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December 20, 2022
5 minutes read

Empower Your Research with YouTube Comment Scraper

A YouTube comment scraper is a tool that extracts comments from a selected YouTube video. Comments are an awesome resource for researching your own or your competitor’s brand, which can be used to your advantage. While YouTube offers a free Data API, it’s limited in its capabilities. By following this YouTube comment scraper tutorial, you will scrape YouTube comments with a simple code and get a neat result.

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Currently, there are 800 million videos and 2.6 billion viewers on YouTube. The comments section on YouTube can offer advice, testimonials, hilarious jokes, wholesome stories, or, at its darkest moments, mean-spirited snarks. It’s a unique place where you can find all sorts of fascinating content.

The videos on YouTube are packed with knowledge, and the same can be said about the comments. With thousands of discussions, diverse communities share their experiences, opinions, and ideas on a wide range of topics. If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and hottest topics, you’ll want to keep track of the YouTube comment section. 

This blog entry will tell you why and how you should grab these insights by scraping!

What is a YouTube comment scraper?

Scraping is an automated solution that gathers public data en masse. Unsurprisingly, a YouTube comment scraper, then, is a scraping tool that collects user comments under a specific video.

You can extract any information you see on the selected YouTube video page: the name of the comment author, their profile picture, the comment itself, its date, and how many likes and replies it has.

In essence, a YouTube comment scraper aims to capture the discussions that have taken place in the comments section of a video you’re interested in. By scraping comments of several videos, you can create an archive of your target audience talking about things that matter to you.

What are YouTube comments good for?

One reason to scrape YouTube comments is to stay on top of trends and developments in your industry. If you wish to scale your business, you’ll need to collect large amounts of data. What you can get from YouTube comments is a completely new data source that isn’t available anywhere else, adding to a more comprehensive analysis.

YouTube comments are a goldmine for brand reputation monitoring, sentiment analysis, competitor tracking, and other purposes. You can understand the user experience, customer pain points and needs, keep track of the ups and downs of the market, learn about other services out there, and so on.

With a YouTube comment scraper, you can easily and efficiently get the data necessary to make informed decisions and grow your business. It’s a valuable tool for businesses looking to succeed in today’s competitive market.

Ways to scrape YouTube comments

There are several routes you can take to extract YouTube comments. You can get yourself a script and use your command line, Python, Selenium, a whole range of APIs, or some other method.

One of the most popular ways to download YouTube data is with the official YouTube Data API. It fetches information for you and lets you implement YouTube elements into your own website or application. Among the available resources for collection using this API are comments and comment threads. The best thing about YouTube Data API is that it’s free, and there are extensive guides to help you on your way.

YouTube Data API, however, isn’t as flexible as other solutions out there. It requires you to log into your YouTube account, enforces quota limits, and doesn’t allow scraping, which is a significant downside. Therefore, let’s try to scrape a YouTube video comment section using a simple script with Python.

Scraping YouTube comments with Python

How to scrape YouTube comments with Python

Python is a widely-used programming language that is popular among professionals in various fields, such as software engineering, science, and data analysis. Its versatility and ease of use make it a great language for beginners and experts alike. 

For this tutorial, download and install Python, and prepare an IDE (integrated development environment) like PyCharm. Or you can use your Command Prompt (on Windows) or Terminal (on macOS) instead of PyCharm; see instructions for this a bit later.

We’ll be using this excellent YouTube comment downloader script. To get it working on your Pycharm, the first line needs to be as follows:

pip install https://github.com/egbertbouman/youtube-comment-downloader/archive/master.zip

Then, copy the URL of a YouTube video you’re interested in and insert it in place of YOUR_URL in this code:

from itertools import islice
from youtube_comment_downloader import *
downloader = YoutubeCommentDownloader()
comments = downloader.get_comments_from_url('YOUR_URL', sort_by=SORT_BY_POPULAR)
for comment in islice(comments, 10):
print(comment)

The second to last line indicates the number of comments that the downloader will fetch for you. Change it to whatever you prefer. Also, you can choose the downloader to sort the comments by most recent rather than most popular. To do so, change the word POPULAR in the code to RECENT.

If you’d rather use Command Prompt or Terminal, open it and type in the first line to install the YouTube comment downloader script. Then, put the rest of the code in a text document and save it using the extension .py. After that, you can run the code by putting in python3 in your Command Prompt or Terminal, dragging and dropping the text file you’ve created next to it, and hitting Enter.

Once you run the code, the result will present you the comment, its time, the author’s username, whether the poster of the video hearted it, whether it has replies, how many likes it has, the link to the author’s profile image, and so on.

Wrapping up

As one of the top social media platforms, YouTube hosts one-of-a-kind discussions. Scraping YouTube comments can provide valuable insights to study trends and user behavior. It will help your business to gather customer feedback and improve your products and services. What an engaging and fruitful place to learn and connect with others!

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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 YouTube comments?

The legality of scraping a target depends on whether the data is publicly available. Since anyone can access YouTube comments without an account, they are available publicly. Therefore, scraping YouTube comments is legal.

How to scrape emails from YouTube comments?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to scrape the email addresses from the YouTube comment section. To do that, you’d need to go to every user’s profile page to find their email if it’s available publicly.

How to scrape YouTube for free?

The free YouTube Data API allows gathering certain resources. You can scrape YouTube using online guides, depending on your preference.

However, free options aren’t enough for certain tasks. Read about how to scrape YouTube search results with our Web Scraping API here.

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