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January 11, 2023
5 minutes read

Unbeatable Instagram Profile Scraper: How to Build One Using Web Scraping API

An Instagram profile scraper allows you to gather public Instagram profile data. Instead of building a scraper yourself, use our Web Scraper API. In this blog post, you’ll get Python code sample for real-time data collection with a combination of residential and datacenter proxies at a 100% success rate. Avoid blocks and errors and scrape with a shielded IP – check out this game-changing scraping tool and follow our step-by-step guide on how to set it up!

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In 2022, Instagram hit over 2 billion MAU (monthly active users). With the world population hitting 8 billion, that makes a quarter of people worldwide who use Instagram monthly! That makes a humongous base of individuals, businesses, and organizations around the world who share photos and videos, connect with others, and promote their products and services, thus creating an essential database for marketing researchers.

We at Smartproxy are very much aware of effective ways of data collection. And if you are looking to scrape Instagram profiles, we can meet and greet you here! Using Smartproxy’s Web Scraping API you can up your scraping game in no time: grab the public profile data you need and take your marketing research to the next level!

What is an Instagram profile scraper?

It is always a good idea to agree on the terms, right? We call Instagram profile scraper a tool that extracts all the public Instagram profile data and sends it back to you in a file. Currently, you can use Smartproxy’s Web Scraping API as an Instagram profile scraper to get raw HTML results and parse them as you like later on. 

What makes a good Instagram profile scraper? 

Solid IP protection. If Instagram blocks your IP address, that means, no more scrolling for you, pal. You are banned forever and ever. Everytime you would need to access your account, you would have to look for ways of getting a new IP from somewhere. That makes it difficult not only to extract profile data, it makes it difficult to even use Instagram. However, if you’re sailing in a 40M+ proxy pool, you can forget the danger of exposing your real digital identity. 

Block-avoiding superpower. If you Google-it-up, you may find people talking how powerful Instagram anti-crawling systems are. They are not fond of bots there. To stay unblocked, use residential and datacenter proxies tol help you simulate human-like activity – your Instagram profile scraper will remain active for longer. 

100% success rate. Web scraping API sends your requests tiressly and Smartproxy charges for successful ones only. That makes your requests winners every time! 

Why would you need to scrape Instagram user profiles?

The boldest aim for scraping Instagram user profile data – to get all the information you need into one file. What you are going to do with the extracted data, is up to you, your research goals and strategic business moves. 

Reasons to scrape Instagram profiles:

  • Mapping global influencer marketing trends.
  • Monitoring competitors.
  • Overviewing local influencers.
  • Mining ideas for your content plan.

Public data you can get: 

  • Number of followers and followees.
  • Count of posts, likes, previews, comments.
  • Profile business category name.

Scraping Instagram profiles step-by-step

Needless to say, you will need some apps or IDE of your choice to make the process as smooth as possible:

  • Installed Python (or any other programming language launcher)
  • Selenium
  • Requests
  • Command Line or Terminal
  • R
  • Text Editor of your preference
  • Parsing tools
  • Libraries you fancy (e. g. Beautiful Soup)

Here are the steps: 

1. Open your Smartproxy dashboard, click Web in the left corner and choose the best pricing for your Web Scraping API.

2. Under the Authentication method, create users for each task.

Scraping Instagram profiles step-by-step

3. Check our documentation for profile scraping code samples.

4. Scraping an Instagram profile using Python looks like this:

import requests

url = "https://scrape.smartproxy.com/v1/tasks"

payload = {
"target": "universal",
"parse": False,
"url": "https://www.instagram.com/eminem/",
"headless": "html"
}
headers = {
"Accept": "application/json",
"Content-Type": "application/json",
"Authorization": "Basic your_auth_details"
}

response = requests.post(url, json=payload, headers=headers)

print(response.text)

5. Change your Authorization details (your_auth_details) after Basic to the username:password combination you’ve created earlier.

Here is your target – Eminem’s Instagram profile. If you run this code, the HTML results you get will look like this: 

{
"results": [
{
"content": "<html> Instagram page content</html>"
"status_code": 200,
"url": "https://www.instagram.com/eminem/",
"task_id": "6971440655478339585",
"created_at": "2022-09-02 12:16:15",
"updated_at": "2022-09-02 12:16:37"
}
]
}

And ta-da! You’ve scraped the profile. After scraping – go & parse, filter, read & analyze – you are the boss here.

Ending points

Web Scraping API can be very helpful when it comes to Instagram profile scraping. The catch here is that you don't have to build it yourself, you just have to select tools you are working with and set the desirable targets. And again, if you have doubts, remember, Smartproxy charges for successful requests only. Try it now & happy scraping!

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Mariam Nakani

Say hello to Mariam! She is very tech savvy - and wants you to be too. She has a lot of intel on residential proxy providers, and uses this knowledge to help you have a clear view of what is really worth your attention.

Frequently asked questions

Is it legal to scrape Instagram profiles?

It is legal to scrape what is public. However, before any scraping activity, we insist you read Instagram scraping policy and give a thorough review of Instagram (Meta’s) T&C.

Does Instagram allow scraping?

Get the information from the first source: basic media information from Instagram is available to get. Instagram itself even shows how. However, all the legal issues must align with Instagram’s policy guidelines.