The Story of InstaFetcher

Aswin Asok
3 min readJun 12, 2021
The Story Of InstaFetcher

The Beginning

InstaFetcher was one of my first web scrapping projects which I did almost a year ago using python and selenium. The main aim of InstaFetcher was to find the list of non-followers. Being the initial stage of my coding journey this project motivated me a lot as is my first project which had crossed 10 stars on Github.

Being selenium automation this project needed to manually run each time and it took about 1 min to complete the whole process. Over the next few months, I added several features to this project itself, and was one of my favorite ones. After learning web development I thought of hosting it so that everyone can access it themselves for free. I tried several ways to host my automation and each time we failed. Later I gave up on the idea of hosting my automation.

The Resumption

Coming a few months forward, Now as I knew React.js and how it works with APIs, I thought of converting my automation into an API but that didn’t go well as I wasn’t able to find the resources needed for it. Next, I went to see whether Instagram had any public API which served my needs and came to know that they had shut down their public API in 2018 and most of the API which I saw on RapidAPI were either paid or had a limited request rate.

InstaFetcher in VSCode.

Last week, I came across an npm package that was perfect for me on the first testing itself it worked miraculously and the output was provided to me within 20 sec, Therefore I created a React App did the UI and on the first testing on itself, it failed. This was when I knew that to work it needed a backend to work and as it was an npm package there was no other option than node.js.

Even though I had tried learning node.js in the past that also didn’t go well and therefore I was trapped again. Things started going well again when I came across Glitch, a platform that hosts projects in real-time and had a template for node.js, and after some tweaks, it InstaFetcher started working again miraculously and I started developing the UI again in Glitch.

InstaFetcher’s UI

This is the UI that I had developed for InstaFetcher and I was very happy finally as I was able to see my project finally running on the web. But the joy was only for 2–3 hours only. Due to multiple logins and logouts, Instagram finally blocked all the requests to my test account and presented me status codes 429 and 400.

In the climax even though I wasn’t able to release this project to my friends, I was successful in hosting and running it online and I achieved my aim.



Aswin Asok

🤹‍♀️ᴀ ᴍᴜʟᴛɪʟɪɴɢᴜɪsᴛɪᴄ 📖sᴇʟғ-ʟᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ 👨‍🎓 sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛ ᴡʜᴏ 💘 ʟᴏᴠᴇs 🎧ᴍᴜsɪᴄ, 💻ᴛᴇᴄʜɴᴏʟᴏɢʏ ᴀɴᴅ 👩‍💻ᴘʀᴏɢʀᴀᴍᴍɪɴɢ.