Overview

Meta's Researcher Platform is a secure way for qualified users to access privacy-protected Facebook and Instagram data. It is built with validated privacy and security protections, such as data access controls, and has been penetration-tested by internal and external security professionals.

Researcher Platform runs a modified version of Jupyter, an open source tool that supports multiple standard statistical packages including SQL, Python, and R, as well as a bridge to Facebook Graph APIs. Once a researcher applies and is approved to use Researcher Platform, they gain access to a virtual data clean room where data can be analyzed, and in some instances joined, under defined guidelines and restrictions that keep the data secure.

Researchers gain access to a JupyterLab instance and can analyze available data in Python or R, including custom Python libraries. Pre-installed libraries allow researchers to perform common statistics such as data processing, data analysis, machine learning, and data visualization.

Qualified academics are given their own private research environment with free compute and, in some instances, the ability to upload their own data.

Access to Researcher Platform is controlled through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and data access control policies. Depending on the sensitivity of the data, we include specific rules around downloading or exporting Facebook data out of the environment, copying, and reverse engineering the data—in order to optimize for transparency while maintaining privacy.

Hardware specifications

Per account, we offer the following hardware support:

  • Memory:
    • guarantee: 50G
    • limit: 64G
  • Storage:
    • capacity: 32GB (applies only to EBS. No current limit on S3 storage)
  • CPU:
  • GPU:
    • G4dn.4xlarge
      • Memory: 64GiB
      • GPU memory: 16 GiB
      • Instance storage: 125 GB
      • Network performance: Up to 25 Gbps

Products that use researcher platform

To get started with any products that use Researcher Platform, you must be granted access via the governance protocols in place. Use the links below for more information about each product, including product-specific access requirements and procedures:

ProductDescription
Ad Targeting Dataset

Contains the ad targeting logic of all of the Social Issue, Electoral, and Political (SIEP) ads run, beginning August 3, 2020 on the Facebook platform. The coverage includes all countries in which we currently have our ad authorizations and disclaimer tools available

URL Shares

Enables approved researchers to study the distribution of URLs on Facebook and how users interacted with them.

Meta Content Library API

An API for querying and analyzing Meta's full historical public content archive, supporting data analysis in Python and R in Researcher Platform.