Easy Steps to Scrape Twitter Without CodingWednesday, May 25, 2022
Twitter, known as one of the most famous social platforms, you may very be interested with what famous people say. In this article, you can learn how to scrape Twitter data including tweets, comments, hashtags, images, etc. A very easy method that you can finish scraping within 5 minutes without using API, Tweepy, Python, or writing a single line of code.
Is It Legal to Scrape Twitter
Generally speaking, it is legal as you scrape the public data. However, you should always obey the copyright-protected policy and personal data regulation. The usage of your scraped data is your responsibility, you should pay attention to your local law. If you still feel at risk about the legality or compliance, you can try Twitter API.
Twitter API offers access to Twitter for advanced users who know about programming. You can get information like Tweets, Direct Messages, Spaces, Lists, users, and more.
Twitter Scraping Tool: No-Coding Steps
To extract data from Twitter without coding, you can use an automated web scraping tool - Octoparse. It is a web scraper that simulates human interaction with web pages. It allows you to extract all the information you see on any website, including Twitter. With its intuitive point-and-click interface, you can easily build a customized crawler and extract Tweets of an account, tweets containing certain hashtags, or posted within a specific time frame, etc. You can then export the extracted data into Excel sheets, CSV, HTML, SQL, or stream it into your database in real-time via Octoparse APIs.
Follow the easy steps below, or you can read the detail tutorial about how to scrape Twitter data with Octoparse.
Step 1: Input Twitter URL and Set Up Pagination
Before we get started, you can download Octoparse and install it on your computer. In this case, we are scraping the official Twitter account of Octoparse. As you can see, the website is loaded in the built-in browser. Usually, many websites have a “next page” button that allows Octoparse to click on and go to each page to grab more information. In this case, however, Twitter applies an “infinite scrolling” technique, which means that you need to scroll down the page to let Twitter load a few more tweets, and then extract the data shown on the screen. So the final extraction process will work like this: Octoparse will scroll down the page a little, extract the tweets, scroll down a bit, extract, so on and so forth.
Step 2: Build a Loop Item to Extract Twitter Data
To tell the crawler to scroll down the page repetitively, we can build a pagination loop by clicking on the blank area and clicking “loop click single element” on the Tips panel. As you can see here, a pagination loop is shown in the workflow area, this means that we’ve set up pagination successfully.
Now, let’s extract the tweets. Let’s say we want to get the handler, publish time, text content, number of comments, retweets, and likes. First, let’s build an extraction loop to get the tweets one by one. We can hover the cursor on the corner of the first tweet and click on it. When the whole tweet is highlighted in green, it means that it is selected. Repeat this action on the second tweet. As you can see, Octoparse is an intelligent bot and it has automatically selected all the following tweets for you. Click on “extract text of the selected elements” and you will find an extraction loop is built in the workflow.
But we want to extract different data fields into separate columns instead of just one, so we need to modify the extraction settings to select our target data manually. It is very easy to do this. Make sure you go into the "action setting" of the “extract data” step. Click on the handler, and click “extract the text of the selected element”. Repeat this action to get all the data fields you want. Once you are finished, delete the first giant column which we don’t need and save the crawler. Now, our final step awaits.
Step 3: Modify the Pagination Settings and Run the Twitter Crawler
We’ve built a pagination loop earlier, but we still need a little modification on the workflow setting. As we want Twitter to load the content fully before the bot extracts it, let’s set up the AJAX timeout to 5 seconds, to give Twitter 5 seconds to load after each scroll. Then, let’s set up both the scroll repeats and the wait time as 2 to make sure that Twitter loads the content successfully. Now, for each scroll, Octoparse will scroll down for 2 screens, and each screen will take 2 seconds.
Head back to the loop item setting to edit the loop time to 20. This means that the bot will repeat the scrolling 20 times. You can now run the crawler on your local device to get the data, or run it on Octoparse Cloud servers to schedule your runs and save your local resource. Notice, the blank cells in the columns mean that there is no original data on the page, so nothing is extracted.
Video Tutorial: How to Scrape Twitter Data for Sentimental Analysis
Twitter Data Scraping with Python
You can scrape Twitter using Python if you're good at coding. There are some accesses like Tweepy or Twint that you need to use during the process. You need to create a Twitter Developer Account and apply for API access, it only allows you to get tweets on a limitation. Twint allows you to scrape tweets without number limitation, you can learn more from this article on how to use Twint Python to scrape tweets.
Octoparse is really easy to use no matter whether you're good at coding or not. Just download the Twitter scraping tool and follow the steps above or in tutorial to have a trail. The support team will do you a favor if you have any questions on scraping Twitter data.
The Octoparse Team