TikTok grew out of a space for teenagers to show off their dance moves and lip sync. Now a major infotainment platform for Gen Z, millennials, and beyond, it is no longer just a "Chinese app" but a place for new trends, authentic dialogue, and advanced search. TikTok's growing popularity is only making it more interesting to users from other social media platforms, celebrities, researchers, brands, tech giants, and even FBI! 👮 So can we download that data?
In this short tutorial, we’ll show you how to scrape TikTok videos in 4 simple steps and 3 different ways, no coding required. No time for reading? We get it, head over to the YouTube tutorial 📹🔴
Why extract TikTok data?
Before we start, here’s a couple of things you should know about this app and its users:
🚀 TikTok moves fast. In 2022, TikTok became the most downloaded app in the world, with 3.5+ BLN total downloads. Mic drop.
🙋♀️ Its audience is young and active. Nearly half of TikTok users are under 30. And they really love the app, spending an average of 52 min/day on the platform. If you consider that most of the videos do not exceed a minute, that's a lot of videos. 83% of TikTok users have posted a video at least once.
🔎 Visual search is a competition to Google. In July 2022, SVP of search at Google admitted that “almost 40% of young people, when they are looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search, they go to TikTok or Instagram.”
▶️ Faster video content is a competition to YouTube. It goes further: a study has shown kids aged 4-15 spend an average of 80 min/day on this app, making TikTok the biggest competitor to YouTube for kids.
🧙♀️ Setting trends and influencing other media. If you see an interesting Instagram Reel, YouTube Short, or Facebook Story - it's very likely just an old TikTok video.
👀 More and more brands are joining TikTok. Uncharted territory or "tabula rasa for marketing campaigns" no more. In 2022, numerous brands were cautiously registering on the platform, learning its ways, and succeeding.
Step-by-step guide to scraping TikTok
You'll need a tool that is easy enough to use but complicated enough to scrape a website with a structure like TikTok's. It’s a tall order.
Cue our TikTok Scraper, which scrapes data from hashtags, user profiles, and separate videos in a structured format. You can download that TikTok data onto your computer and plug it into your existing workflow, projects, spreadsheets, and applications. Here's how you can do that:
Step 1. Go to TikTok Scraper and click Try for free
Find the TikTok Scraper page (which will look like this) and click the Try for free button. You’ll be redirected from our website to the Apify Console.
If you don’t have an Apify account yet, sign up using your email, gmail, or Github account. No credit card strings attached; you'll have a free trial.
Step 2. Indicate TikTok video, profile or hashtag to scrape
Now that you're in your workspace, it's time to decide: what data you want to extract? Choose your starting point:
- section 1 - hashtags #️⃣
- section 2 - profiles 👨🍳
- section 3 - specific videos 📼
#️⃣ How to scrape data from TikTok hashtags?
Type in or copy-paste one or more TikTok hashtags that interest you. You will be able to scrape all videos posted with this hashtag and their details.
👨🍳 How to scrape data from TikTok profiles?
Alternatively, you can also scrape not just hashtags, but TikTok videos uploaded by a specific user. Think of a user profile page you want to scrape; let’s say, Gordon Ramsay’s and Jamie Oliver's tiktoks. So just add their usernames into the fields. If in doubt, you can always check their handles with the app.
📼 How to scrape data from specific TikTok videos?
Last but not least, you can scrape data from specific TikTok videos.
Three final remarks before we start extracting data:
✅ in each section, you can add as many fields as you want or paste a prepared list into Bulk edit field
✅ you can fill several sections at once or keep it to one
✅ you can set how many results you want in Max results field. It counts results per field, so if you set it to 20 and add 3 hashtags (for instance), you'll get 60 results in total.
Step 3. Click Start ▶️
Once you are all set, click the Start button. Notice that the status will change to Running, so wait for the scraper's run to finish. It will be just a few minutes before you see the status switch to Succeeded.
Step 4. Collect your data
Now click on Export results button, or go to the Storage tab. Storage contains your scraped data in many formats, including HTML table, JSON, CSV, Excel, XML, and RSS feed. You can preview data using the Preview button, and download it in a format that suits your needs.
And that's kind of it. But wait, there's more!
👩⚖️ Is it legal to scrape TikTok?
Just like with any other Apify data extraction tools, scraping publicly available data on any website, including TikTok, is legal. But it’s still important to take several regulations into account, such as the GDPR and CCPA, as these protect personal data. Here you can learn more about the legality of web scraping and scraping ethically.
👀 Can I use TikTok API instead?
Unfortunately, as is the case for most social media platforms, TikTok does not offer an official API to let you extract data at scale. You might want to try the limited alternatives on the market such as Phantombuster’s TikTok Profile Videos Extractor, but we have something with way more functionality and ease of use in store for you.
💸 Is there a free TikTok Scraper?
If you simply want to give scraping a try and extract concrete TikTok data, try our super-fast free TikTok Scraper 🔗. Compared to the more powerful TikTok Scraper 🔗, it has a longer trial period. And although the free version delivers fewer results, it is very fast and has low consumption. This whole tutorial applies to both scrapers.
⌨️ Can I download TikTok comments?
Yes. Use TikTok Comments Scraper 🔗 to that end. It extracts full comment text, username, timestamp, number of replies, number of likes, etc. You can explore other dedicated TikTok crawlers we have in Store.
🧪 How can I use TikTok data?
TikTok is a perfect place to collect data for social studies, research, and fun:
- Use it as a base for online research, social listening experiments as well as a reliable and fast source of survey data
- Spread awareness about social issues and caritative causes
- Monitor, flag unverified content, and stop the spread of inaccurate information with high public value
- Follow trends and predict emerging opportunities and influences
- Scan the market for authentic product reviews
- Detect coordinated efforts in spreading disinformation, such as in this tool used by journalists to analyze the events of the Russo-Ukrainian war.
🛍 How to use data extracted from TikTok for marketing?
TikTok is the most dynamic environment to learn about the young generation. In general, TikTok is very responsive to promotional efforts, with 61% of TikTok users admitting they are likely to watch ads. However, TikTok marketing campaigns have to be especially intricate, involving the right causes and authentic engagement. With scraped TikTok data you can:
- do market research for planning and analyzing campaigns
- promote your own channel
- collaborate with an influencer
The best thing about TikTok is that it's a huge flexible social media platform with user-generated content, authentic engagement, and community-building at its core. All this points to piles of social data you can scrape, learn from and adjust your research and analysis strategies accordingly.