Social Listening data availability and limitations

This feature is only available for Social Listening customers.

When you create a Listening Topic, Sprout Social automatically retrieves historical data for that Topic Query. The length of historical backfill and the time it takes to pull data into Sprout depends on the data sources you're listening to.

The following table provides a high-level view of what data is generally available. 

Network - The social network you're listening to.

Message types - The types of messages Sprout can listen to.

Backfill - The amount of time or the amount of data from which Sprout can pull historical data.

Update Schedule - The frequency of updates and the amount of data pulled into Sprout during each update.

Network Message types Automatic Backfill Update Schedule




Tweets, Replies, Mentions, Quoted Retweets and Retweets (shares) 30 days or the last 200k messages Within 2-3 minutes




Posts, Visitor Posts (sometimes referred to as Community Posts) and Comments on Public Pages. 30 days Every 4 hours

Instagram Business


Posts that include specific hashtags. Comments are not included None Every 4 hours




Video descriptions. Comments are not included 30 days  Every 24 hours
Tumblr Articles. Reblogs are not included. 30 days Every 24 hours
Web Blog posts, Forum posts and news articles. Reviews, general web pages and content behind paywalls are not included. 30 days or last 10k messages Depending on the source, within 24 hours
Reddit Posts and comments 30 days or last 10k messages Every 8 hours
LinkedIn Mentions associated with pages that are connected to Sprout, comments on those messages. You can only listen to LinkedIn pages you own. 30 days Every 24 hours


Historical Backfill Limits

If you want more historical data than what is provided in the automatic backfill (default is 30 days), contact your Sprout Social Customer Success representative to purchase a 12 month backfill. Note that some limits do exist when completing a historical backfill for Listening. Those limits are outlined in the following table:

Network Manual Backfill Details


March 2006 Can go back to the start of Twitter


2 years or 600 messages/year Can get up to two years of data, however if there are more than 600 messages in a year, Facebook only returns the most important messages.

Instagram Business

Up to 24 hours  



2006 Fewer videos are returned the further in time you go back. For example, you'll get more data from recent videos than videos from 2006.
Tumblr 2007 Fewer messages are returned the further in time you go back. For example, you'll get more data from recent posts than posts from 2007.
Web Up to 25 months  
Reddit Up to 25 months  
LinkedIn Up to 60 days  

Social Listening Limitations

Some important limitations of Social Listening include:

  • Listening queries have a 2,048 character limit across all plan levels.
  • You can't build a query to listen within a specific geographic area or location. (Try drilling into keyword and operators to do this.)
  • Facebook listening is limited to Facebook Pages only.

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