Reddit is a widely used online discussion forum where people talk about almost all matters and topics. No matter whatever your topic of interest is, you are going to find a Subreddit related to it. That is to say, Reddit is a great platform for collecting social data.
So, if you are into social research, internet marketing, or any other related field, scraping Reddit can be a great source of getting data for research, analysis, reference, and other purposes. This article will help you learn about the best Reddit scraper to extract Reddit data easily and quickly.
Reddit and Web Scraping
Does Reddit allow scraping
Reddit allows using the publicly available data through the official Reddit API. It allows the developers to interact with the site in an array of useful ways, though with several limitations and restrictions.
To use Reddit API, you need to be authenticated, and for commercial use of API special authorization is needed. Moreover, developers would be required to register and get the token for using the official API and that too, as per the rules laid out by the site.
You can even use web scraping tools for extracting data from Reddit and other sites without any worries as they are not illegal to use. Just ensure that you meet the guidelines and the rules set by the site.
What data can you scrape from Reddit
There are various types of data that can be scraped from Reddit. Here are some specific examples of data that can be scraped from Reddit:
- Post titles and content
- Comments and replies
- Number of upvotes and downvotes
- Creation time of posts and comments
- Images, videos, and other media files
- Subreddit and topics
- Usernames, profiles, karma scores, etc.
Benefits of scraping Reddit data
You may have the question that why we need to scrape Reddit data and export it into an Excel file. Here lists some reasons, or we can say the benefits, of why scraping data from Reddit.
For market research:
Scraping data from Reddit can provide valuable insights into customer needs and preferences, helping with market research. Also, you can do the competitive analysis by scraping your competitors’ information.
For content creation:
Reddit is a rich source of ideas and inspiration for content creation. By scraping the relevant data, you can identify popular topics, trends, and discussions that can be used to create engaging and relevant content.
For Sentiment analysis:
Reddit is a platform where people express their opinions and emotions about various topics. By scraping data from relevant Subreddits, you can perform sentiment analysis to understand how people feel about your brand, products, or services.
Best Web Scraper for Reddit Without Coding
As discussed in the above part of the topic, using the official API of Reddit for data scraping has a lot of restrictions and the type of data that can be extracted is also limited. Here we will introduce an easy-to-use web scraper tool to help you scrape Reddit data without coding effortlessly.
Octoparse is a tool based on both Windows and Mac systems to extract data automatically from websites like Reddit. The process of data scraping is simple, and you can quickly get the data including group name, title, article, author, etc. It also supports cloud extraction so that you can avoid IP blocking. There is also an option for scheduled extraction where a specific time can be set for data scraping. The final scraped Reddit data can be downloaded as an Excel file or exported to your database.
Steps to scrape Reddit data using Octoparse
Step 1: Launch Octoparse and paste your Reddit link
First, launch Octoparse after you have downloaded and installed it on your device. Paste the copied Reddit link on the main interface and you’ll move to the auto-detect mode by default. Or you can go to Advanced Mode for more options.
Step 2: Create Workflow and customize the data field
Next, a workflow will be created after the quick auto-detection. You can set the scroll down, which will let you load all the items on a page. Other customized options can also be made with several clicks.
Step 3: Extract data from Reddit
Once the previous steps are completed, it’s time to extract the data. Click on the Run button to start the scraping process. After a while, you can download the data as an Excel or CSV file.
Scrape Reddit Followers with Python
If you are good with coding, then another way to scrape data from Reddit is by developing your scraper using Python, the advanced programming language. You can also get third-party libraries and frameworks that assist in creating scrapers and web crawlers.
To scrape Reddit data using Python, PRAW (Python Reddit API Wrapper) module is used that facilitates using the API of Reddit using the scripts of Python.
Steps to scrape Reddit with Python
Step 1. First, you would need to install PRAW and for this, you need to run the command line pip install praw at the command prompt.
Step 2. Next, for data extraction, a Reddit app has to be created. Choose the option of being a developer and creating an app.
Step 3. After the app is created, prawn instances have to be created which are of 2 types – read-only instance, and authorized instance.
Step 4. Depending on the type of data to be extracted, the command will be given. As the command is processed, data extraction will be done.
You can go to the page here for more details: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/scraping-reddit-using-python/
We believe that the Reddit data scraping will surely help you collect information for your business. But ensure that you are using an efficient scraping tool so that all the needed data can be scrapped easily and safely. Moreover, the selected scraping tool should allow you to save the extracted data in multiple and easy-to-read formats.