How much does a social media network support the collection of data by third-party companies? An easy way to think of it is like this: If a social media network offers an official API, it supports data collection. Crawling a social media network for data can be a complicated task in most cases.
Networks have all sorts of specific restrictions on data gathering for all sorts of different reasons. From privacy issues to very simple server performance issues, network platforms control the way external parties plug into their data.
They also control how much of the past data, or historical data, can be accessed. This means that it can be impossible to access past data in certain cases. The idea around studying this topic is that we, as data-driven marketers or analysts, understand that data collection involves specific processes—and being supported, or not, by a platform is included in this.
So it is good to know if a social media network supports data collection or not, because it helps us understand what kind of data we can collect, how easy it is to collect, and what challenges we might face.
It is also important to keep in mind that we don’t need to go too far on this issue; we can keep it simple. Many people think that ultra-powerful channels are needed for quality data to be collected, but that is just not true.