How a university researcher studies TikTok user behavior with web scraping

Learn how Pilar, a university researcher in Spain, uses web scraping to study how people use TikTok and improves both her research and teaching.


Studying TikTok user behavior can be a challenge

Pilar Lacasa and her teams, researchers from the University of Alcalá and the International University of La Rioja in Spain, wanted to learn how young people use TikTok. She was especially interested in how they use filters with artificial intelligence. She used a tool called Analisa before, but it closed down, and she needed to look for new resources to open up new opportunities.

Finding the right solution

Pilar started using Apify's TikTok scrapers, like TikTok Profile Scraper and TikTok Hashtag Scraper. These tools helped her collect the data she needed. She could now explore and study TikTok profiles, videos, and hashtags.

Getting enough data to analyze TikTok user behavior

Apify enabled Pilar to gather a lot of data from TikTok, including video links, profiles, and hashtags. She used tools like Tableau and NVivo to analyze this data. Apify's scrapers even helped her to get data from specific dates and events, like the release of the movie Barbie and its popularity on TikTok.

Apify's TikTok scrapers have revolutionized my research process, making it much easier to collect and analyze data from TikTok.
-- Pilar Lacasa

Results achieved across multiple areas

  1. Better data analysis: Pilar used Apify's tools to download and study thousands of TikTok comments and videos. She found important patterns, like engagement rates and fake accounts that boosted engagement.
  2. Educational benefits: Pilar shared her findings and methods with her students. This helped students from social sciences and data science learn how to use web scraping tools.
  3. Research papers and findings: The data from Apify's tools helped Pilar write research papers. This improved the understanding of TikTok user behavior and showed how web scraping can be used in social science.
The flexibility and ease of use of Apify’s tools have been incredibly beneficial for both my research and teaching.
-- Pilar Lacasa

How Apify helps with TikTok research

Using Apify’s TikTok scrapers has given Pilar Lacasa the tools needed to study TikTok user behavior. Collecting and analyzing data has become much easier, and this has in turn helped both her research and teaching.

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David Barton
David Barton
Apifier since 2016 so learned about web scraping and automation from the experts. MSc in Computer Science from TCD. Former game designer and newspaper production manager. Now Head of Content at Apify.

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