The Best Ways to Get Your 2020 Instagram Top 9

Dig up those moments you want to relive and share with everyone.

The year has been garbage enough on a day-to-day level that everyone could benefit from a reminder of some of the good times throughout the year. There was the day you dressed as Joe Exotic for your Zoom meeting, that one time your neighbors set off fireworks and you weren't mad, and the slow, necessary perfection of your bartending skills. 

As you get ready for your month of reminiscing about the year that was, Instagram Best Nine and Top Nine are going to help you flip back through your friend-approved moments of 2020. The much-shared end-of-year post is a pictogram of your nine most popular posts over the last year.

Unlike, say, Spotify Wrapped, there isn't an in-app way for you to collect your best posts of the year. Nonetheless, there are plenty of other apps and websites that are going to pull together those most Instagrammable moments of your life, even if it was that time you knocked your tooth out with the front door. It happens. It was absolutely worth sharing.

What Is Instagram Best Nine/Top Nine?

The answer to this question will not blow your mind. It's what it sounds like. It's an automated collection of the nine most-liked photos posted by a given Instagram account over the course of a year. It's a way to reminisce about the best moments of your year, as decided by friends and strangers on the internet. It's also a way to turn those very likable photos into more likes if that's what you're after. 

Though, you're also allowed to just tuck it in your digital pocket and never show anyone your Top Nine. 

The different names you see for these posts are just a result of there being a few different apps you can use to get the pictogram. Top Nine and Best Nine are two of the most well-known ways to get that three-by-three collage that's ready for you to post straight to Instagram.

How to Get Your Instagram Best Nine

Best Nine and Top Nine are free services that you can use right on your desktop. Though, Top Nine also allows you to retrieve your collage through its mobile app. Both sites can be a little slow at times, especially once the annual tradition really catches one. Everyone with an inflatable T-Rex costume or newborn is using the site at the exact same time. Have a little patience. 

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

If you're using the Top Nine app, it'll ask you for your Instagram handle/username. On the next page, the app will ask for your email address. You can enter it if you want, but you actually don't have to. There's an option to just carry on with your Instagram-adjacent business. Your Instagram Top Nine will come together on the next page. Again, patience. It could take a little bit. That image will tell you the total number of likes you had in 2020 as well as revealing the nine images that got the most likes. 

The Top Nine website is almost an identical experience to the app. Though, you can't opt-out of providing an email address. That's the only way to move to the next page after you enter your Instagram handle. This would be a good time to bust out that burner email address you keep for non-emergencies. Once you've done that and waited for the image to load, you'll be presented with your image, the number of posts you made in 2020, the number of likes you received, and the number of likes per post you received. 

The image looks a little different on the site than through email, with more information provided on-site. Either way, you need to do a screengrab to get the perfect square image for Instagram. Also, you'll see a small white box with a number in the upper left-hand corner of each of the nine images of the collage. That's the number of likes each post received. So, if you share your top nine from Top Nine, you'll be broadcasting the number of likes you got on each of those images as well. 

Best Nine's website does not require you to log in or provide an email address. Though, it does run slower than Top Nine. On the homepage, you enter your Instagram handle. Then you're waiting. The next screen will tell you how long it's going to take to get your image. When I did it, my wait time was listed as 10 minutes. It took more than an hour. That is pretty close to the timing in 2019 as well.

How to Share Your 2020 Instagram Best Nine/Top Nine

The Top Nine app is a little less intuitive than Best Nine. If you just want that stitched-together image of nine of your posts, you'll get it, but it's not quite as instantly ready to share. After you get your image via email or by hitting the "Share" link on the Top Nine site, you'll get a long photo that has branding and details about your year on Instagram in addition to the image. You'll have to take a screengrab to get the nine-image collage without any of the other stuff. 

While Best Nine can take (a lot) longer, it gives you a watermark-free, easily shareable image. The site has two options for saving. One of those options includes stats about your year and the other is just the square image. It's nice and clean and ready to post. 

These aren't the only sites that can provide a top-nine/best-nine collage. These are, however, easy to use and among the best. Still, the other sites and apps, like these two, are quite easy to use. You're going to figure it out and turn those past likes into future likes like a pro.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.