Does Instagram allow scraping?

Feb 20, 2024 ยท 2 min read

Instagram's terms of use prohibit scraping without permission. However, they do allow limited scraping for non-commercial personal use. Here's what you need to know about scraping Instagram data without getting blocked.

What Instagram's Terms Allow

Instagram's terms state:

This means any large-scale or automated scraping is prohibited.

However, Instagram does tolerate limited scraping for non-commercial personal use. For example, scraping a few public profiles to analyze influencer marketing trends would likely be fine.

Best Practices to Avoid Blocks

Even if your scraping follows the terms, being flagged by Instagram's abuse detection can lead to blocks. Here are some tips:

  • Scrape slowly: Don't send too many requests per minute to avoid seeming like an automated bot.
  • Vary user agents: Rotate different user agents so all requests don't appear identical.
  • Avoid logging in: Scraping while logged into an Instagram account is more likely to get flagged.
  • Use proxies: Route requests through different proxies/IP addresses.
  • Commercial Scraping Alternatives

    For commercial scraping needs, consider using the Instagram API or data resellers instead of scraping. While not free, they provide higher rate limits and reduce abuse detection risks.

    The key takeaway is that while some limited scraping is tolerated, Instagram prohibits automated large-scale scraping. Following best practices can help avoid blocks, but commercial usage requires considering paid alternatives.

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