Collecting YouTube comments with VOSONDash

rstats SNA VOSONDash networks YouTube visualisation

Collect YouTube comments and create networks for analysis with VOSONDash

Francisca Borquez (VOSON Lab, School of Sociology, Australian National University)true

This guide provides a practical demonstration for collecting comments from YouTube videos and constructing networks, using the VOSON Lab’s interactive R/Shiny app VOSONDash.

The GitHub page provides instructions to install and run VOSONDash. More information on features can be accessed in the VOSONDash Userguide(Borquez et al. 2020).

Collecting YouTube data

As for Twitter, YouTube collection requires API keys, which are provided via the Google API console. Similarly, we enter the key in the API Keys window, YouTube tab in VOSONDash and the token can be saved to disk for future use.

In this example, we are collecting comments from a YouTube video titled Update on reinfection caused by Omicron variant, which was uploaded by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 5th December 2021 and had attracted 182 comments at the time of data collection (17 December 2021).

YouTube networks

VOSONDash (via vosonSML) provides two types of YouTube networks:

Figure 1: VOSONDash – YouTube collection, Activity and Actor networks

The Blog post Analysing online networks with VOSONDash provides more detail into features for network analysis, network visualisation and text analysis.

Borquez, F., B. Gertzel, X. Cai, and R. Ackland. 2020. VOSON Dashboard Userguide. Canberra, Australia: VOSON Lab, Australian National University.



Text and figures are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0. The figures that have been reused from other sources don't fall under this license and can be recognized by a note in their caption: "Figure from ...".


For attribution, please cite this work as

Borquez (2021, Dec. 6). VOSON Lab Code Blog: Collecting YouTube comments with VOSONDash. Retrieved from

BibTeX citation

  author = {Borquez, Francisca},
  title = {VOSON Lab Code Blog: Collecting YouTube comments with VOSONDash},
  url = {},
  year = {2021}