Nowadays, everything’s all about big data.
Whether it’s using search engines to monitor the most popular keyword searches on the web or to understand the shopping habits of consumers, many businesses are bound to need it.
With such a large number of people constantly on their phones scrolling through their feeds and typing up posts for others to see, social media platforms are a primary resource of interest for those wanting to collect data on social habits and the like.
Twitter in particular is a useful platform for collecting data, as 500 million tweets are exchanged daily.
Now, we know all that data is there, but there’s still the question as to how to collect it. Twitter does have a free API that allows users to extract information from its database, although its potential use is limited.
Twitter’s API restricts the amount of data you can extract in addition to the age of said data. If you’re trying to draw a large amount of information about tweets dating back to several years ago, the job probably can’t be done using Twitter’s API.
This is where scrapers come in: scrapers download and scan the HTML page of a website, then analyze and arrange it in such a way that humans can understand.
This may sound a lot like the Twitter API, except that a scraper doesn’t go through Twitter and the amount of information you can retrieve is thus unlimited.
You may ask: why does Twitter put such constraints on its API if people are going to use Twitter scrapers anyways?
Well, Twitter doesn’t approve of scrapers and does have some measures implemented into its system to prevent it, but most of the available scrapers online on capable of bypassing all of this.
Because all the information that scrapers download is available to the public, social media scraping is legal. Think of it as a way to speed up and automate human research.
Best Twitter Scrapers
That being said, not all scrapers are created equal. We’ve broken down the top Twitter scrapers into a comprehensive list based on criteria such as price, ease of use, and flexibility.
Our favorite Twitter scraper is Bright Data, formerly branded under the name “Luminati”. With Bright Data, you’ll have over 72 million IPs to choose from.
Using a proxy IP is important because requesting high volumes of data from certain websites will get your current IP banned, as most websites don’t want data collectors harvesting their data.
This includes Twitter, which is why we put high emphasis on proxy IP availability.
In addition to its wide range of IPs to choose from, Bright Data offers state-of-the-art encryption for all incoming and outgoing data, fully hiding you from anyone wishing to discover your location or data.
If you aren’t an expert programmer, then you’ll love Bright Data, because all you need is to provide the software with a URL of the Twitter profile that you wish to scrape, and it will export all the data it finds on an organized, easy-to-read Excel spreadsheet.
Bright Data offers a variety of pricing options, depending on the type and amount of data you’re scraping.
They have a pay-as-you-go subscription, charging you per gigabyte or IP that you use; they various monthly subscriptions ranging from $300 (USD) per month to $3000 per month; and a yearly subscription, which effectively takes any available monthly subscription option and gives you a 10% discount.
For less experienced data scientists, their optimal pricing calculator can be found on their website so that you don’t pick the wrong plan by accident.
Our second recommendation is Phantombuster, another great Twitter scraper if you’re looking to download and analyze large amounts of information.
It doesn’t have built-in IP masking, so you’ll have to combine your use of this software with a VPN in order not to get banned by any major social media platforms, but Phantombuster makes up for this with its other available tools.
Phantombuster’s data extractor works for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and all other major social networks.
If you can access the page publicly, Phantombuster will scrape the entire HTML page and save the information in your choice of either a CSV file or a JSON file.
What makes Phantombuster stand out from other typical scrapers is that it can automate menial web-related tasks for you, even from the cloud.
You can auto-follow profiles, auto-like posts from the profiles of your choice, send customized messages without having to write them yourself, and more.
If you’re analyzing social media pages, there’s a high chance that you’re doing so to grow your own social media page, and automation can play a crucial role in your profile’s success.
Phantombuster has five pricing options, each billed monthly, which range from $0 per month to $900 per month.
The cheapest options limit the number of tasks you can perform at once as well as the total runtime of your software, but the constraints loosen themselves considerably as you upgrade your pricing plan.
You can also choose a yearly plan, which is the same as a monthly plan but with an 8% discount.
Next up is Apify, a powerful software for web scraping, automation, and integration. It effectively transforms any website into an API, giving you the liberty to crawl the social media platform of your choice for the data that you need to help grow your business or social media profile.
In addition, you can scrape Google Search Engine Results Pages so you can analyze data on an even broader scale.
This works with Google Maps and YouTube too, so if your current data scraper isn’t compatible with these platforms, you might want to consider switching over to Apify.
Your data will be outputted in either HTML, Json, CSV, Excel, XML, or RSS format.
Apify will also provide you with a masked IP address, so you don’t have to pair this up with a VPN.
While getting a VPN usually isn’t too much trouble, having an IP-masking service built into your software ensures that you never forget to turn on your VPN, as it does so automatically.
Apify’s three pricing options range from $49 per month to $999 per month. As always, you get what you pay for, and more expensive pricing plans give you wider access to Apify’s services.
The yearly billing plan gives you the same options, but with a 10% discount.
The penultimate item on our list is Octoparse, a scraper with many of the most popular scraping tools as well as price monitoring and lead generation, which will come in handy if you’re researching for business purposes.
After all, if your data analysis is done for the purpose of reaching wider audiences, you’ll want to profit from this hard-earned research.
The ability for Octoparse to aid you in lead generation means you’ll have greater chances of success over your competitors.
Octoparse’s pricing options are great too. Its cheapest pricing option is free, and you still get access to 10 crawlers, as opposed to the single crawler that most scrapers would provide for their free option.
You can upgrade to $75 per month or $209 per month if you’re more serious about data scraping.
Unfortunately, you cannot purchase a yearly plan with a discount, but given that Octoparse’s prices are competitive to begin with, we don’t see this as being too much of an issue.
Coming in at #3 on our list is ScrapeStorm, a user-friendly AI-powered scraper that you can use with zero coding experience.
It comes included with IP masking to conceal yourself from hackers, and you can store all your information on the cloud.
ScrapeStorm’s flexibility is second to none.
Not only can its software be used on all platforms, but it will output all information you need (based on an input URL) in either TXT, CSV, Excel, JSON, MySQL, Google sheets, or other formats.
There are four pricing options for ScrapeStorm, ranging from the free option which has limited capability to the most expensive option at $199 per month for the most data-analyzing capbility.
Paying for a monthly subscription instead gives you the same options with a 20% discount.
We also have Helium Scraper coming in as our #4 pick for best Twitter scrapers. There isn’t much to say about this one except that it’s an excellent all-around web scraper that is known to be reliable.
It will help you build databases on prices, trends, and other statistical information for your own personal or business uses. It exports data as CSV, Excel, XML, JSON, and SQLite files.
The reason we put Helium Scraper on our list (besides it being a reliable scraper) is its unique pricing system, as it doesn’t feature any monthly fees.
That’s right, Helium Scraper allows you to pay once for its service and never worry about having to pay for a scraper again, making it an excellent scraper for long-term data researchers.
You can one of their four options, ranging from the “basic” package at $99 to the “enterprise” package at $699.
Finally, we have Webscraper.io, a free browser extension that makes it onto the list not because of its scraping power but because of it being budget-friendly as well as easy to use.
While such a browser extension will get the job done, I wouldn’t recommend using it without the help of a VPN, since you’ll quickly get your IP address banned from Twitter if you don’t.
Otherwise, Webscraper.io will cover all the basics of Twitter scraping for free, and of course, no programming skills are required. You’ll get your data in the form of CSV, XLSX, and JSON files.
If you’re just starting out and you’re still learning about web scraping and data analysis, we would highly recommend Webscraper.io, but if you ever want to get more serious about it, you’d probably be best upgrading to one of the higher-ranked options on our list.
As should be evident from this article, there are plenty of Twitter scrapers available online, and they each have their pros and cons.
We could see each one of our top six web scrapers being the best pick for somebody, depending on the nature of the data analysis they wish to perform.
Many of these scrapers offer IP masking, but if you already have a VPN or are planning on purchasing one anyway, then you shouldn’t factor this aspect into your decision-making.
For the purposes of Twitter alone, each scraper on this list will get the job done.
However, some other sites such as YouTube and others might be more difficult for some of these services to crawl, so make sure double-check all compatibility issues beforehand.
Otherwise, go ahead and get started on your data analysis project using one of these scrapers.