As the year draws to a close, people are rushing to make their Instagram best nine and find their most popular pictures of the year.
The annual collage has become something of a tradition, allowing people to reflect on the posts that were liked most by their friends throughout the year.
In 2019, there are a whole range of tools that make it very easy. Instagram doesn’t offer the feature, however, so you will have to go elsewhere.
Thankfully, you don’t have to pick through all your pictures and find out the best ones: there’s plenty of websites available to do that for you. The best one appears to be topnine.co, which includes some extra features like the ability to see how many likes you managed to get over the entire year.
Last year, that site ran into issues in some countries, such as the UK, perhaps because of more stringent privacy rules. Those seem to have been fixed this time.
But if there are problems, you can still head to the 2019bestnine site as an alternative. It’s not quite as neat, runs quite slowly and sticks a fairly ugly watermark on the bottom, but it includes some clever features, such as the ability to choose any date range that you like.
Whichever one you use, just head to that site, give it your username, and it’ll sort everything out from there. You can even give it someone else’s username, should you want to see their best nine.
The site finds out which of your posts received the most likes, assembling them into a collage of nine pictures. You can then opt to share it to your Instagram – or do whatever else you like, such as sending it directly to your friends or uploading it to your story.
That website – unlike some other, more questionable tools – doesn’t require that you give it your login or the ability to access your account, since all the data that it needs to make the collage is public anyway. Since there are safe tools like that around, make sure not to use one that requires you to give any account information at all, since it is unnecessary and can put you at risk of having your profile used maliciously or even hacked.
But for the same reason, the tool will only work for public profiles. Since it works by scraping the information from your profile, if you’ve locked it down you won’t be able to see the results.
One option is simply to switch very quickly to a public profile, make your collage, and then switch back. As long as you do it quickly then it is unlikely anyone will notice.
Another option is to make your own best nine, by picking through your photos and then arranging them into a collage using Instagram’s own Layout app. That has the advantage of allowing you to choose any photos you wish you were included but aren’t – but the downside of having to pick manually through what might be hundreds of photos.
A version of this article was first published in 2018