If you are trying to extract publicly available data from the popular social media app TikTok; then you can achieve this by either using the already developed TikTok scraper to make your work fast or perhaps if you’ve got the requisite coding skills, you might be able to develop a custom made one for your use; however, these two options would be discussed during this article.
TikTok can no longer be considered a new kid in the block with its over 2 billion downloads and over 600 million active users.
By the sheer millions of numbers it is racking up, it has completely taken the likes of YouTube and Facebook by surprise. However, these astonishing numbers are not measured in the number of users TikTok has on its site.
Still, the content they generate daily is considered the target of any willing web scraper who targets these platforms either for marketing or for social listening purposes.
It is estimated that over 83% of users on TikTok have successfully uploaded video content to the site.
It has also been resolved that the engagement that videos uploaded on TikTok garner is a lot higher than those enjoyed by other short video-sharing platforms on the internet today.
All of this information culminates in the fact that you have access to a large plethora of social media data that you can scrape on this platform.
A reviewer reveals that he uses scraping because most social media platforms are not equipped with the suitable Artificial Programming Interface (API) for the collection of data posted on their platform; it is also worthy of note that even if they provide such services, the limit that would be set on scraping would be so high making your actions so limited that it would be considered useless, or you would have to part with a significant amount of cash to get it.
At this point, you must be informed that scraping TikTok is not going to be a walk in the park, meaning that it is not as easy as it may sound.
Despite this seeming hurdle. Suppose you have a level of certainty of what you are doing. You should be able to achieve success with the guide we would be recommending to you to get your scraping along the way.
We have coders or decoders. I’d like you to fall under the non-decoders category. You don’t want to go through the stress of developing a code to serve as a scraper.
Therefore, there is a section in the article where some new scrapers which would make your scraping of data seamless are recommended for your use; these are some of the best ready-made scrapers that you can easily use.
TikTok Scraping – an Overview
If you intend to develop your own custom Tiktok scraper that does the extraction of data on TikTok, then you should pay close attention to this section.
Otherwise, you might want to proceed to the recommendation section; however, the intention is that there is something you can learn from here about web scraping.
It is important to note that TikTok, with its integrated systems, has made it quite challenging to scrape info off of it, making it a hard nut to crack in collecting its data via web scraping to protect the integrity of its content.
The developers of TikTok have invested so much technology in tracking their users and their behavior on the platform; this action of tracking users’ behavior has experienced numerous backlashes from different factions of users on the platform.
If you engage in web scraping of data on TikTok, you should worry about this act of theirs. This is simply because web scraping on a website that monitors the activities of its users is a relatively tricky task.
TikTok has the infrastructure in place to track IPs, cookies while also engaging in fingerprinting its users as they monitor your digital print on the net.
With the presence of such an extensive system for tracking and ensuring anti-spams, you’ll have to be pretty smart and adopt a significant stealth approach for you to be successful at scraping data off of TikTok.
The implication of this is that you would need to stealthily work around the numerous tracking systems working hard to make it ineffective and inefficient for it to succeed in stopping you in your tracks.
If you don’t adopt this approach, your scraping software would immediately be blocked off after a few attempts at scraping their data, mainly due to the degree of efficiency of the anti-spam system in place for detecting such unauthorized access.
If you eventually succeed at scraping data off TikTok, you could quickly get an issue from the legal team of TikTok; the severity could depend on the technicalities of the data you can collect from your scraping off their site.
However, it is essential to note that when you scrape publicly available data off the net, it is not considered illegal in most jurisdictions across the globe.
However, you could err on the side of caution by seeking legal advice if you intend to conduct this at scale.
Best TikTok Scrapers
Web scraping does not necessarily have to be only for those with coding skills as there are already made scrapers that can assist you in your quest to scrape all kinds of data from TikTok; however, if you do not have coding skills, then this section is definitely for you; not only that if you are an inexperienced coder as well, you can benefit significantly as it will help you prevent getting blocked by TikTok, or if you are experienced person who does not want to reinvent the wheel of rewriting a new code for every scraping, this section could be of significant benefit as well.
It is therefore essential that you note that effective TikTok scrapers do not come free as you would have to commit to parting ways with your cash one way or the other: Please see this list of the best TikTok scrapers on the market now that are capable of scraping data for you on the platform.
TikTok Data Collector (BrightData)
It is no wonder that we would recognize Bright data first. The Data Collecting service that Bright Data duly provides is considered one of the best in the data collection industry.
Bright data is a renowned leader in the proxy-providing market. Having established itself in the business of providing the suitable proxy.
It has now branched into the market of web scraping, with its data collector tool being the requisite tool to carry out this new venture. Its tool has the support that is needed to scrape data off TikTok successfully.
The Data collector service of Bright Data can be easily used for scraping TikTok profiles. TikTok contents by hashtags and many more available scraping services that you need to carry out.
Another exciting thing about the Bright Data tool is that if there is any custom data that you have the intention to collect and they do not have the default support to enhance its collection, you can quickly request it from them; The Bright Data collector tool is available as a web-based service, and you can easily access through the use of your browser.
As evidenced in the typical example provided, you can download the scraped data once the data collector is scraping.
The example shows here the tool was tested by collecting profile data of a few fan-favorite celebrities.
Bright Data, doesn’t come cheap and can be accessed for a charge of $500 for a 151K load; however, the upside to this is that you get to enjoy free trials before you have to make payments.
Another feature of this service is that the data output format is Excel and the supported platform for this kind of process is web-based.
The Apify platform was developed and well equipped to assist you in automating tasks that you would have carried out manually on your browser.
To achieve this, they have in their coffers a significant number of bots or actors that can quickly help you get your job done.
Apify has several specialized scrapers for the scraping of many popular websites and media currently dominating the internet: they don’t currently have a specialized TikTok scraper for carrying out specific TikTok-related scraping of contents, hashtags, and the likes.
That being said, the Apify scraper for the web with support for rendering pages using Google Chrome is considered helpful in helping you scrape TikTok with relative convenience, and the good part is that their actors are free to use; however, rather than use the free shared set of proxies that come with it, you can spend the saved cash on procuring their residential proxies because unlike the features of the Data collector by Bright Data, Apify is only designed for Node.JS coders.
The key feature of this proxy service provider is that it is free, though you would need to add proxies to commence your browsing.
Another feature is that it allows for freemium tools; the data output allowed on Apify is JSON, while the only supported platform is the NodeJS library.
Octoparse is another interesting visual scraper that can be used to scrape TikTok relatively quickly. The tool allows you to thoroughly and successfully scrape profile details—video links and also comments, among other options of scraping.
The service of this tool is relatively easy to use, and it also has a free tier with some limitations. To fully enjoy Octoparse.
You’d have to subscribe to the paid plan for you to enjoy their array of services fully. Using Octoparse, you can easily convert all your data from the Tiktok platform to a structured spreadsheet for you to use.
A thing that you’d come to like about Octoparse is the fact that if you do not carry out the scraping yourself, you can quickly contact the tool company to tell them that they offer you the data that you want at the price you want.
The features of Octoparse are that it can be accessed at $75 per month for starting. It offers 14 days free trial with limitations; the Data Output format allowed are CDV, Excel, JSON, MySQL, SQLServer while supporting platforms like Cloud and Desktop.
The ScrapeStorm web scraper is regarded as one of the best web scrapers to be developed for scrapers who lack coding experience.
The integration of this software provides you with an intuitive interface that allows you to train it in the data that is scraped through its embedded visual click operations.
The team behind the Scrapestorm is seasoned and experienced when it comes to bypassing anti-scraping systems that have been put in place by TikTok to prevent unauthorized access to its data.
The team has the experience of an ex-Google crawler, meaning that they have the requisite experience up their sleeves to make you worry less.
The features of ScrapeStorm begin with its price tag of access that starts at a few of $49.99 per amount: it also provides a free trial option for the starter, which is unrestricted, though with limitations.
It supports the Desktop and the Cloud platforms for its accessing, and the format of its data output ranges from TXT, CSV, JAON, MySQL, Google Sheets, Excel, etc.
ParseHub is another good web scraper that you could employ to scrape TikTok. The central selling point for ParseHub is its marketing strategy of being a free web scraper.
Though this might be true, it also has a paid plan which is like its main course if you intend to employ a scraping tool that would guarantee you peace of mind. Another feature that makes it a viable tool is its relative ease of usage.
To begin, all you need to do is point and click the interface in the manual operation to identify the data you want to scrape, and then the tool takes it from there and does its job for you seamlessly.
The features of this web scraper are its free to use, albeit with a paid plan option, presence of free trials, though advanced features are to be accessed at an extra cost.
The available data output formats are Excel and JSON, while the supported platforms are cloud and Desktop.
How to Scrape TikTok Data Using Python and Selenium
As earlier stated in the prelude text, scraping on TikTok is not an easy task in the least. Though the difficulty could be assessed when compared to other sites in the same business.
The thing about scraping on other sites is that all you need to worry about is rotating IP addresses to spoof the servers, and you are good to go.
However, in the case of TikTok, that’s just one of the hurdles you would have to cross before scraping of its contents can be done.
This fact implies that you cannot use Scrapy, Requests, or BeautifulSoup when attempting to Scrape data on TikTok if you are a Python programmer.
By this Implication, and to ensure that you can scrape successfully, we would be using Selenium as the guiding tool. Selenium Web Driver is a renowned browsing Automator. This information might be relevant to you in any other way.
Still, for this article, we focus on its capacity to render TikTok content effectively and successfully allow you to extract relevant data.
Its use cases are many, and it can be used to automate popular browsers while using popular programming languages.
When you are doing IP tracking, then there is a need to employ the use of proxies to allow you to scale through.
The use of proxies would provide you with ample alternative addresses that would grant you access to TikTok: these proxies would make it difficult for the TikTok programming to identify that the requests it is receiving are emanating from the same device.
However, you should note that this would only work if you are using high-quality proxies that are relatively undetectable and have the infrastructure to rotate its IPs frequently.
You should note that for TikTok. It would be best if you used residential proxies; this is because the cost of mobile proxies is expensive, and the data center proxies are prone to detection.
It is, therefore, highly recommended that you make use of the residential proxies that either Bright Data or Smartproxy provides to ensure that you get the best out of this process.
Since you would be opting for the use of your custom made scraper, tracking your cookies is not going to pose a problem as you are not being forced to save any; meaning that you only save the one you want to and easily discard the ones that you consider to be irrelevant; therefore it is important to stress here that you have to conduct your web scraping nicely.
This advice is essential for someone who uses a very powerful scraper that might be capable of overwhelming the TikTok server; however, if you are only a medium-scale scraper or small-scale scraper, there is no possibility that your actions would have any impact on the TikTok servers as the servers have been built to scale and take on large requests with ease effectively.
Code Sample for a TikTok Scraper
Written Below is a small script that explicitly shows you how you can scrape on TikTok while using Python and the Selenium web browser to carry out your actions.
You should be aware that Google Chrome can be automated to access the video’s comments section, then scrape the number of comments from TikTok.
from selenium import webdriver class TikTokScraper: def__init__(self): self.PATH = “chromedriver.exe” self.driver = webdriver.Chrome(self.PATH) self.text = “” defget_comment_count(self, url): self.driver.get(url) # Parse data out of the page self.text = self.driver.find_element_by_xpath(‘/html/body/div/div/div/div/div/div/main/div/div/span/div/div/div/div/div/strong’).text urls = [“https://www.tiktok.com/@gordonramsayofficial/video/6916583398500748550?lang=en”,] TikTokScraper = TikTokScraper() for urlin urls: TikTokScraper.get_comment_count(url) print(TikTokScraper.text)
A cursory look at the information contained in this text would reveal that it is possible to scrape data off TikTok regardless of your coding ability.
If you are an experienced coder, you might want to employ your skills to develop a custom TikTok scraper for your scraping on TikTok.
However, if you are bereft of coding skills or you are inexperienced in the art of coding, and your web scraper keeps getting blocked as you continue to attempt scraping with your custom scraper.
One fact you would note is that all the web scrapers that have been explained in this text are general scrapers that can be used to scrape data on other websites as well; therefore, you can select the best that you believe would be capable of success in your web scraping quest.