Frequently Asked Questions

What is Communalytic?

Communalytic is a research tool for studying online discourse. Communalytic can collect, extract, analyze and visualize large amounts of data from various social media platforms including Reddit, Twitter, and CrowdTangle (Facebook/Instagram). It uses advanced machine learning and social network analysis techniques to automatically pinpoint toxic and anti-social interactions, identify influencers, facilitate content analysis, map shared interests and detect signs of possible coordination among seemingly disparate actors in online discourse. 

  • The FREE Edu version is designed for educators to teach and students to learn about social media data analytics and social network analysis.
  • The Pro version is designed to serve the needs of the academic research community. It provides academic researchers with the resources and infrastructure necessary to access the data they need. 

Edu Version - For Teaching & Learning

FREE with a university email address

You can store ≤ 30K records shared across 3 datasets at any time in your Edu account (i.e. per account, you can have 1 dataset with ≤ 30K records or up to 3 datasets with a variable number of records not exceeding 30K records in total).

If you’re at your account limit, you can download your previously collected datasets to free up space.

Alternatively, if your need is more robust, consider upgrading to Communalytic Pro where you can collect and store ≤ 10M records shared across ≤ 50 datasets.

Data/API access is granted solely at the discretion of the platforms. We recommend that you apply in advance to the platform(s) of your choice for API access.

Subreddit –  You can collect public posts from a subreddit (including submissions, comments and replies) for up to 7 consecutive days, starting from the date when you initiated the data collection.

Note 1: The Edu version does not collect posts from subreddits with 10 million or more subscribers like r/askReddit. 

Note 2: While Communalytic tries to retrieve all new submissions within the specified time period, some posts in “high volume” groups (such as r/all) may be dropped due to the reddit API limitation.

Note 3: Please also note that comments and replies to submissions are collected at the end of the specified time period, so some of them may be deleted by the moderator(s) or users, and will not be included in the final dataset.

Twitter Thread –  You can collect the most recent public replies to a tweet (up to 10K tweets per thread) posted over the previous 7 days, starting from the date when you initiated the data collection. To use this collector, you will need to request Twitter’s Developer account first. 

Facebook/Instagram (via CrowdTangle API)  You can collect public Facebook/Instagram posts that shared a given URL (up to 10K posts). To access this API, you will need to request academic access to the Facebook’s CrowdTangle platform.

Subreddit –  Not in the Edu version. The Pro version can collect historical data, including submissions, comments and replies. 

Twitter Thread – Yes, you can collect historical tweets from a thread, as long as they are public and posted within the past 7 days from when you started your data collection. 

Facebook/Instagram (via CrowdTangle API): Yes.

The answer is No.

Communalytic uses public APIs provided by the platforms to collect data. You can not use Communalytic to collect data that is private such as DMs or for accounts that are set to private.

We at Communalytic promote ethical research with social media data. This means that in addition to respecting the social media sites’ terms of service, if you are using Communalytic, you are responsible for reviewing and following ethical guidelines and best practices established by your institution when working with social media data.

As a primer, please also review this excellent resource: Ethical Decision-Making and Internet Research Recommendations by the Association of Internet Researchers (AOIR). 

We’ll keep your datasets on our server for 100 days from the end of your collection date. 

You will receive a notification 3 weeks before the expiration date and 3 days before your dataset is automatically deleted from our system.

Yes, just download your dataset as a CSV file from the Edu version and then upload the file to your Communalytic Pro account.

Yes, you can download your datasets as a CSV file. In addition, you can also download the resulting communication or semantic network file as a GraphML file

No, the upload feature is only available in Communalytic Pro.

Gruzd, A., & Mai, P. (2021). Communalytic: A Research Tool For Studying Online Discourse. Available at https://Communalytic.com

Note: For information on how to properly describe Communalytic data collection process, see the FAQ item on “What are the parameters for data collection?

Pro Version - For Research 

$349.00 for a 6-month subscription to support site infrastructure (i.e. data storage, processing, analysis and visualization)

You can store ≤ 10M records shared across 50 datasets at any time in your Pro account (i.e. per account, you can have one dataset with ≤ 10M records or up to 50 datasets with a variable number of records not exceeding 10M records in total).

If you’re at your account limit, you can download your previously collected datasets to free up space.

Data/API access is granted solely at the discretion of the platforms. We recommend that you apply in advance to the platform(s) of your choice for API access.

Subreddit –  You can collect public posts from a subreddit (including submissions, comments and replies) for up to 31 consecutive days, starting from the date when you initiated the data collection.

Note 1: The Pro version can collect posts from subreddits with 10 million or more subscribers. 

Note 2: While Communalytic tries to retrieve all new submissions within the specified time period, some posts in “high volume” groups (such as r/all) may be dropped due to the reddit API limitation.

Note 3: Please also note that comments and replies to submissions are collected at the end of the specified time period, so some of them may be deleted by the moderator(s) or users, and will not be included in the final dataset.

Twitter Thread –  You can collect the most recent public replies to a tweet (up to 500k replies per thread) posted within the previous 7 days. To use this collector, you will need to request Twitter’s Developer account first. Please note that you can only collect up to a maximum of 500k tweets overall per month as indicated in your Twitter’s Developer Dashboard

Facebook/Instagram (via CrowdTangle API)  You can collect public Facebook/Instagram posts that shared a given URL. To access this API, you will need to request academic access to the Facebook’s CrowdTangle platform.

Subreddit –  Yes, you can collect historical posts from a given subreddit. The specified time period should not be longer than 31 days.

Twitter Thread – Yes, you can collect historical tweets from a thread, as long as they are public and posted within the past 7 days from when you started your data collection. 

Facebook/Instagram (via CrowdTangle API): Yes. The specified time period should not be longer than 31 days.

The answer is No.

Communalytic uses public APIs provided by the platforms to collect data. You can not use Communalytic to collect data that is private such as DMs or for accounts that are set to private.

We at Communalytic promote ethical research with social media data. This means that in addition to respecting the social media sites’ terms of service, if you are using Communalytic, you are responsible for reviewing and following ethical guidelines and best practices established by your institution when working with social media data.

As a primer, please also review this excellent resource: Ethical Decision-Making and Internet Research Recommendations by the Association of Internet Researchers (AOIR). 

We’ll keep your datasets as long as your paid tier is not expired. You can extend your tier at anytime for another 6 months via the My Profile menu. 

You will receive a notification 7 days before your account’s expiration date. After your account has expired, you will have 14 days to upgrade it before your account and datasets are automatically removed from our system.

No, the file upload feature is only available in Communalytic Pro.

Yes, you can download your datasets as a CSV file

You can also download the resulting communication or semantic network file as a GraphML file

Yes, you can upload an existing dataset (in CSV format) for analysis in Communalytic Pro.

Gruzd, A., & Mai, P. (2021). Communalytic: a Research Tool For Studying Online Discourse. Available at https://Communalytic.com

Note: For information on how to properly describe Communalytic data collection process, see the FAQ item on “What are the parameters for data collection?”