Scraping Telegram with Datacenter Proxies: An In-Depth Guide for Professional Data Mining

By Srikanth
10 Min Read
Scraping Telegram with Datacenter Proxies: An In-Depth Guide for Professional Data Mining 1

Data is the backbone of most businesses, as they need it to analyze competitors, monitor prices, and aggregate prices from different sources. However, most business owners view web scraping as a hard nut to crack, especially if we’re talking about collecting data from social media platforms. Luckily, the solution lies with probably the most revered network: Telegram.

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When it comes to scraping data from social media, Telegram is not held in the same regard as other platforms. This is because many business owners think scraping chats and group information from Telegram is hard, but the truth is far from that. In fact, it is easier with Telegram because it supports automation.

In this article, we are going to provide you with a gentle guide on how to get the most out of Telegram for the benefit of your business. But first, let us look at why you need telegram automation.

What is Telegram Automation?

Telegram is one of the most popular messaging platforms. It is also secure due to encryption, which makes it ideal for chatting, sending photos and videos, and sharing files in almost all formats you can think of. Moreover, it supports mega groups of up to 200,000 people and themed channels, which makes it a holy grail for business processes such as marketing and industry data collection and analysis.

Telegram bots are configured to send automated messages and support automated video downloads, file conversions, and reminders. Automation is also ideal for data collection, and this is where datacenter proxies come in. Using proxies for scraping enables you to automatically generate, filter, and collect the data that you need.

Datacenter proxies smooth the process of data collection from Telegram. Even scraping large amounts of data becomes easier as the platform supports various proxies for automation.

Extracting Information from Telegram With Datacenter Proxies

Telegram offers two platforms, that is, groups and channels, for users to interact and generate or share data. The best place to start would be to differentiate the two, as the data generated from each is different. Groups are open platforms that are meant to be like chats where every member can share their views and opinions, while channels are like broadcasts, where only admins can send messages and other members can only view. Now let’s see how we can extract different types of data from these platforms.

  1. Scraping Telegram Channel Subscribers

For a business to thrive, they need to identify their audience, what the audience needs, and how to bring them close. Telegram channels are among the best places on the internet to get this data, especially due to their large number of members. They can also be a good place to source the contact information of prospective audiences for the purpose of reaching out to them. Unfortunately, the option of scraping this data is not available, as only administrators have access to contact information.

  • Scraping Telegram Group Members

Extracting group members on Telegram is more than possible, as opposed to scraping channel subscribers. This is because Telegram does not have many restrictions on scraping its content. As a business owner, you may need group members’ information to get attention from the groups, add them to your group, or engage them without spamming. Here is a short tutorial to get you going.

Step 1: Create a Telegram App and Get Your Credentials

Before scraping telegram group members,  you need to have your credentials. To do this,

  • Go to my.telegram.org and log in.
  • Click on API development tools, fill in the required fields, including the app name, and submit. You will receive api_id and api_hash. Copy them to your clipboard or write them down somewhere, as you will need them to log in to Telegram API.

Step 2: Set up Proxies

Scraping data on Telegram is easier, and datacenter proxies alone are enough to accomplish the task. Get your proxy, authenticate it, and change the address, port, username, and password.

Step 3: Install Telethon

Telethon is an MTProto API Telegram client library. You can install it using Pip as follows:

python pip install telethon

However, if you are using Linux or Mac, you may need to use sudo before pip to avoid permissions issues.

Step 4: Create Client Object and Login

The latest version of Telethon has two sync and async models. Here, we will focus on the sync module. Import it from your preferred library, then change the api_id, api_hash, and phone to insatiate your client object.

from telethon.sync import TelegramClient

api_id = 123456

api_hash = 'YOUR_API_HASH'

phone = '+111111111111'

TelegramClient(phone, api_id, api_hash, proxy={'proxy_type': python_socks.ProxyType.HTTP, 'addr': '1.1.1.1',  'port': 5555, 'username': 'your_username', 'password': 'your_pass'})

Connect to Telegram and check if you are already authorized. If not, request an OTP code and enter the code on the Telegram account.

client.connect()

if not client.is_user_authorized():

    client.send_code_request(phone)

    client.sign_in(phone, input('Enter the code: '))

If you are good to go, a session file that makes your session persistent will be created.

Step 5: List All Telegram Groups

Create an empty list of chats that you would like to scrape from and populate it with the results you get from GetDialogsRequest. You also need to add the InputPeerEmpty to have your code look as follows;

from telethon.tl.functions.messages import GetDialogsRequest

from telethon.tl.types import InputPeerEmpty

chats = []

last_date = None

chunk_size = 200

groups=[]

result = client(GetDialogsRequest(

           offset_date=last_date,

           offset_id=0,

           offset_peer=InputPeerEmpty(),

           limit=chunk_size,

           hash = 0

     ))

chats.extend(result.chats)

Here, we are sending empty values to the parameters offset_date and offset_peer so that the API can return all chats. We also assume that we are only interested in mega groups, so we have to check if the mega group attribute of the chat is True and add it to your list.

Step 5: Select a Group and Scrape Members

After listing the groups, it’s time to select the group that you would like to scrape members from. When the code is executed, it loops through the groups that you stored in the previous step, printing every group’s name starting with a number, which is the index of the group list. Enter the number associated with your target group.

print('Choose a group to scrape members from:')

i=0

for g in groups:

    print(str(i) + '- ' + g.title)

    i+=1

After identifying the group you need data from, the last step is to export its participants. Telethon makes this easy with a function that lets us create an empty list of users, get members using the get_participants function, and populate the list.

Step 6: Store the Data in a CSV File

Open a CSV file in the write mode with UTF-8 encoding. This is crucial, as it is common for Telegram group members to have non-ASCII names. Create a CSV writer object and write the first row in the CSV file, then loop through every item in the all_participants list and write them to the CSV file.

print('Saving In file...')

with open("members.csv","w",encoding='UTF-8') as f:

    writer = csv.writer(f,delimiter=",",lineterminator="\n")

    writer.writerow(['username','user id', 'access hash','name','group', 'group id'])

    for user in all_participants:

        if user.username:

            username= user.username

        else:

            username= ""

        if user.first_name:

            first_name= user.first_name

        else:

            first_name= ""

        if user.last_name:

            last_name= user.last_name

        else:

            last_name= ""

        name= (first_name + ' ' + last_name).strip()      writer.writerow([username,user.id,user.access_hash,name,target_group.title, target_group.id])     

print('Members scraped successfully.')

Datacenter proxies are ideal for scraping Telegram for various reasons, including providing an extra layer of security between your computer and the internet. It also protects your privacy as you collect data for your business needs.

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