News

The Best Ways to Get Your 2019 Instagram Top 9

Hopefully, your year has been vastly better than our collective 2019 has been. It's been weird. Everyone drank White Claw, hated on Game of Thrones, did the keto thing, then lost their minds over a chicken sandwich. But if your year was better than a hard seltzer at Popeyes, you might have a desire to flaunt it on Instagram in the form of a collage of your best photos. 

As 2019 flips into 2020, it's the time of year where people start sharing their Instagram Best 9 (or Instagram Top 9 -- whatever you want to call it), a pictogram of their nine most popular posts over the course of the year. Unlike Spotify's year-end wrap, Instagram doesn't provide a native way for you to pull together your nine best posts of the year, so it's not exactly a no-brainer. However, there are plenty of apps and websites to help you get your Instagram Best 9 and potentially discover whether your friends prefer those papier-mâché busts of the presidents you've been working on or if they just want more pics of your puppy in a bowtie. 

What Is Instagram Best Nine/Top Nine?

Instagram Best Nine/Top Nine is exactly what it sounds like: an automated collection of the the nine most-liked photos on your Instagram feed in 2019. In other words, you're turning content into more content; likes into more likes. Then again, nothing's stopping you from keeping your Top 9 to yourself this year, especially if all nine photos end up being chicken sandwiches. Or towering White Claw can castles. You don't have to share that with the world if you don't want to.

Top Nine and Best Nine are just two of the many apps/websites that will automatically make your Instagram Top 9/Instagram Best 9 for you by stitching your most-liked photos together into a three-by-three collage that is, predictably, Instagram ready. It's so easy, it's no wonder why your Instagram feed is flooded with 'em right now. 

How to Get Your Instagram Best 9

The aforementioned apps provide this service for free from a desktop site, but Top Nine also offers a mobile app. Both routes are going to demand a bit of patience, though. Every micro-influencer and corgi owner will be using the site at the same time, so it can move a little slow. If it's not working, just continue to exercise some patience. It'll come around. Before you know it, you'll have a collage of nine images of your cat that look almost exactly the same (no offense intended -- that is a good-looking cat). Just be warned: if your Instagram is set to private, you'll have to download the mobile app and sign in with your Instagram credentials in order to get your Top 9. Be sure to choose a Best 9/Top 9 site you trust before you do that, though.

Here's a step-by-step guide on the easiest ways to get your Instagram Best 9/Top 9:

If you're using the Top Nine app, first you have to download the app on your phone. Once you open the app, it'll ask you for your Instagram handle/username, so type that in, then hit continue. You'll be taken to the next page, where the app will ask for your email address. You can enter it if you want, but you actually don't have to -- just hit the underlined text reading, "Tap here if you don't want to enter your email," then tap "Continue without support" and you're good. You'll be taken to the next page, where your Instagram Top Nine will generate, which could take a few seconds. Once your Instagram Top Nine appears, you'll also be able to see the total number of likes you received in 2019, the number of posts you made, and the average number of likes per post. 

The Top Nine website works almost exactly the same way, except there's no way to opt out of providing your email address (use your designated spam/throwaway email address for this). In this case, your Top Nine will generate on the website and they'll also send it to your inbox. The only catch with both the app and the desktop version of Top Nine is that your resulting collage will be stamped with a huge "TOP NINE" watermark, which you'll have to pay $2.99 to remove. 

The Best Nine website is more straightforward, though it will take longer. Just go to the site -- bestnine.net -- on your phone's internet browser and type in your Instagram handle (for example, @thrillist), then hit the "GET" button on the right side. You'll be taken to a new page, where the site will say that it's working on creating your 2019 Instagram Best Nine. When we tried it on December 31, we received a confirmation message on the screen, saying, "Please note that now it takes like 10 minutes to complete your request due to a huge demand. Your request is already on our queue, so please come back later." While going this route took much longer than 10 minutes, the resulting Best Nine grid is watermark-free, so there's no annoying prompts asking you to pay anything. 

How to Share Your 2019 Instagram Best 9/Top 9

If you decided to use the Top Nine app, there are a few extra steps you'll have to take in order to actually get you nine-photo collage. First, tap the bottom left button labeled "Customize Grid" and flips the switches for the grid options you'd like. Again, if you want to remove the watermark, it'll ask you to cough up $2.99. Hit the "Done" button at the bottom of the screen, then tap the red "Share" button on the main page. From there, it'll give you two quick options: post your grid directly the Instagram Stories or download it to your phone's photo library. If you hit the "More" option, however, you'll be able to share your Top Nine via your phone's built-in share options after you ignore yet another prompt to pay to remove the watermark. We recommend going with the the "Save to Photo Library" option, then posting it to your Instagram account from there -- exactly the same way you normally post photos to Instagram. The Top Nine website involves a similar process. 

As for the Best Nine website, which results in a watermark-free grid, sharing is even easier. There isn't a long list of options. Once the site generates your Best Nine (again, that could take a while!), all you have to do is hold down on the resulting grid with your finger and save it to your phone like you do with any other image from the internet. You can save the "Original" option, which includes the stats on your total likes in the frame, or you can save the "Square" version, which is just the simple grid sans extra stuff at the top and bottom of the frame. We recommend the later because it's the simplest and cleanest for when you post it Instagram from your cameral roll.  

All said, these are likely your best options for getting your Instagram Best 9/Top 9 this year. There are a bunch of other sites and apps to choose from, and they generally work the same way as Top Nine and Best Nine. In other words, you'll figure it out. 

Now you'll be sharing your Best 9/Top 9/whatever to Instagram in no time... and creating a perfect cycle of likes. 

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.