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Cover image for How to Scrape Reddit Data: Posts, Images, Comments, and more.
Nicolae Rotaru
Nicolae Rotaru

Posted on • Originally published at page2api.com

How to Scrape Reddit Data: Posts, Images, Comments, and more.

Introduction

Reddit.com is a social news website and forum where content is socially curated and promoted by site members through voting.

In this article, you will read about the easiest way to scrape Reddit posts and comments with Page2API, and find some code examples in Python.

To scrape Reddit, we will use Page2API - a powerful and delightful API that will help you scrape the web like a PRO.

Prerequisites

To start scraping Reddit posts, we will need the following things:

  • A Page2API account
  • The link to a subreddit that we are about to scrape. To make the scraping process easier - we will use the old Reddit UI since it has a simpler HTML structure. In this article, we will scrape the BMW subreddit.

How to scrape Reddit Posts

The first thing we need is to open the subreddit URL:

https://old.reddit.com/r/BMW/
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The URL is the first parameter we need to perform the scraping.

The page that you see must look like the following one:
Subreddit page

If you inspect the page HTML, you will find out that a single result is wrapped into an element that looks like the following:
Reddit post

From this page, we will scrape the following attributes from each Reddit post:

  • Title
  • URL
  • Thumbnail
  • Submitted
  • Author
  • Author URL
  • Comments
  • Rank
  • Score

Now, let's define the selectors for each attribute.

/* Parent: */
.thing[data-promoted=false]

/* Title */
a.title

/* URL */
a.title

/* Thumbnail */
a.thumbnail img

/* Submitted */
time

/* Author */
a.author

/* Author URL */
a.author

/* Comments */
(parent div, attribute: data-comments-count)

/* Rank */
(parent div, attribute: data-rank

/* Score */
(parent div, attribute: data-score
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Now, let's handle the pagination.
We will iterate through the Reddit pages by clicking on the Next page button.

To go to the next page, we must click on the next page link if it's present on the page:

document.querySelector('.next-button a').click()
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Reddit pagination

The scraping will continue while the Next link is present on the page, and stop if it disappears.
The stop condition for the scraper will be the following javascript snippet:

document.querySelector('.next-button a') === null
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Let's build the request that will scrape the needed pages from this subreddit.

The following examples will show how to scrape 5 pages of posts from Reddit.com

Our payload will look like this

{
  "api_key": "YOUR_PAGE2API_KEY",
  "url": "https://old.reddit.com/r/BMW/",
  "merge_loops": true,
  "real_browser": true,
  "scenario": [
    {
      "loop": [
        { "wait_for": ".thing" },
        { "execute": "parse" },
        { "click": ".next-button a" }
      ],
      "stop_condition": "document.querySelector('.next-button a') === null",
      "iterations": 5
    }
  ],
  "parse": {
    "posts": [
      {
        "_parent": ".thing[data-promoted=false]",
        "title": "a.title >> text",
        "url": "a.title >> href",
        "thumbnail": "a.thumbnail img >> src",
        "submitted": "time >> datetime",
        "author": "a.author >> text",
        "author_url": "a.author >> href",
        "comments": "_parent >> data-comments-count",
        "rank": "_parent >> data-rank",
        "score": "_parent >> data-score"
      }
    ]
  }
}
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Python code example

import requests
import json

api_url = 'https://www.page2api.com/api/v1/scrape'

The following example will show how to scrape 5 pages of posts from Reddit.com

payload = {
  "api_key": "YOUR_PAGE2API_KEY",
  "url": "https://old.reddit.com/r/BMW/",
  "merge_loops": True,
  "real_browser": True,
  "scenario": [
    {
      "loop": [
        { "wait_for": ".thing" },
        { "execute": "parse" },
        { "click": ".next-button a" }
      ],
      "stop_condition": "document.querySelector('.next-button a') === null",
      "iterations": 5
    }
  ],
  "parse": {
    "posts": [
      {
        "_parent": ".thing[data-promoted=false]",
        "title": "a.title >> text",
        "url": "a.title >> href",
        "thumbnail": "a.thumbnail img >> src",
        "submitted": "time >> datetime",
        "author": "a.author >> text",
        "author_url": "a.author >> href",
        "comments": "_parent >> data-comments-count",
        "rank": "_parent >> data-rank",
        "score": "_parent >> data-score"
      }
    ]
  }
}

headers = {'Content-type': 'application/json', 'Accept': 'text/plain'}
response = requests.post(api_url, data=json.dumps(payload), headers=headers)
result = json.loads(response.text)

print(result)
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The result

{
  "result": {
    "posts": [
      {
          "title": "Thought you would enjoy this",
          "url": "https://old.reddit.com/r/BMW/comments/uu50bl/thought_you_would_enjoy_this/",
          "thumbnail": "https://b.thumbs.redditmedia.com/1OMVuKzvOeVi6IkOMc1K94HzPOLs3InozhCPlxU8K7E.jpg",
          "submitted": "2022-05-20T18:55:11+00:00",
          "author": "L9FanboyXD",
          "author_url": "https://old.reddit.com/user/L9FanboyXD",
          "comments": "206",
          "rank": "1",
          "score": "1234"
      },
      {
          "title": "Totalled..",
          "url": "https://old.reddit.com/r/BMW/comments/uu7yih/totalled/",
          "thumbnail": "https://b.thumbs.redditmedia.com/QQ7_MbJqhB5t4QfKJjbTFU4sEK0Cd9Cy5uFCSzzeLzM.jpg",
          "submitted": "2022-05-20T21:16:40+00:00",
          "author": "Conscious_Champion35",
          "author_url": "https://old.reddit.com/user/Conscious_Champion35",
          "comments": "130",
          "rank": "2",
          "score": "375"
      },
      {
          "title": "Joined the squad. Yes there was a flat bed at the dealer as I was closing this deal today.",
          "url": "https://www.reddit.com/gallery/uucgb5",
          "thumbnail": "https://b.thumbs.redditmedia.com/g8vAVq0N59R0a-IX1mBtM1YEy2gouhhGTTS7m4Nr8us.jpg",
          "submitted": "2022-05-21T01:16:08+00:00",
          "author": "restloy",
          "author_url": "https://old.reddit.com/user/restloy",
          "comments": "22",
          "rank": "3",
          "score": "157"
      }, ...
    ]
  }, ...
}
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How to scrape Reddit Comments

We need to open any post URL from the previous step.

This will change the browser URL to something similar to:

https://old.reddit.com/r/BMW/comments/uu50bl/thought_you_would_enjoy_this/
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This URL is the first parameter we need to scrape the Reddit post data and comments.

The comments section that you see must look like the following one:

Reddit comments section

From this page, we will scrape the following attributes:

Post data:

  • Title
  • Image

Comments data:

  • Author
  • Author URL
  • Posted
  • Score
  • ID
  • Content

Now, let's define the selectors for each attribute.

Post data

/* Title */
a.title

/* Image */
.media-preview-content img.preview
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Comments data

/* Parent */
.entry

/* Author */
a.author

/* Author URL */
a.author

/* Posted */
time

/* Score */
.score.unvoted

/* ID */
input[name=thing_id]

/* Content */
.usertext-body
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It's time to prepare the request that will scrape the data from a Reddit post page.

The payload for our scraping request will be:

{
  "api_key": "YOUR_PAGE2API_KEY",
  "url": "https://old.reddit.com/r/BMW/comments/urv3mr/i_saw_it_in_prague_the_red_is_much_prettier_in/",
  "parse": {
    "title": "a.title >> text",
    "image": ".media-preview-content img.preview >> src",
    "comments": [
      {
        "_parent": ".entry",
        "author": "a.author >> text",
        "author_url": "a.author >> href",
        "posted": "time >> datetime",
        "score": ".score.unvoted >> text",
        "id": "input[name=thing_id] >> value",
        "content": ".usertext-body >> text"
      }
    ]
  }
}
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Python code example:

import requests
import json

api_url = 'https://www.page2api.com/api/v1/scrape'
payload = {
  "api_key": "YOUR_PAGE2API_KEY",
  "url": "https://old.reddit.com/r/BMW/comments/urv3mr/i_saw_it_in_prague_the_red_is_much_prettier_in/",
  "parse": {
    "title": "a.title >> text",
    "image": ".media-preview-content img.preview >> src",
    "comments": [
      {
        "_parent": ".entry",
        "author": "a.author >> text",
        "author_url": "a.author >> href",
        "posted": "time >> datetime",
        "score": ".score.unvoted >> text",
        "id": "input[name=thing_id] >> value",
        "content": ".usertext-body >> text"
      }
    ]
  }
}

headers = {'Content-type': 'application/json', 'Accept': 'text/plain'}
response = requests.post(api_url, data=json.dumps(payload), headers=headers)
result = json.loads(response.text)

print(result)
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The result:

{
  "result": {
    "title": "I saw it in prague. the red is much prettier in real life",
    "image": "https://preview.redd.it/91x8qz36f3091.jpg?width=1023&auto=png&s=9c0aced50d6743989f053cf9cc78c896f928d8a7",
    "comments": [
      {
        "author": "DarkMeta81",
        "author_url": "https://old.reddit.com/user/DarkMeta81",
        "posted": "2022-05-17T20:12:31+00:00",
        "score": "15 points",
        "id": "t1_i8zlp77",
        "content": "i was on vacation and prague is full of beautiful bmw this m5 is great"
      },
      {
        "author": "Id-atl",
        "author_url": "https://old.reddit.com/user/Id-atl",
        "posted": "2022-05-18T01:06:15+00:00",
        "score": "5 points",
        "id": "t1_i90on16",
        "content": "Wow imagine being in Prague ripping this around!"
      }, ...
    ]
  }, ...
}
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Conclusion

That's it!

In this article, you've learned how to scrape the data from Reddit.com with Page2API - a Web Scraping API that handles all the hassle, and lets you get the data you need with ease.

The original article can be found here:

https://www.page2api.com/blog/how-to-scrape-reddit/

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