiles, though. 'Prospectss' Instagram Profile Scraper can be used to:

1. 'Prospectss' requires that you register. They currently provide a free trial plan with 5 credits. Meanwhile, you can decide on a plan based on your needs.

2. After successfully registering, select Instagram Profile Scraper from the list of Instagram tools.

3. We are now prepared to start extracting Instagram profiles. To do that, you must input the profile username. Note that there are two options for entering the profile into the tool. You can either manually enter the username or copy and paste the Instagram profile URL. Enter every username one-by-one individually, or compile them into a CSV file to scrape several accounts. Ensure that every username is on a separate line.

4. Click the Submit or Upload button to begin the scraping process, depending on the approach you choose to use. After a successful scrape request, a dialogue box with the message "Request Sent!" will pop up.

5. On the same webpage, under the 'List' option, check for your request. You should be able to see your request and the expected processing time. Under the status tab, the task will display as processing if it is in progress and completed if it has been completed. When the process is finished, click on the task under the "list" tab to access the results that have been scraped.

6. You can save the data offline by downloading it in CSV format, which will include all the data values from the scraped profiles.

This scraping procedure is fairly straightforward. However, each scraped profile will cost 10 Credits.



5. Scraping Instagram Using

Bot scraping is another very good way to gather Instagram data. Hence, there is no other tool suitable for the job than Without using any code, APIs, or developers, you can use this tool to create a bot for any website you want. For instance, you can use to automatically scrape user handles from hashtag pages and input them into a Google Sheet with an Instagram bot template. To do this, follow the steps here. Note that in order to export the Instagram handles, you must set up a Google Sheet.




Q. Is it illegal to scrape Instagram?

It is legal to scrape publicly accessible data. However, you must be careful not to extract any content that is copyrighted or contains personal data. Besides, scraping Instagram amounts to breaking Instagram's terms of service. It's also important to note that a US court has actually ruled that web scraping is legal. i.e., there are no negative legal consequences. However, there's a chance that you could get banned. As such, do well to adhere to Instagram's robot.txt file's scraping instructions as well.

Q. What data can you get from Instagram?

Basically, you can scrape Instagram's publicly accessible profile and media Insights. Essentially, these are usernames, account names, emails, likes, comments, shares, etc. However, keep in mind that Instagram's rules prohibit extracting personal profile information.

Q. Can I scrape private Instagram accounts?

Instagram's terms of service prohibit scraping private Instagram profiles, which could raise ethical and legal issues. It's important to respect the confidentiality of users and only gather platform data that is publicly available.


There is a way for anyone, programmer or not, to scrape the Instagram data they want. We've already looked at using Python, Instagram scrapers, third-party APIs, and growth marketing tools to quickly scrape Instagram. Each of these has benefits and drawbacks. As such, before choosing any of these techniques, be certain of your use case. I believe that any Instagram data you want to scrape should be possible using one of these methods.

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