How to Scrape Twitter Followers?

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of Twitter data scraping, providing you with a step-by-step guide on how to extract information about followers from any public Twitter profile. Our exploration will include an understanding of Twitter's API, popular tools and libraries, best practices for ethical scraping, and even strategies for analyzing and interpreting the data you collect. So, if you're ready to delve into the nitty-gritty of data extraction, let's get started on this exciting journey of uncovering the hidden value in your Twitter followers list.

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What is Data Scraping?

Data scraping is extracting information from a website and importing it into a file or spreadsheet stored on your computer.

This technique is widely recognized as one of the most effective ways to obtain data from the internet and, in some cases, transfer it to another website.

Common uses of data scraping include;

  • conducting research on web content and business intelligence,
  • comparing prices on travel booking sites,
  • gathering sales leads,
  • conducting market research using public data sources,
  • sharing product information between online retailers.

Data scraping involves sending requests to a website, parsing the HTML or XML pages, and extracting specific information.


The extracted data can be saved in a structured format such as a CSV, JSON, or XML file, which can then be used for analysis, research, or other purposes.

Web Scrapping: Legal or Not

Web scraping and crawling on their own are not considered illegal activities. In fact, it's entirely possible to scrape or crawl your own website without facing any legal repercussions.

Many startups find these techniques attractive since they offer a cost-effective and powerful means of gathering data without requiring partnerships with other companies.

Is web scrapping legal? blog post

When does scraping become illegal?

  • If you are violating the terms and services of the website scraped it's illegal. It can vary from one website to another, so make sure to read their policies.
  • You should look into copyright laws and intellectual property laws. Some websites have them and you have to get permission before doing anything.
  • If you lack the required authorization. So, yeah some people use it to get protected data from the website. If it requires you to have some level of authorization do not scrap data from that platform.
  • Privacy invasion. This, literally, does not need explanation. Private data should not be scraped without users' knowledge and consent.

Does Twitter Allow Scrapping?

Well, it is complicated. So, no Twitter does not allow web scraping, however, as long as you are not harming anyone, looking up to their private information, or spamming them Twitter does not really meddle with you.

"crawling the Services is permissible if done in accordance with the provisions of the robots.txt file, however, scraping the Services without the prior consent of Twitter is expressly prohibited"

Web Scraping vs Web Crawling

Web scraping involves two key components;

  • a web crawler
  • a web scraper.

A web crawler, also known as a spider, is an artificial intelligence that browses the internet to index and search for content by following links and exploring.

The web scraper is a specialized tool designed to accurately and quickly extract data from a web page.

Source: Soax

The main difference between a web crawler and a scraper is that a web crawler browses the web to discover URLs, while a scraper extracts data from a web page using data locators or selectors.

By using a web scraper, you can extract vast amounts of data from websites in a short amount of time, which can be used to generate valuable insights and make informed decisions.

With an understanding of the basics of web scraping, businesses and individuals can use this technique to their advantage and stay ahead in their industries.

Web Scrapping from Twitter vs Twitter API

Twitter offers free API access to users registering their use case on the Twitter Developer website.

If you are a developer or researcher you can use API for your analyses or building an application. Once confirmed, users will receive an API key within a few days.

Twitter and online communities provide ample resources for API usage. The advantage of using Twitter's API is that there is no risk of being blocked, as long as the API guidelines are followed.

However, there are limitations on how far back in time data can be pulled and how many tweets can be pulled per minute. These limitations are subject to change, so it's important to check Twitter's up-to-date guidelines.

Web Scraping vs Twitter API

On the other hand, with web scraping you have flexibility Twitter API does not offer. You can collect any amount of data from a variety of sources on an ongoing basis.

Web scraping allows businesses in a fast-paced industry to collect insights and make decisions based on up-to-date, wide data.

Also, you can observe the rapid changes in the desired industry to make a business plan. This will allow you to have a competitive advantage.

How to Scrape Twitter Followers with PhantomBuster?

In the realm of digital marketing, data is king. One of the most valuable sources of data is social media, and Twitter stands out as a treasure trove of insights. PhantomBuster, a powerful automation tool, can help you scrape Twitter followers, providing valuable data for your marketing strategies[1][5].

What is PhantomBuster?

PhantomBuster is a cloud-based software that automates actions on social networks. It offers a range of "Phantoms" or scripts, each designed to perform specific tasks on various platforms. For Twitter, one of the most useful Phantoms is the Twitter Follower Collector[1].

How to Use PhantomBuster for Twitter Follower Scraping

  1. Open the Twitter Follower Collector Phantom: This is the specific Phantom designed to scrape followers from Twitter profiles[1][5].
  2. Add the Profiles to Scrape: You can add the Twitter profiles of influencers or competitors whose followers you want to target. The Phantom will visit these profiles and scrape the followers[1][5].
  3. Set the Phantom on Repeat: You can schedule the Phantom to run at regular intervals, ensuring you get updated data[2].
  4. Collect and Analyze the Data: The Phantom will neatly arrange the scraped data, which you can then analyze for your marketing strategies[1].

Ethical and Legal Considerations

While scraping Twitter followers can provide valuable data, it's crucial to respect privacy and abide by legal guidelines. Twitter's terms of service prohibit data scraping without explicit permission, and the data obtained cannot be used for surveillance purposes, sold, or shared with third parties[4][7][12]. PhantomBuster operates within these guidelines, scraping only public data[13].

The Marketing Advantage

Scraping Twitter followers allows you to understand better who is interested in your competitors or industry influencers. This data can inform your marketing strategies, helping you target your audience more effectively. For instance, you can tailor your content to resonate with this audience, boosting your marketing efforts[3][7].

Remember, the goal is not just to gather as much data as possible, but to extract meaningful insights that can drive your marketing strategies. Quality matters far more than quantity[18].

In conclusion, PhantomBuster is a powerful tool for scraping Twitter followers, providing valuable data for your marketing strategies. However, it's crucial to respect privacy and abide by legal guidelines when using this tool.

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3) Collect URLs and Scrape Followers

After choosing or creating your Twitter scraper tool, you want to use Twitter's search feature to collect URLs of the profiles, from your targeted account.

You can use;

  • keywords
  • hashtags
  • usernames

Anything that comes to mind is good, this is your play field. Filter and search results and identify relevant profiles.

After you've collected the URLs for the follower pages, you can use your chosen tool to extract the data from each follower's profile page.

💬 This may involve identifying the HTML tags and attributes that contain the desired data, such as the follower's username, bio, location, and follower count. Most tools have a scraping function that can automate this process, so you don't have to do it manually.

  • After collecting, load collected URLs to your Twitter follower scraper tool. If your tool offers web extensions, you can also do this by visiting each page.
  • Choose the data fields you want to extract from each follower's profile page. Common fields include the follower's username, bio, follower count, and location.
  • Start scrapping!

The tool will automatically extract the data from each follower's profile page and save it in a structured format, such as a CSV or JSON file.

How to Analyze Scrapped Data?

Before anything, do not forget that the data you have at hand, is 100% useful to you. Meaning, you have to clean it before you start analyzing it. Remove;

  • Duplicates
  • Errors
  • Irrelevant information

You can use Excel-like tools or Excel itself, to clean your data. If you do not know how to use Excel unfortunately, you have to do it by hand...

But do not fear, invest your time in "Cleaning Data in Excel" by Alex the Analyst to learn how to start!

Once you are done with spring cleaning, organize your data and divide it into useful columns. Such as;

  • Username
  • Location
  • Bio
  • Follower count
  • Engagement metrics

Choose the right analysis method for you! This part is pretty important. You should select the way you are going to look into your data.

So what are the types of methods to analyze Twitter data?

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Network analysis
  • Engagement analysis
  • Demographic analysis

Engagement analysis and demographic analyses are easy to understand from their names.

With demographics you are looking at the age range, locations and gender. This will help you to better understand who is interested in your product. With this information you can tailor your marketing efforts according to them to sell more!

Engagement analysis is as the name suggests. It is looking at engagement metrics, likes, replies and retweets. This can give you an idea on what your audience likes and who your audience engages with.

Twitter Data Analysis

Similar to engagement analysis, network analysis helps you with providing most-engaged people relevant to your product. However it is more effective on finding influencers and professionals in your industry. Basically helps with networking.

Sentiment analysis, on the other hand is analyzing emotions and opinions towards your product, brand or industry. You can do this analysis by using Natural Language Processing tools in short NLP.

  • Google Cloud Natural Language API
  • SpaCy
  • Natural Language Tool Kit

These NLP tools are just some of the most reliable ones. You can do your own research and decide what suits you.

You are almost done! With these data analysis you can think about the next step and take action.

Use the scrapped and analyzed data to optimize your social media.

What can you scrape from social media services?

So, what can you legally scrape from social media services before getting in trouble? Let's look at the general information we have;

  • From Instagram, you can scrape; keywords, hashtags, profiles, and posts. These will provide you with every public data you can get, which you can later use this data to personalize your approach or collect data on your targeted audience.

💬 For Twitter and LinkedIn, you can scrape public data however they do not favor web scrapping because it brings excess traffic to their website. Also, you cannot scrape private profile data even if you do follow them!

  • LinkedIn allows you to do email address extraction (again for public profiles only), job description, location, and so on. Twitter on the other hand, like Instagram, allows you to scrape hashtags, profiles, keywords, and tweets.
  • TikTok's API only provides access to limited data, including basic user information, video metadata, and engagement metrics such as likes and comments, making it challenging to extract comprehensive data on TikTok's user base or content trends.

As long as you are scrapping data that can benefit your business without collecting personal data you are good.

However, there are limitations even to that as you can see, be careful of what you are dealing with, and read privacy policies and platforms terms!


In conclusion, scraping data from Twitter can be done easily using tools or creating your own. However, it's important to have good intentions and avoid any scamming or spamming activities, as this can lead to punishment and loss of trust from customers.

To begin, choose a targeted account and research relevant tags. Then, select a scraping tool and collect the necessary URLs to proceed. Once you have scraped the data, the next step is to analyze it. This may involve cleaning and organizing the data to make it more usable for analysis.

You can use data analysis tools such as Excel, Google Sheets, or Python libraries like Pandas to perform various analysis tasks on the data. Analyzing the scraped data can provide valuable insights into your target audience, competitors, and industry trends.

If you are trying to prospect b2b email data you can consider or other best email finder tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Twitter scraping?
Twitter scraping involves extracting data from Twitter profiles, such as follower lists, tweets, and other related information. This is usually done through programming techniques and using various tools or APIs.

2. Is scraping Twitter followers legal?
The legality of scraping Twitter followers depends on the methods used and the purpose of the data collection. Always review Twitter's terms of service and ensure compliance with data privacy laws like GDPR or CCPA.

3. What tools can I use to scrape Twitter followers?
Several tools and libraries are available for scraping Twitter data, such as Tweepy (a Python library), Twitter API, and various third-party scraping tools. Each has its own features and limitations.

4. Do I need programming knowledge to scrape Twitter followers?
Basic programming knowledge, especially in languages like Python, is beneficial as many scraping tools require some level of coding. However, some third-party tools offer a more user-friendly interface that may not require extensive programming skills.

5. Can I scrape any Twitter account's followers?
Generally, you can scrape followers from public accounts. However, scraping private account data is not possible without explicit permission.

6. How can I avoid getting banned while scraping Twitter?
To avoid bans, adhere to Twitter's rate limits, use scraping tools responsibly, and do not engage in aggressive data collection practices that could be considered spam or a breach of Twitter's terms.

7. What are the ethical considerations in scraping Twitter data?
Respect user privacy and data protection laws. Avoid using scraped data for malicious purposes and consider the implications of your data collection on individuals' privacy.

8. Can Twitter scraping be used for market research?
Yes, scraping Twitter can provide valuable insights for market research, such as understanding audience demographics, interests, and sentiment towards certain topics or brands.

9. How can I process and analyze the scraped data?
The scraped data can be processed and analyzed using data analysis tools and techniques. Common practices include sentiment analysis, trend spotting, and demographic analysis.

10. Where can I learn more about Twitter scraping techniques?
Several online resources, including tutorials, forums, and documentation, offer guidance on Twitter scraping. Websites like Stack Overflow, GitHub, and data science blogs are great places to start.