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TikTok for Developers


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What data is available as part of the Research API?
    1. More information on the Research API can be found here. Once approved for access to the Research API, researchers can access public data on:
      1. Accounts: This includes user profiles, and other data such as the number of likes of creator's content, followers and following count. It also includes liked videos, reposted videos, pinned videos and returns information on the followers and people followed by the account.
      2. Content: This includes comments, captions, subtitles, and number of comments, shares, likes, and favorites that a video receives.
    2. For more info on the data returned via our APIs, check out the Research API codebook
  2. How do I know if I qualify for Research API access?
    1. Applicants must fulfill the following criteria to qualify for access:
      1. Have demonstrable academic experience and expertise in the research area specified in the application
      2. Have no conflicts of interest with respect to using the services
      3. Be employed by a non-profit academic institution in the U.S. or Europe
      4. Be able to provide a clearly defined research proposal
      5. Be committed to only using data for non-commercial purposes, as set out in our Research API Terms of Service
  3. How do I apply for Research API access?
    1. If you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above and have prepared a research proposal, click here to apply.
  4. Can I work with a group of researchers to collaborate on a research topic? How do I ensure we all get access to the Research API in order to collaborate on our approved project?
    1. We now support lab-level access to the Research API. The application form should be submitted by the project's principal researcher. Once the application is approved, the principal researcher can log in and view the approved "Organization" on the TikTok for Developers (TT4D) home page. Here, the principal researcher will have the ability to manage access, including adding and removing collaborators.
    2. The principal researcher can add up to 9 collaborators to work together on a research topic. It is preferable that the principal researchers submit the details of all anticipated collaborators during the application process. TikTok will review any collaborators that are invited to join an approved research project prior to granting them access. Further, it is the responsibility of the principal researcher to remove and revoke access to collaborators who are no longer working on the approved research project.
    3. If the collaborators are from a different university, an application should be submitted with a list of collaborators for each university.
    4. The collaborators need to ensure that they have setup their TT4D account in advance prior to getting an invite.
  5. Where is the Research API available?
    1. The Research API is currently available to qualifying researchers located in the United States and Europe.
  6. When will the Research API be available in my country?
    1. TikTok is actively working to expand eligibility to additional regions. Please check this page for updates.
  7. I am a researcher working for a non-profit organization, in civil society, or at an NGO. Can I apply for access?
    1. At present, eligibility is restricted to those employed by not-for-profit academic institutions in the United States, and Europe. We are actively working to expand eligibility globally as well as for the civil society sector. Please check this page for updates.
  8. I am a creator, advertiser, or commercial user. Am I eligible for access to the Research API?
    1. At present, eligibility is restricted to those employed by not-for-profit academic institutions in the United States, and Europe who meet our eligibility criteria. Click here to learn more about API access for non-academic purposes.
  9. What are the daily quota limits? Can I request an increase in the quota limit?
    1. Currently, the daily limit is set at 1000 requests per day, allowing you to obtain up to 100,000 records per day across our APIs. (Video and Comments API can return 100 records per request). The daily quota gets reset at 12 AM UTC.
    2. For the Followers and Following lists API, you can obtain up to 2M records per day by making up to 20,000 calls per day. You get a maximum of 100 records in each call. The daily quota gets reset at 12 AM UTC.
    3. If you believe a quota limit increase is necessary for your research, please email us at We can't grant exceptions, but we're eager to better understand use cases from the research community to evaluate and take your requests into account for the future.
  10. I have a developer account with TikTok. Can I start using the Research API?
    1. Your developer account alone is not sufficient to grant you access to the Research API. In order to access the Research API, you will need to meet our eligibility requirements, submit an application, and be approved for a specific research project.

Research API Usage FAQs

  1. Why does User API not return responses sometimes even though the user name is accurate?
    1. TikTok's Research API does have some filters. To cite some examples, public data of users under the age of 18 and data from Canada is not returned in the responses
  2. Why is my access token invalid?
    1. Access tokens are set to expire every two hours. If you experience an invalid token error within two hours of generating it, please submit a support ticket to us with your token and client key, and we will investigate the issue.
  3. Why did I receive a response back with code: "scope_not_authorized" and message: "The user did not authorize the scope required for completing this request?"
    1. This indicates that you have not yet submitted your Research API application for our review and have not passed the necessary approval evaluations. If you are interested in accessing the Research API, visit our Research API page to learn more, check eligibility requirements and apply for access.
  4. Why is the query video data (view_count, comment_count, like_count, share_count) significantly inaccurate, often showing lower numbers than what is live at the moment?
    1. The User info API only retrieves data for an individual user, so we use online data. However, the video query API searches for the full dataset, so we use archived data instead of the current online data. New videos take up to 48 hours to be added to the search engine, and statistics such as view count and follower count can take up to 10 days to update.